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Your adventure awaits…in Port Hardy’s beautiful backyard

One of the best things about visiting Port Hardy is there is so much you can do that doesn’t require an ‘open’ sign or an admission price. There are many beautiful trails to explore for an hour, several hours, or all day.  You also don’t need to be an avid hiker to immerse yourself in nature, you can try out the leisurely paced walks along the Hardy Bay Seawall or the Quatse River Nature Trail. You can also venture out on an easy hike like the Commuter Trail. For those looking for an all day adventure the challenging and rugged Tex Lyon Trail will be just your cup of tea, you will definitely need a cup of tea (or perhaps something stronger) after this adventure.

No matter your fitness level, we have an adventure waiting for you. Read on and we will tell you more about some of the Port Hardy trails, the length of each and the difficulty level.

Hardy Bay Seawall
Difficulty: Easy
Length: less than 0.25km

This leisurely and scenic waterfront walk starts at the Visitor Centre in the heart of downtown Port Hardy. Along the route are interpretive signs about local wildlife and you can see the mountains of mainland BC in the distance.  You can also visit the Japanese Garden which recognizes the relationship we have with our sister city Numata, Japan. You will also stand close and view towering totem poles and the Cenotaph honouring those who served our country.This seawall walk, complete with entrances to the rocky beach below, has perfect photo opportunities including the giant ‘Welcome to Port Hardy’ sign, the famous wooden carrot, and abundant bird life.

Quatse River Nature Trail & Estuary Trail Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.5km Loop

The Quatse River Loop is a delightful leisurely stroll, sure to sooth away your cares while you wind your way through. This nature trail is easy terrain with a mixture of gravel and boardwalk surfaces. You can extend this walk by going under the bridge and continuing with the Estuary Trail. During the spring and summer months this area is a haven for various birds, such as ducks, geese, ravens, great blue heron, eagles, etc. When the salmon run occurs, the estuary and river area becomes abundant with wildlife. (Photography by Sarah Étoile)

Commuter Trail (also known as Fort Rupert Trail) 
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.7 km

The Commuter Trail, also known as The Fort Rupert Trail, is a historic walk through Kwagu’ł territory. This route was used to commute between villages at Tayaguł and Bear Cove. Nowadays it is a beautiful hike through first and second-growth forests; keep an eye out for culturally modified trees. The Commuter Trail has two trail heads, located off Beaver Harbour Road and Bear Cove Highway and both have local First Nations artwork at each entrance. The trail includes boardwalk and a gravel type surfaces, and some uphill terrain. There is a beautiful lake about halfway from either direction where you can sit on a bench, rest on your journey, and enjoy the silence. (Photography by Sarah Étoile)

Tex Lyon Trail
Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 12km

The Tex Lyon Trail is challenging but if you are fit and have the time this trail is for you! The trail head starts at the north end of Storey’s Beach and goes out to Dillion Point. While a round trip can be done in eight hours, we recommend that you allow 12 hours for a return trip, and to watch the tides. We strongly suggest that you also be well prepared with proper attire, food, water, first aid kit, and knowledge of tide charts. Although challenging, this hike will reward you with stunning views of Beaver Harbour and the Queen Charlotte Strait. (Photography by Sarah Étoile)

About Wildlife

It is not uncommon to encounter wildlife on some of these trails. While adventuring be sure to make your presence known – either talking with your hiking buddy, humming a song, or take a bear bell with you. For more about bear safety, visit Staying Safe in Bear Country

We have more resources and maps available at the Port Hardy Visitor Centre.

Your adventure awaits…at God’s Pocket Resort

God’s Pocket Resort is a destination eco-lodge that operates diving and kayaking trips in the God’s Pocket Provincial Park, which boasts some of the best underwater scuba diving on the Pacific Coast. Visitors travel to the resort by boat from Port Hardy.

Nestled in a protected bay, this rustic resort is immersed in nature. You will have access to National Geographic-style experiences, while enjoying a cozy space with a warm shower in every room and a home cooked meal on the dinner table.

God’s Pocket runs completely off-grid (even for your mobile phone!) and is focused on both leaving as little a footprint as possible (a constant evolution) and giving people a chance to re-educate about, and re-integrate themselves with/ nature (both above and below the waves.)

They have 3 boats onsite to help make your trip an amazing one, including the beloved ‘Hurst Isle’ with its renowned diving elevator.

Make your plans to visit in September!

After being closed for most of the summer, the good news is they are reopening in the month of September for re-bookings, and for individuals who are symptom free and already in Canada. This is a unique opportunity to spend a week diving at God’s Pocket during a season that is usually sold out! It’s also a call out to Canadian residents to come and explore your own backyard and help us all through an incredibly challenging time for Canadian tourism. Visitors can expect that prior to reopening God’s Pocket will post a full “COVID Protocol for Operations” on their website. They are busy pulling together the best practices from other tourism industry experts, dive organizers, accommodations, and food establishments. It is extremely important to them that everyone stays healthy while enjoying their time there.

For more information about how to book your adventure, and to see some really awesome photography visit their website

Your adventure awaits…with Wilderness Seaplanes

Wilderness Seaplanes can help you create the trip of a lifetime- anywhere, anytime. There is no better way to see the British Columbia coast than by floatplane! Mountain peaks, deep coastal inlets, and remote beaches are featured in Wilderness Seaplanes’ scenic flights. They can take you to a wide variety of locations from the immediate local area around Port Hardy to the glaciers of Knights Inlet and the beaches of the Hakai area. They offer flights for as little as $200 for 20 minutes for three people ($67 each) in the Cessna to 9 people in the world renowned Grumman Goose. Wilderness Seaplanes is the last commercial operator world wide of this famous amphibious aircraft, the classic ‘boats’ from a glorious era of travel. Folks come from all over the world just to ride around for a few hours in the Goose!

Some people like the option to do more than just sight-see, for a round trip fare you can ride along on a scheduled flight and visit several locations and see more than what you might do on just a sightseeing flight. Flight destinations change every day so you never really know where you will go, but you will likely see logging camps, fishing outposts and local villages in the River’s Inlet and the Broughton Archipelago. Generally you get to sit up front in the co-pilot seat and get a close up experience with flying on the west coast, and don’t turn down the opportunity to talk to locals who use this service as a part of daily life to get around.

Wilderness Seaplanes provides service from Port Hardy and Bella Bella to the BC Central Coast. They operate six seaplanes, 4 of them are amphibious. They are especially proud of the Grumman Goose fleet. They meticulously maintain their ‘Gooses’, as well as their De Havilland Beavers and Cessna 185, all from their maintenance base in Port Hardy.

Visitors can expect that Wilderness Seaplanes has stepped up their aircraft cleaning procedures by disinfecting before and after flights, they are also fogging the aircraft at night, and on longer station stops, with disinfectant to help keep passengers and crew safe. Transport Canada states that all passengers must wear a mask, and they like many others are very short on masks and will not likely be able to provide you with one. So please try and bring a mask with you.  As per the regulations, they must continue to refuse passage to persons that are exhibiting signs of illness related to COVID.

For information and reservations visit their website

Your adventure awaits with…Sea Wolf

Sea Wolf Adventures welcomes you to their home. They, part of the Kwakwaka’wakw, invite you to join them on a journey to meet the awe-inspiring animals and incredible humans who call this beautiful territory home. Experience the breathtaking scenery while enjoying the comfortable touches of a luxury tour, guided by Aboriginal experts who share the truth behind their travels through the beautiful Broughton Archipelago and the Great Bear Rainforest. Sea Wolf Adventures’ grizzly bear tours and whale watching, combined with cultural experiences are truly a unique Aboriginal adventure.

Visitors can expect that safety is Sea Wolf’s highest priority and to be assured that the bear and whale watching community operates within a strong federal regulatory framework for COVID-19 that naturally creates a culture of safety between you and staff.

Conservation is at the heart of everything they do at Sea Wolf Adventures, just as it has been at the heart of their people for millennia. Trusted to share their pristine environment and treasured traditions with guests, they take pride in their deep connection to their roots and commitment to give back to their communities by keeping their culture alive and active.

By training and employing their own people, Sea Wolf Adventures ensure that all their guides know the importance of responsibly visiting our land and respecting the wildlife that resides here. Trips depart Friday to Monday, and if you’d like to speak with them directly you can call the office or leave a message, and they will get back to you.

Visit the website here for more information.

A well deserved break awaits at Cafe Guido & Co.

When you are ready to take a break from your adventures, Cafe Guido & Co. is a must. They can be found in Port Hardy at 7135 Market St and this is a one stop multiple experience kind of place. On the main level and you will find the cafe itself, offering espresso beverages, fresh baked treats, including their famous scones, and a variety of salads and grilled paninis. Upstairs is home to their clothing store, Drift, featuring many Canadian brands. Downstairs is the Book Nook where you will find your next great read, plus an array of unique and lovely housewares and gifts.

Visitors can expect  protocols in place for your maximum safety and comfort. Indoor seating has been removed to allow the space to physically distance while you order food or browse the shops. Currently a maximum of 10 people are allowed in at one time. There are also markers on the floor to guide you throughout the building. The Market Street location is providing takeaway service at this time Tuesday – Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm.

If you are in a hurry you can try out the G2 Drive-Thru at 8945 Granville St, which offers the same drink menu, a variety of baked goods, food and a sampling of retail items, all in a compact drive through format. Customers can also take advantage of the walk-up window if they’re on foot. The G2 Drive-Thru is open Monday to Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.

 

 

 

The friendly staff at Cafe Guido are looking forward to seeing their BC neighbors!

For more information visit them on Facebook click here

 

 

Your adventure awaits with Mackay Whale Watching

This is definitely a whale of an adventure. Join the Mackay family, pioneers in killer whale watching in BC, for a cruise aboard one of the most innovative certified passenger vessels on the British Columbia coast. The Naiad Explorer will whisk you off to a whale watching experience like no other.

These educational and entertaining whale watching tours are approximately three hours in duration. You will learn the latest information about the killer whales (Orcinus orca) and you will even be able to listen in on the whales’ vocalizations with their on-board hydrophone (underwater microphone.) Although they cannot guarantee sightings, the chances of observing killer whales and other wildlife are extremely good. Remember to dress warmly; it’s cool out on the water, even in the middle of summer!

Visitors can expect thorough cleaning protocols, poly barriers and physical distancing. All guests and crew will be required to wear masks during the tour.

At the moment tours are on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Reservations are a must and at this time, they are taking reservations from BC residents only, and will take reservations from other provinces when health authorities deem it is safe to do so. In order to further limit exposure, their trips this year will be three hours in duration and will not include lunch.

The cost per person is $130.00 (plus 5% GST.)  Trips depart from Port McNeill (just 25 minutes south of Port Hardy) at 1:00 p.m. and return at 4:00 p.m.

 

For more information or to book your adventure visit whaletime.com

Your adventure awaits at Kwa’lilas Hotel

Kwa’lilas means ‘a place to sleep.’ The Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy is testament to the commitment of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation to share their history, culture and passion for their traditional land in a meaningful and permanent way. They have certainly achieved this in a beautiful, comfortable space that is representative of the community. This unique hotel features 85 luxury rooms and suites, all featuring local First Nations art work. The hotel boasts a First Nations-inspired restaurant, a nautical-themed pub, an exclusive gift shop and a specialty cafe, all of which are infused with curated art and complemented with genuine cultural activities.

 

 

The friendly staff at Kwa’lilas Hotel welcome you to enjoy your stay knowing that you are safe and in a fully compliant environment. Visitors can expect comprehensive sanitation, social distancing protocols and procedures in place to ensure peace of mind.

 

 

 

For more information or to book your stay visit  kwalilashotel.ca

Your adventure awaits at Bear Cove Cottages

Experience the beauty and unique ruggedness of Northern Vancouver Island at Bear Cove Cottages. Established in 2002, this perfect home away from home is nestled in the heart of Hardy Bay. While there you can enjoy spectacular ocean views, world-class guided fishing adventures, hiking and wellness packages. Each cottage boasts a magnificent view of Hardy Bay, along with kitchenettes, Jacuzzi baths and cozy fireplaces in each unit. Bear Cove Cottages is ideal for larger groups or couples with sleep configurations to suit all travellers.

Visitors can expect the highest standards of cleanliness and that all cottages are expertly sanitized after each stay. The team at Bear Cove Cottages is committed to your health and safety so all you have to worry about is your next adventure.

 

Partners with BC Ferries Vacations, the cottages are conveniently the closest accommodation to Port Hardy’s BC Ferries terminal, just one kilometre away.

For more information or to book your stay click here

Call them directly 1.877.949.7939

or send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required

For details on wellness retreats click here

Your adventure awaits at Great Bear Lodge

Your adventure awaits at Great Bear Lodge offering grizzly bear viewing and a wilderness lodge experience you won’t soon forget.  The Lodge is located in a remote fjord on the mainland coast, surrounded by lush green forests, expansive mountain views and the ocean right out your front door, this place truly has it all.

Your adventure begins with a seaplane flight from Port Hardy, which is included in the cost of your tour. The charming floating lodge has eight bedrooms. The common area is a comfortable place for relaxing and listening to natural history presentations from experienced wildlife biologists. Completely upgraded in 2014, each bedroom now has an en-suite bathroom with a shower. This year Great Bear Lodge is open from August through to October and they are offering flexible change/cancellation terms and an early booking discount for BC residents. Some dates for the 2020 season still have availability, allowing you to book a private lodge experience with your family or friends.

To ensure the safety of guests and staff, they have made some changes – such as limiting the number of guests to 10 to ensure social distancing and providing in room or outside dining. Visitors can expect thorough and frequent sanitation practices. High touch areas such as doorknobs and light switches, counters and tables, are sanitized continuously throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the lodge (indoors and out). Rooms are meticulously cleaned and sanitized prior to guest arrival and masks will be required when unable to physical distance such as on the float-plane and during bear viewing sessions.  All guests are required to complete a pre-trip health screening.

Great Bear Lodge is going the extra mile to make sure you don’t need to worry about health and safety, and instead you can just focus on immersing yourself in nature. For more information and to book your adventure, visit greatbeartours.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Day Celebration in Port Hardy July 1, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Day 2020, presented by the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the District of Port Hardy and the Port Hardy Rotary Club.

A virtual flag ceremony (on Facebook Live) was held at the Cenotaph, followed by a procession through the streets of Port Hardy. The Port Hardy Rotary Club went all out with their musical float (every song being played was by a Canadian artist) Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas was on hand to greet everyone and lent a hand at tossing Frisbees to excited children. Also joining the celebration and procession were the fine men and women of the RCMP Port Hardy Detachment, Port Hardy Fire Department, Canadian Coast Guard, Port Hardy Canadian Rangers Patrol BC Company, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, BC Ambulance Service, BC Wildfire Service and the Royal Canadian Legion Port Hardy & the Port Hardy Lions Club. There was a photo contest too, with members of our community showing of their Canada Day spirit.

Thanks go to Save-on Foods for supplying the lunches for our participants, the North Island Gazette and North Island Eagle for providing generous media coverage and to Cafe Guido, Sporty Bar & Grill, the Port Hardy Visitor Centre and Home Hardware for donating prizes for the photo contest.

This event was funded by