Compared to nearby Vancouver Island, Malcolm Island is a pretty small destination. Despite being just 15 miles long and 3 miles wide, it has plenty to offer visitors, including a variety of lodging and dining options, parks, and more. But don’t get fooled into thinking this means you won’t find plenty of pristine wilderness to explore. One great way to do this is with a hike.
Malcolm Island has several unique and beautiful hiking trails to choose from. Ready to hit the trail on your next visit? Check out the best Malcolm Island hiking trails below.
Beautiful Bay Trail
Bere Point Regional Trail is one of Malcolm Island’s most popular destinations. The park, which is managed by the Regional District of Mount Waddington, is located around 6 kilometers from the town of Sointula, on Malcolm Island’s western side. It’s home to one of the island’s two campgrounds, Bere Point Campsite. This primitive campground has 30 individual sites and a group tent site.
The park is also home to the famous Whale Rubbing Beach. Here, pods of orcas return each summer to rub their bellies on the rocky bottom just off-shore. While scientists aren’t certain what brings the orcas back each year, it’s a popular spectacle for visitors to experience!
In addition to the campground and whale rubbing beach, Bere Point Regional Park is home to several hiking trails. One is Beautiful Bay Trail. This out-and-back hiking trail is 4.5-kilometers roundtrip. It follows the coastline, offering incredible views of coastal British Columbia. You’ll hike through a dense stretch of Pacific temperature rainforest, with incredible moss-coated trees and a forest floor that’s full of plant and animal life. The trail has some steep climbs, including steep wooden staircases, and rough terrain, making it a challenge for less experienced hikers.
Instead of turning around at the end of the trail and hiking back, you can also hike down onto the beach during low tide, and hike back to the campground along the shoreline.
Mateoja Heritage Trail
Beautiful Bay Trail is the perfect hike for those looking for scenic views. But if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the island and seeing more of its diverse ecology, this next trail is another great option.
The Mateoja Heritage Trail is 6.4-kilometers one-way. The trail begins on Third Street, just above the town of Sointula. From there, it winds through the site of an early 1900’s homestead, where you can see how the town’s early settlers once lived. The Mateoja Trail continues through a marshland, before passing several small ponds. Next, you’ll arrive at Big Lake. This spot is a popular swimming hole among locals during the summer months.
On this trail, you’ll pass a number of benches and decks that are perfect for enjoying a picnic lunch or for doing some incredible bird watching.
Pulteney Point Trail
Looking for a shorter hike? Pulteney Point Trail is a short hike that takes you along a pebbled beach before arriving at the island’s historic lighthouse.
Pulteney Point Lighthouse’s construction began at the turn of the century, just as the early settlement of Finnish immigrants began to fall apart. However, the construction continued, and one of the original community’s leaders, August Bernhard Makela, became its first lightkeeper. The short lighthouse features a square, wooden building with a square lantern that rises from the middle of the roof. It was lit for the first time on September 12, 1905, and was replaced by a modern concrete light tower in 1943.
Today, visitors can make the short 15-minute hike down a gravel road to see the lighthouse, and walk out on the popular pebbled beach beneath it. This is a great spot to pack a picnic lunch or to hike with family members who may not be up to the island’s more difficult trails.
Planning Your Next Malcolm Island Adventure
There’s no shortage of things to see and do during a visit to Malcolm Island. From the rich history of the town of Sointula to our island’s beautiful all-inclusive fishing lodge, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. But one thing you’ll definitely want to make time for is to spend some time exploring the island’s pristine wilderness. Taking a hike on the Beautiful Bay Trail, the Pulteney Point Trail, or the Mateoja Heritage Trail is a great way to do so.
During your hike, take time to notice the towering trees and lush forest floor that Malcolm Island is known for. Watch for wildlife, both on land and in the water just off-shore. And don’t forget to breathe in some fresh air!
Ready to start planning your own outdoor adventure on Malcolm Island? Our planning resources are a great place to start. Here, you’ll find a variety of lodging options, as well as information on dining, shopping, transportation, and more. Check them out today to get started!