Celebrate Summer with an adventure on Campbell River’s Waterfront Trail

The annual Discovery Passage Passage isn’t till August but here’s a pair of Summer adventures to help prepare you for the event.

The Passage Passage requires normal fitness and some basic paddling skills. A good way to celebrate spring and prepare for the Passage Passage is to paddle along the shoreline from the Maritime Heritage Center to Ken Forde Boat Launch. This exercise will reestablish your ‘feeling’ for a small boat and approximate the paddling distance necessary for the Discovery Passage Passage

1) Park your car at the south end of the parking lot at the Maritime Heritage Center. It’s a short carry from car top to the gravel beach and waterline. Recommended launch time is about one to three hours after low tide. Check the tide at
This tide gives a slight push southward. You can see the bottom, depending upon how close to shore you choose to paddle. By the time you reach Willow Point Reef it won’t be fully covered but there will be enough water depth that you can pass over the reef with the bottom in sight. If the tide is high, or just past it, when you decide to go start at the south end. If it’s rough or the wind is up postpone for a better day.

The paddle from the Maritime Heritage Center to Ken Forde Boat Ramp is 6.45 km. The paddle to Cape Mudge is 3.28 km one way or 6.56 km return. You can choose a shorter route by launching at the bottom of the hill by Hidden Harbour or by hauling out at the Big Rock launch area or at Frank James Park. Take your time. If you’ve chosen a good day it’s a natural high.
The pullout at Ken Forde Boat ramp is fairly straightforward and, if you’ve left your car at the Maritime Heritage Center it’s possible to catch a city bus back to the downtown area to pick up your vehicle.
(see the bus schedule at:
There’s good parking and washroom facilities at each end.

2) Head on down to the Spit an hour or so before high tide. There’s several places to park and launch into the shelter of the estuary. The map below will provide some choices, around Baikie Island, under the bridge, up the river till the flow forces you to turn