Attractions on Quadra Island
The magic of even an average day on Quadra Island is wonderful enough but there are some island highlights that can make for a truly memorable experience. There are heart-warming community festivals, colourful, eclectic markets, dramatic vistas, informative showcases and many other surprises.
Parks and Beaches
As an island of course we are surrounded by water and our shoreline is a spectacular mix of beaches, rocky headlands and sheltered coves. Rebecca Spit Provincial Park is one of the most beautiful beaches on BC's south coast and is a popular place to visit and relax for locals and visitors alike. All around the southern peninsula are open beaches. Public access is available at the Cape Mudge Lighthouse, Petroglyph Road, the end of Sutil Road, Wa Wa Kie Road via Smiths Road. Further north there is beach access at the end of Valdes Road to Moulds Bay and nearby Open Bay at the end of Redonda Road.
At Granite Bay there is a regional park, boat launch and dock providing access to Kanish Bay, Small Inlet, the Chained Islands, Discovery Passage and points beyond.
Our largest park is Main Lake Provincial Park which protects a large chain of freshwater lakes and extensive areas of mature, regenerating forest. At the north end of Quadra are Octopus Islands and Small Inlet Marine parks which are accessible by water or via the Newton Lake trail from Granite Bay.
All year round local farmers, bakers, craftspeople and musicians gather to offer their wares at local markets. The Quadra Island Farmers' Market takes place every Saturday from May until September in Quathiaski Cove. From October until April the market moves indoors for the Winter Market at the Quadra Island Community Centre. For more information on the Quadra Markets email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new addition is the Local Food Market which takes place on the first Saturday of each month at the Quuadra Island Legion in Heriot Bay.
An annual highlight is the Quadra Island Christmas Craft Fair which is a wonderful and nostalgic way to start off the festive season. The fair takes place at the Quadra Community Centre typically over two days, a Friday evening and all day Saturday. For the dates of this year's Christmas Craft Fair visit the Quadra Island Recreation Society web site.
The surroundings of Quadra Island are breathtaking! We're situated right at the edge of one of the world's greatest wilderness areas, the BC coast Great Bear Rainforest. Towering snowcapped mountains surround us on both sides, on mainland British Columbia to the east and Vancouver Island's Strathcona Park to the west. Between are a maze of tidal channels, islets and beaches. It all adds up to an amazing sight!
A few outstanding places to see on Quadra Island are: the Cape Mudge light station, one of the only staffed, road accessible light houses in Canada; Rebecca Spit Provincial Park is a stunning sweep of beach that juts out into the Salish Sea protecting a warm and sheltered bay while offering views of the Coast Mountains and the outer Discovery Islands; Surge Narrows as the name suggests is a narrow tidal channel where the ocean water moves so quickly it boils and swirls like a whitewater river, a hiking trail leads out to an amazing view point check local tide tables to find out the best times to see the rapids.
For history buffs the Lucky Jim mine is an interesting place to visit. Out in the far north west corner of the island near Granite Bay there are the remains of old mining machinery harkening back to the days when Granite Bay was one of the largest and busiest towns on the coast.
The culture and history of Quadra is beautifully displayed in the treasures of the First Nations' and the handiwork of all the community's artists and craftspeople. The local markets are an excellent place to see some of this work but there are also more formal exhibits at Quadra galleries and studios.
One of Quadra Island's most prized highlights is the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre which is dedicated to the care and preservation of a stunning Potlatch Collection and the revitalization of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, culture and traditions through cultural education programs. Visit the Cultural Centre web site for details on opening times and special exhibits.
Every year Quadra Island artists open their doors for the annual Quadra Island Studio Tour. Theseason starts with a weekend dedicated to the tour in early June but many of the studios and galleries remain open throughout the summer and some year round. Visit the Quadra Island Artists web site for more information including dates and opening times.
An interesting blend of natural history and education is the Quadra Island Salmon Enhancement Society's Salmon Eco Centre. The centre houses infrmative displays on the natural envirnment of Quadra Island and the west coast with an emphasis on the lifecycle and habitat of salmon. Visit the eco-centre's web site for more details and opening times.