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Hornby Island : Helliwell Provincial Park
Helliwell Provincial Park.
Helliwell Provincial Park is located on Hornby Island of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada. The 2,872 hectare waterfront park was established in 1966 and is highlighted by some beautiful marine scenery and wilderness landscapes.
Helliwell Park encompasses St. John's Point and guards the northern marine entrance to Tribune Bay. The park boundaries encompasses the point, a forest of old growth Douglas Fir trees, a beach, an islet and some jagged, rocky cliffs. In late spring wildflowers bloom in the park coloring the cliffs in reds, yellows and oranges.
Helliwell Provincial Park is a popular day use destination on Hornby Island for hiking, scuba diving, swimming, sightseeing, kayaking and picnicking. However picnicking is enjoyed on a blanket opposed to a picnic table - as there are none. And kayaking and canoeing is enjoyed in the bay below the jagged cliffs.
There is a hiking trail in the park which leads to the point and the cliffs. The trail is a 5 kilometre loop trail exploring through a forest leading to views of Georgia Strait, Sunshine Coast and the Coastal Mountains. At various points along the hiking trail are viewing benches for resting and sightseeing.
The beauty about the provincial parks on Hornby Island is that they are within walking distance of each other. From Helliwell one can walk to Tribune Bay Provincial Park and relax on a 1 kilometre long white sandy beach.
There are also wildlife viewing opportunities in Helliwell Provincial Park. Some of the wildlife includes seals, eagles, herons, sea gulls and sea lions.
Not long ago Flora Islet , located off the tip of St. John's Point, was added to the park. The islet is a well known scuba diving destination in the Gulf Islands and the world. It is particularly popular due to the fact it is one of the few diving sites in the world where divers can swim with six-gill sharks.
Helliwell Park is an activity park with few amenities. There are no picnic tables in the park. Pit toilets are located on the trail and near the parking area.
How to Get to Helliwell Park.
Travel to the island of Hornby via BC Ferries. In Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island, south of the Comox Valley, is a BC Ferry Terminal connecting to Denman Island and Hornby Island. Once on Hornby Island travel along main road to the local CO-OP store. At the general store turn left onto Central Road and continue until St. John's Point Road which then leads to the park.
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