Sidney | Pender Island | Saturna Island | Self guided adventure | Information 

McDonald Campground, Sidney

Weekly programs 

  • Smores n’ More – Campfire Program
    Saturdays in July and August, 7-8 pm
    Share the magic of a traditional Canadian campfire with your family. Join an interpreter and guest presenters for songs, park stories, s’mores and more! Bring a flashlight and a mug for hot chocolate. Ideal for families with children 12 and under. Note: If there is a fire ban, we gather around a propane fire for the same fun campfire activities.
    *Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground. Meet at the group campfire ring.

Special events

  • A Taste of Camping
    Saturday, July 29, 11-2 pm (Drop-in)

    Want to spice up your camping skills? Parks Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op and others will show you how it’s done! Brush up your outdoor skills with fun activities, learn how to cook with everything from tin foil to a Dutch oven, and sample delicious camping food.
    *Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground.

  • Coast Salish Clam Garden Campfire
    Saturday, July 15 and Saturday, August 26, 7-8 pm
    Curious what a Clam Garden is? Similar to caring for a vegetable garden in your backyard, Coast Salish Nations tend beaches to make clams grow better! Join us around the campfire to learn more about clam gardens, listen to Coast Salish stories and taste Coast Salish traditional foods.
    *Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs to the campground.


Pender Island

Special event

  • Parks Canada BioBlitz 017 Gulf Islands
    Friday, June 9, 4 pm to Saturday, June 10, 4 pm 
    Basecamp at Pender Islands School, activities in various places in the park reserve

    Help us find and identify as many different plants and animals as possible in 24-hours! Come for the whole BioBlitz or just for a short time. Join the BioBlitz Family Festival for fun activities with experts and interpreters (suggested for families with children of all ages). Head out on Species Surveys with experts (suggested for adults or families with children 12 and over). Free BioBlitz Camping available at the Pender Islands School on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, for registered participants. Register here.

Saturna Island

Weekly programs

  • Sunset Wildlife Watch
    Fridays in July and August, 8-9 pm
    East Point

    Discover the wildlife of the Salish Sea and relax into the peacefulness of an East Point sunset. Dress warmly and bring blankets, chairs and flashlights. Enjoy the talents of island musicians and storytellers. Meet out at the point (5 min. walk).
  • Good-bye Granny! An Orca Tribute
    Saturdays from July 8 to August 26, 2 pm - 2:30 pm
    East Point

    Join a park interpreter for a funny and warm-hearted look at the life of J2 Granny, the beloved matriarch of the endangered southern resident killer whales. Come early and fly giant kites shaped like marine animals. Bring a blanket or a chair. Meet out at the point (5 min. walk)
  • Family Fun for Canada’s 150th
    Sundays in July and August, 10 am - 1 pm (Drop-in)
    Winter Cove

    Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with family fun! Blow giant bubbles. Roast solar oven s’mores. Make a nature craft. Bring a phone or camera and go off on a Nature Photography GPS Adventure. Don’t forget a picnic lunch!
  • Canadian Cartoons under the Stars
    , August 19 and 26, 9-10 pm
    East Point

    Create lasting memories of Canada’s 150th. Spend an evening outdoors and watch award-winning animation from the National Film Board. Suitable for the whole family. Bring a chair or a blanket. Event offered in collaboration with Cine-Club Saturna and the Saturna Community Club.

Special events

  • Saturna Lamb BBQ
    Saturday, July 1, 10 am - 4:30 pm 
    Winter Cove 

    Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with islanders at a country fair picnic centered on a traditionally prepared open fire barbequed lamb meal. Play games and win prizes at the Parks Canada booth. Learn traditional skills from our Coast Salish guest. More information here:
  • Parks Day – Intertidal Safari
    Saturday, July 15, 1-4 pm 
    East Point  

    What will the divers bring up from the deep? Drop-in and join Parks Canada and the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society for fun marine activities. Enjoy free ice-cream courtesy of Saturna Island Parks and Recreation. Tour the Fog Alarm Building with Saturna Island Heritage Committee volunteers. 

Self guided adventures

  • Geocaching (year-round *) 
    Try one of our geocaching programs and embark on a self-guided adventure to experience the park reserve’s cultural and natural hotspots. Choose from two routes: a family-friendly treasure hunt or a more strenuous quest to see the Top Ten Places in the park reserve. More information here: Geocaching programs
    *Except for the Sidney Island caches. The island is closed to the public November 1 – February 29. 

  • Trail guide app
    Check out our new EXPLORA trail app – available now for free on the App Store and Google play. Discover the park reserve in a whole new way with insider info, historic photos and mini quizzes! Routes available for: Sidney Spit, Russell Is, Georgina Point (Mayne Is.), Roesland (Pender Is.), Winter Cove and Lyall Creek (Saturna Is.), McDonald Campground (Sidney) and Portland Island. More information here: Download our new trail app 

  • Xplorers
    Are you ages 6-11? Do you like to hike, draw a picture, or use your GPS to find a mystery location? Then the Xplorers program is just the right adventure for you! Kids and their family can discover cool facts about the park reserve by completing activities in the Xplorers booklet. Pick up your copy from the Pender Island Museum, the Saturna Fog Alarm Building, the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea or the Park Office in Sidney.

More information on all park programs and events

  • Cost: Free, unless indicated.
  • Ages: All ages, unless indicated otherwise.
  • Registration: Not required, unless indicated otherwise.
  • Bring: Water, hat, jacket, sunscreen and appropriate walking gear,
  • Meeting place: At the park reserve kiosk/info sign at the location listed, unless otherwise noted,
  • To get here: Travel to Sidney Island by Alpine Ferry; travel to Saturna or Pender islands by BC Ferries,
  • To reserve an activity in French: Please contact the park office at 1-866-944-1744,