The park offers many destinations for a cycle touring adventure.
Mayne Island is the easiest to cycle because the road network is shorter and has less change in elevation. You can tour the whole island in the course of an easygoing day, with many interesting stops along the way. On Saturna and the Pender Islands, the winding, hilly roads make for a challenging ride, but the pastoral setting and quirky island charm will more than reward you for the effort.
A variety of campgrounds, B & Bs and other accommodations make inn-to-inn exploration a great way to experience the islands. Ferry travel on bicycle is convenient, easy on the pocket book and good for the planet.
- Bike racks are located at:
- Georgina Point, Mayne Island (access to 1885 lighthouse and Important Bird Area);
- Narvaez Bay parking lot, Saturna Island (access to Narvaez Bay walk-in campsites and Monarch Head trailhead);
- Mount Norman, Pender Island (trailheads to the viewing platform or Beaumont camping area at Ainsley Point and Canal Road).
- Search web sites for bike rental outfitters and/or itineraries. Plan ahead—your rental options may be limited once you arrive, particularly in small island communities.
Check out our Hiking, Camping and Boating Guide to learn more about park facilities including locations and operating dates.
When preparing for your cycling trip, ensure that you have all the safety equipment and cycling gear required. Here are some items you might consider packing:
- Plenty of water – Inside the park, potable water is only available at car camping locations.
- Garbage bags – Garbage facilities at car campgrounds only.
- Pack a repair kit and tire pump, bike lock and safety-certified helmet.
- Before leaving home, print off ferry schedules and book accommodation in advance.
- Bring maps, rain gear and adequate lightweight, breathable yet warm clothing.
Make sure to check the Important Bulletins for closures and public safety alerts before you leave home.
When visiting Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, you are in an area where rescue services and medical assistance may take time to reach you in case of an emergency. Ensure that you have the level of training and experience necessary to take responsibility for your safety.
Some safety tips include:
- Wear a safety-certified helmet at all times (mandatory by law for all cyclists in British Columbia).
- Tune your bike before leaving home: bike repair shops may not be available.
- Be particularly vigilant when travelling island roads. They are narrow with no shoulders or bike lanes, and winding roads reduce visibility. CAUTION: Some park access roads are gravel.
- Wear bright clothing made of reflective material (e.g., a safety vest). At night, use a white front light and a red rear light, and wear reflective items.
Obtain emergency contact information and learn more about Visitor Safety at Gulf Islands National Park.
- There are currently no biking trails available in the park reserve therefore bikes are prohibited on park trails. There are a number of mountain biking trails (hyperlink to http://simbs.com/) available in the Vancouver Island region.
- Maximum group size is 15 for all day use areas and 12 for overnight stays. Larger groups and anyone planning a formal event (picnic, cycle-tourism related event, reunion, wedding, etc) need to obtain a permit.
"Leave No Trace™" principles promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation and stewardship. Learn more about Leave no Trace™ in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.