Descanso Bay Regional Park - Gabriola Island
Camp by the sea at the RDN's new Regional Park on scenic Gabriola
Island. Formerly known as the Gabriola Campground, Descanso Bay Regional
Park is located at 595 Taylor Bay Road, only a short distance from
the ferry terminal. The Regional Park offers 30 camping sites on
a beautiful 40-acre oceanfront property. Two oyster bays provide
many delights for kayakers and other boaters as well as picnickers,
campers and hikers.
For further information and campground reservations, call the Descanso
Bay Regional Park at 250-247-8255
Drumbeg Provincial Park
One of three provincial parks on Gabriola Island, Drumbeg is a favourite
spot for diving, hiking, nature viewing and picnicking. Overlooking
scenic Gabriola Passage on the east end of the Island, Drumbeg offers
excellent views of the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains on
the Mainland. The park contains a kilometer long sand and pebble beach
with striking sandstone and conglomerate rock formations, which can
be seen at low tide.
Drumbeg Park protects endangered Garry oak ecosystems, undeveloped
Douglas fir forest landscapes and a diverse marine zone. Species
such as Bald eagles, Great Blue herons, harbour seals and American
oystercatchers can be spotted here, along with a number of intertidal
creatures. Underwater enthusiasts can dive from the shores of the
park, or head out to Rogers reef by boat and still stay out of the
strong currents that run through Gabriola Passage.
Facilities at this day-use only park include a grassy field, pit
toilets, picnic tables, hiking trails and an information shelter.
Drumbeg Provincial Park is located at the south end of Gabriola Island,
in the Gulf Islands off southern Vancouver Island. Access to Gabriola
is via BC Ferries from Nanaimo, a 20-minute ferry ride. From the ferry
terminal on Gabriola, take South Road to Stalker Road and follow signs
to the park. Drumbeg Provincial Park is also accessible by boat, with
very limited anchorage. The park is situated in the middle of a very
busy passage. Boaters can reference marine chart #3475 for more information
on this area.
Gabriola Sands Provincial Park
Picturesque Gabriola Sands, one of three provincial parks on Gabriola
Island, features two sandy beaches and large manicured grassy lawns.
This small day-use only park is a very popular local destination for
swimming, picnicking, organized sporting activities and special events,
including an annual fireworks display on Halloween.
The park’s two sandy beaches form an isthmus that divides
Taylor Bay and Pilot Bay. This isthmus and sandy beach are relatively
uncommon in the rocky Gulf Islands, and provide important ecosystems
for migratory and breeding shorebirds and many marine invertebrates
that live in the sand.
Visitors to Gabriola Island will not want to miss a stop at pretty
Gabriola Sands park – an ideal place to relax and enjoy a picnic
or swim on a hot summer day.
Gabriola Sands Provincial Park is located on the northwest side of
Gabriola Island on an isthmus dividing Taylor Bay and Pilot Bay. Access
to Gabriola Island is via BC Ferries from Nanaimo on southern Vancouver
Island, a 20 minute ferry ride. From the ferry terminal on Gabriola,
turn left on Taylor Bay Road and follow until you see signs for Gabriola
Sands Provincial Park, located on Decourcy Drive. The park is also
accessible by boat. Boaters can reference marine chart #3458 for more
information on this area.
Sandwell Provincial Park
Sandwell Provincial Park, with its long sandy beach and views of the
Strait of Georgia, is a favourite destination for residents and visitors
to Gabriola Island. One of three provincial parks on Gabriola Island,
Sandwell offers a short walking trail through the woods leading to
a picnic area overlooking the sandy shores of Lock Bay. This is a lovely
place to spend a peaceful afternoon relaxing on the beach or taking
a refreshing dip in the ocean waters.
At low tide, visitors can walk down the beach to view a prehistoric
petroglyph carved into the sandstone rocks, east of the day-use area.
This site is only accessible at low tide.
Sandwell Provincial Park is located on Gabriola Island, a 20 minute
ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo on south Vancouver Island. The park
is located on Strand Road, approximately 10 km from the ferry terminal.
Take North Road and turn left on Barrett Road, following park directional
signs. Neary communities include Gabriola Island and Nanaimo.