Posted on 30 May 2011 by SomeGood
The British Columbia Marine Trails Network (BCMTN herein) celebrated its grand opening May 13th, 2011. It was established to “to identify and secure necessary public camping areas accessible to kayaks, canoes and other small beachable watercraft along the coastline of British Columbia.” Recent years has seen an increased demand for commercial use of BC’s coastline. More and more pressure has been put on a finite number of beaches with appropriate camping potential. Before any more ideal camping areas were lost paddlers united to preserve areas popular with paddlers.
I met a Director of the BCMTN, Steve Herringer, at the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure Show and the enthusiasm he and his other members have for the project is certainly infectious.
The goals are to find sites with the following factors in mind:
-They each provide a refuge off the water in case of sudden weather changes, fatigue, etc.
-They are within reasonable paddling distances apart,
-They have scenic beauty,
-Beaches are accessible at high and low tides,
-They each have an upland area suitable for camping.
Back in the mid-90′s I attended a fundraiser on Saltspring Island for the similarly named BC Marine Trail Association which had a comparable mandate but was unable to keep itself afloat after years of tireless work. Since 2007 the BCMTN brought together various stakeholders such as government and parks, private landowners, paddling clubs, outfitters and First Nations. Their lofty goal is to provide campsites along the entire coast of BC but for now two sections of the trail have been completed including the Gulf Islands and the north & west of Vancouver Island. Many of the sites within the new trail network are long established camp sites.
For more information Coast & Kayak Magazine (formerly Wavelength Magazine) posted a series of stories on their website and a 17 page article in their summer 2011 print issue.
The latest issue is embedded below.