The Copeland Islands offer one of the best kayak experiences when staying in the Powell River and Lund area. This fantastic group of islands and islets is located just north of Lund and often ‘forgotten’ by the majority of kayakers as they rush towards Desolation Sound.
This picturesque provincial marine park is named after a local character whose name was Joe Copeland and is also known as ‘the Raggeds’.
The best way to access these islands is to use the lovely hamlet of Lund as your starting point. The Lund area offers a variety of first class accommodations and campgrounds, as well as a convenience store and some very well-known restaurants, art galleries, kayak-outfitters and a world famous bakery. The government boat launch is located in ‘downtown’ Lund Harbour.
When paddling away from the hustle and bustle in the harbour you’ll just follow the Salish Sea’s rugged shore-line in a northerly direction. After rounding the first corner (Sevilla Island) the Copelands get in sight, but they are still about 45 minutes of paddling away. Stay away from the boat traffic in Thulin Pass by ‘hand-railing’ the Malaspina Peninsula and cross Thulin Pass from a small rocky islet to the white beacon on the first Copeland Island. Welcome to the Copeland Islands!
From here on you can explore the islands and islets from south to north and back. Spend as much time as you can or have. Be respectful to the many First Nation sites and features you will find, such as fish traps, shell-middens, culturally modified trees, and hieroglyphs. Use traditional canoe-skids to land and leave some space on the canoe-skids for other recreational users to come on land and enjoy the beauty and stunning views.
Are you planning a multi-day adventure? BC Parks has created designated campsites with tent-platforms and outhouses in the northern part of this marine park. As of this year, back-country camping fees apply to all campers. For information, visit the BC Parks website.
Make sure to keep a keen eye open for wildlife; from bald eagles to seals and river otters and also the occasional orca (killer whale). At a lower tide many colourful ocean-critters inhabit the tidal zone. During the four seasons you will also find other residents such as sea lions and migrating birds. On the shores of the mainland and the Copelands, sightings of deer, black bears (mainland) and even wolves have been reported during the last few years.
Geocaches are hidden on multiple islands and will bring you to some of the best spots on these islands.