The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name, with bright days outnumbering gloomy ones by a wide margin. One of the prime attractions of these waters is their warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal for swimming. If you like to take an early-morning plunge after a night spent sleeping under the stars, this is the place to do it!
The Sunshine Coast is located northwest of Vancouver, and is split into two portions, on either side of Jervis Inlet.
Powell Lake is located in the upper region, north of the town of Powell River, the largest settlement along the Sunshine Coast. Here you can cruise one of Canada’s most pristine lakes aboard a private floating resort.
The Powell River and Powell Lake area is the jewel of the Sunshine Coast. Powell Lake has over 300 kilometres of scenic shoreline stretching deep into mountain valleys, and is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, waterfalls and streams. There are two large rivers flowing into the lake, with one connecting to pristine Goat lake, and over 250 float homes on the lake that are very unique, and accessible by boat only. There are numerous hiking trails that lead to beautiful alpine meadows – more information below – and the world famous Fiddlehead Farm is well worth the visit.
Enjoy a houseboat by day as a home base for exploring, for water sports, swimming or fishing. By night, tie up in a secluded cove, and as evening wears on, watch the moonlight reflecting on the water as dazzling stars appear. The possibilities are endless, the choice is yours, and you are the Captain.
Powell Lake has many privately owned cabins along its shore and, except for emergencies, their floats and facilities should not be used.
Recreation Sites on Powell LakeApproximately halfway along the southern shore of Powell Lake, east of the small unnamed island, is the Powell Lake Recreation Site. This small, rustic site has a sandy beach, toilets, tables, and provides good refuge from the afternoon winds. There are two other campsites on Powell Lake. One is situated on the Lower Powell at the beginning of the Powell Lake/Inland Lake portage, offering toilets and tables, and the other is the Regional District Campground located at the southeast end of Haywire Bay.
You’ll find camping, picnicking and swimming at Haywire Bay Regional Park. One of the treats of visiting this beach is swimming the short distance to nearby Honeymoon Island.
There are more Forest Service recreation sites concentrated around Powell River on the northern Sunshine Coast than in almost any other similar-sized area in British Columbia – this is testament to the dozens of lakes surrounding the town.
Hiking around Powell Lake
The 2.5-km moderately difficult Lost Lake Trail connects Haywire Bay Regional Park with the west side of Inland Lake. Along the way, this up-and-down, forested route passes diminutive Lost Lake, and connects with the circular 13-km Inland Lake Trail – trailhead at the Inland Lake Recreation Site. Short lakeside hiking trails also run along the shores of Powell Lake from Mowat Bay Park and Haywire Bay Regional Park.
Kinsman Park near the Powell Lake Marina is the trailhead for the Scout Mountain Trail, which leads uphill to the summit of Scout Mountain. From here, hikers can look out over Powell Lake and Wildwood.
On Goat Island, in the middle of Powell Lake, is the 5-km Frogpond Lake Trail, which leads from Powell Lake to Frogpond Lake. The trailhead is located on the east side of the creek at Cassiar Falls. Halfway along the trail is a bench with a good view of Powell Lake, Fiddlehead Farm and Tin Hat Mountain.
The difficult and steep 8-km Beartooth Mountain Trail runs from the north side of Beartooth Creek through old-growth forest to the summit of Bear Tooth Mountain. The trailhead is on the eastern side of the northern most arm of Powell Lake, above the Second Narrows.
Canoeing on Powell Lake
Powell Lake is one of 12 lakes that comprise the Powell Forest Canoe Route, located within the southern portion of the Sunshine Coast Forest District. When canoeing on Powell Lake. Paddlers should note that the lake should only be paddled in the early morning or late afternoon, as local afternoon winds are very strong. The winds usually pick up around noon and abate by 5 pm. The lakes in the area are all worth paddling, and each has its own characteristics; some are deep, others are exposed to strong winds. Kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts can weave through well maintained portages, protected lake waterways and magnificent forest reserves.
Fishing on and around Powell Lake
Powell River may be one of the world’s shortest rivers but it connects with a string of lakes – Powell, Goat, Windsor – that characterize much of the inland region. Fishing for cutthroat, kokanee or rainbow trout is possible year-round, as waters in the area rarely experience a freeze in any but the coldest winters.
Houseboating in other regions of British Columbia