A tiny village on the north side of Howe Sound, Langdale was named after Robinson Henry Langdale, a Yorkshireman who came here to homestead in 1892.
Today, Langdale is the BC Ferry terminal linking Highway 99 at Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver) to Highway 101, the main route connecting communities on the Sechelt and Malaspina Peninsulas of the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
The 87-mile (139-km) stretch of Highway 101 between Langdale and Lund is the final leg of the world’s longest highway, the Pan-American (also named Highway 101 in parts of the United States and Canada), which stretches 9,312 miles (15,020 km) from Castro on Chile’s south coast to Lund on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
Ferry travellers heading to Horseshoe Bay from Langdale must use the Langdale bypass during peak traffic periods. On Sundays, holiday Mondays, and other predictably heavy traffic periods, all ferry traffic will be directed towards the Langdale bypass to allow for more efficient traffic movement, and to ensure that vehicles waiting in the ferry lineup do not block residential driveways.
Location: Langdale is located on the north side of Howe Sound, on the southeast coast of the Sechelt Peninsula, 4 miles (6-4 km) north of Gibsons.
BC Ferry Route: Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver to Langdale, Sunshine Coast.
Salmon Spawn: Check out the BC Wildlife Watch viewing site at the Langdale ferry terminal. From October to December coho and chum salmon spawn in Langdale Creek. This small creek runs along the southern side of the ferry Terminal, and is visible through the wire fence. Park at the BC ferry terminal and visit Langdale Creek on foot.
Port Mellon: After disembarking the BC ferry, turn right and head out to Port Mellon, where you can tour B.C.’s most modern, pollution-free pulp mill, or explore the newly established Tetrahedron Provincial Park, accessed on the McNair and Rainy logging roads.
Golf: Located in a naturally wooded setting on Mellon Highway, 4 km north of Langdale ferry terminal, is the Langdale Heights Par 3 Golf Course. The year-round 9-hole public course offers great views of the Coast Mountains, Gambier Island and Howe Sound. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
For excellent swimming and a relaxing stroll on the beach, head down to Hopkins Landing, one kilometre south of the Langdale ferry terminal.
Mountain Biking: The Sunshine Coast has a progressive attitude towards mountain biking, so it is no wonder that the region is a maze of mountain-bike paths. Sprockids Mountain Bike Park west of Langdale is designed with the younger generation in mind. Located at the north end of Stewart Road just off the Gibsons Bypass, the park provides almost 9 miles (14 km) of trails that will appeal to mountain bikers of all ages.
Hiking: The Soames Hill Trail (moderate) between Gibsons and Langdale is Gibsons’ answer to North Vancouver’s Grouse Grind, a 40-minute stair-climb that seems to last forever, at the top of which you’re rewarded with a view that just won’t quit of Howe Sound, Keats Island, Gibsons and the Strait of Georgia. To reach the trailhead, take North or Reed Road to Chamberlain Road, then east on Bridgeman Road to its end.
Much lengthier hiking trails in Gibsons can be found on Mount Elphinstone, which dominates the northwestern entrance to Howe Sound. The Mount Elphinstone Heritage Trails take advantage of numerous logging roads that had become overgrown when the timber supply was exhausted. All the trails are well marked with both colour-coded surveyor’s tape and metal disks. The K2 Trail (moderate) ascends the side of Mount Elphinstone (4,137 feet/1261 m) from the end of Wharf Road. To find the trailhead, follow the Port Mellon Hwy a short distance north of the ferry terminal at Langdale to Wharf Road. As the pink-taped K2 Trail ascends, it meets with the blue-taped Waterfall Trail (easy), a much shorter, lower-elevation hike that leads to a waterfall viewpoint on Langdale Creek. The trailhead for the Waterfall Trail begins at the north end of Stewart Road. Take either North Road or the Gibsons Bypass to reach Stewart Road. Red-taped Tramway Trail (moderate) follows the path of two tramways that once ferried supplies to loggers at higher elevations. The trailhead is located only after following several marked and unmarked roads. Take North Road from either Gibsons or Langdale to Cemetery Road, then follow Cemetery, which leads past a – you guessed it – cemetery, to Keith Road. Watch for a road opposite the Boothill Ranch, which will deposit you in front of a yellow gate. Hike a short distance from here to the trailhead, which is marked with a red aluminum tag.
Three postage-stamp-size remnants of old-growth forest on Mount Elphinstone have recently been designated as provincial park. A prolific number of mushrooms, some of which have yet to be properly identified, grow here. Tread carefully and take only photographs.
Smith Cove Park provides beach access by a long set of stairs leading down to a rocky beach, overlooking the Langdale Ferry Terminal and surrounding area. There is a lookout point for Gambier Island and surrounding waters. To get there, follow Hwy 101 south, past the Langdale Ferry Terminal and then turn right onto Smith Road.
Plumper Cove Marine Provincial Park is one of the coast’s oldest marine parks and a very popular anchorage in the summer months. The 57-hectare park is located on the northwest shore of Keats Island, immediately across Howe Sound from the town of Gibsons. The park has a well maintained hiking trail system, a grassy upland picnic area and forested walk-in campsites toward Observatory Point. Hiking trails lead from the picnic area to Lookout Mountain and Stony Hill. The pebble beach is great for swimming and beachcombing. The park is accessible by foot passenger ferry from the Langdale Ferry Terminal, and by water taxi from Gibsons.
Just minutes south of Langdale is the scenic seaside village of Gibsons, the setting for the internationally popular CBC television program The Beachcombers, from 1971 to 1990. Visit the Elphinstone Pioneer Museum or treat yourself to a walking tour of the harbour. Take a stroll on the Seawalk and view the barges, fishing boats, tugs and float planes.
Across Howe Sound is the quaint and picturesque seaside village of Horseshoe Bay on the North Shore of Vancouver. Horseshoe Bay is best known for its BC Ferry terminal, serving Snug Cove on Bowen Island, Langdale on the Sunshine Coast, and Departure Bay in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on a driving Circle Tour. Head north out of Vancouver for the scenic Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island Circle Tour. Board a B.C. Ferries vessel at Powell River that will take you across the waters of the Strait of Georgia to Comox, on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Travel south to Victoria and return to Vancouver by ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen. Circle Tours in British Columbia.