It was a calm and beautiful morning as we headed towards Powell River.
After a great time in Sechelt, we packed up the car and took a beautiful drive to the ferry, as a ferry ride is needed to reach Powell River from Gibsons and Sechelt.
When we arrived at the ferry, there were three vehicles ahead of us. There is no charge for the ferry ride to Powell River, but there is a charge on the return trip.
The ride was 50 minutes and the ferry had an outdoor pet area on one of the upper decks, with water bowls available.
The pet area meant we could enjoy the sights of the ride and our dogs could be in the fresh air and sunshine with us.
We loved that BC Ferries was piloting a new pet-friendly area on the ferry deck. We loved it.
Mikki and Merlot
After the ferry, it is a short drive into Powell River.
Powell River has a population of around 14,000 and the Townsite area where we stayed is the oldest part of the city. This area was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Powell River was a single-industry mill town. Today, its connection to the past has been preserved and the Townsite area is recognized as a National Historic Site in Canada. More than 97 per cent of the buildings in this area were built before 1940 and 400 original buildings are still standing.
We stayed in the Old Courthouse Inn on Walnut Street. This eight-room inn is a historic building, constructed in 1939. The building once housed the courts, jails, police station and other provincial government services in Powell River.
The rooms are named after elements of the building’s history and there are artifacts in the halls and in the rooms. Staying in this pet-friendly hotel felt like a return to an earlier era, when the pace of life was slower and more relaxed.
The hotel offers guests a complimentary breakfast at Edie Rae’s Café in the same building. The food is good, the service friendly, and the café has a dog-friendly outdoor patio.
Willingdon Beach Trail, around four kilometres from Townsite, has a 4.3-kilometre out-and-back hiking route which runs parallel to the beach, in the shade of the lush, green rainforest.
Located on an old railway bed, the trail is relatively flat and has interpretive markers and relics from the logging era. Walking the entire trail and stopping to check out the artifacts and interpretive signs will take an hour to an hour and a half.
We saw lots of people on this trail, including tourists, locals, families and lots of leashed dogs. It is meant to be savoured, not rushed, as there is so much to see along the way.
Another must-see attraction in Powell River is Townsite Brewing, which is located in the old Post and Telegraph office, on Ash Avenue in the Townsite area. The brewery offers a selection of craft beers and it has a tasting room and a backyard area which is child-friendly and pet-friendly.
We also really enjoyed walking along the marina and out onto the pier. We kept our eyes on the ocean looking for whales and dolphins, but we didn’t see any on this trip.
From Powell River, we took a day trip to Lund, a small community 22 kilometres to the north, on a slow, unhurried highway.
The road ends in Lund, or maybe it begins there.
The community of fewer than 300 permanent residents is at the northern end of Highway 101. From Lund, the highway continues south for 15,202 kilometres, eventually reaching Chile in South America. The Mile Zero marker, at the centre of the community, is a prominent landmark.
While we stopped in Lund for a short visit, the community is set up for longer stays as well. A hotel is across the street from the Mile Zero marker and there are also restaurants, craft shops, an art gallery, a water taxi and other tourism services, all a short walk from the downtown.
From Lund there is water access to Desolation Sound Provincial Park, the Copeland Islands, Okeover Inlet, Savary Island and the Sunshine Coast Trail.
There are also hiking opportunities in and around the community. The Lund Loop, a one-kilometre trail, provides a walk around the community and into some of the nearby rainforest. However, when we tried the loop, we ended up on an adjoining trail and enjoyed a longer walk in the area. This was fine as it gave us a pleasant, quiet excursion and a chance to enjoy the rainforest. The trees provided shade along the path, and it made for a lovely walk for us and the dogs without the full heat and sun.
We ended our day trip in Lund with a stop at Nancy’s Bakery, where we enjoyed a light snack before returning to Powell River for the evening.