The largest of the Gulf Islands, Texada Island is only 50 miles north of Vancouver at its southernmost tip and about 5 miles southwest of Powell River. Just off the Sunshine Coast, it’s on the Malaspina Strait at the mouth of the Jervis Inlet. Referred to as Si’ yi yen by the First Nation Sliammon People, the island has two villages: Van Anda and Gillies Bay. Even though First Nations often visited the island before Europeans arrived in North America, there were no permanent settlements there because an ancient legend says that the island rose from the sea and will sink again one day. The island is one of the few to have an industry-based economy, with forestry companies, agricultural businesses and three limestone quarries. And many artisans live and work here, operating studios, shops and galleries. There are many amenities here, such as shops, moorage, banking, a post office and museums. The network of trails invites hikers and mountain bikers to explore the wilderness, including Shelter Point Park, and the steep Mount Pocahontas, whose summit offers panoramic views of Vancouver Island, the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountain range. And the waters host sports like fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing. The island also draws over 260 species of birds, including bald eagles, loons, herons, cormorants, osprey and harlequins.
Top 5 things to do
- Go birdwatching along the shore
- Shop for local arts & crafts: paintings, Texada marble, pottery and more
- Explore the many farms and agricultural sites
- Hike the parks and mountains with panoramic views
- Enjoy swimming, snorkelling or diving