Mayne Island is one of the most easily accessible of the Gulf Islands from Vancouver. It is a short B.C. Ferries ride away from the Tsawwassen terminal, but once you arrive you feel as though you have been transported to a different world. Surrounded by bays and inlets and covered in forests and ferns, this island is the perfect weekend getaway for any traveler coming from near or far.
As you travel across to Mayne Island your first view will be of the Georgina Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1969 and marks the entrance to Active Pass…the area between the Southern Gulf Islands. The original lighthouse station was established here in 1885 to help marine traffic make its way through this narrow passage. The lighthouse and other buildings here are now part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and can be visited during your stay on the island.
As you explore the island you will see plenty of farm stands and uniquely crafted artwork. There is a market held every Saturday during the summer in Miner’s Bay, where you will find locally made items such as soaps and jewelry, as well as produce.
Miner’s Bay is the hub of the island and this is where you will find a grocery store, a cafe and restaurant, the library, a thrift store, a gas station, and the community hall. The area is named after the miners who would stop here on the way to the Fraser Valley Gold Rush in 1859.
The Mayne Island Museum is also located in Miner’s Bay. This museum, the former Plumper Pass Lockup, was built in 1896 and now houses artifacts from the settlement of the island in the 19th and 20th centuries. There are also objects that have been discovered from the First Nation people that lived on the island, as well as material from the Japanese community that once thrived here.
You will discover that there are no shortage of beautiful bays and vistas to photograph on Mayne Island. Many of the hikes will take you along trails where you can discover these picture perfect places.
A short hike that will provide you with spectacular scenery is located in a small portion of the Gulf Island National Park Reserve. The Campbell Point Trail in Bennett Bay is less than a kilometre each way with panoramas that do not disappoint!
Another picturesque spot is Horton Bay with the community dock. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t with us this morning, but we still enjoyed some pretty views.
One of the most popular parks on Mayne Island is Dinner Bay Park. The Japanese Memorial Garden is located in this park and you can read about it on my blog found here. This location has a disc park course, a small putting green, a covered area for barbeques, a playground, bathrooms, large playing fields, and access to the beach.
While waiting for your return ferry at the terminal in Village Bay you can enjoy the beach one more time as well as sit and soak up more of those stunning waterviews.
Although we did a lot on our weekend visit to Mayne Island there is still more to explore and we are looking forward to a return trip. The close proximity to the mainland, combined with the beauty this island has to offer, make it a perfect escape from the city. Enjoy!