Location: Newcastle Island (Saysutshun),
approximately 1.2 km off the East coast of Vancouver Island near Nanaimo.|
A pleasant short ferry ride, an
easy trail around the island, ocean and coastline views, several fine forest
scenes, shade in the forest, sandstone quarry information signs, available coin
shower, no bugs.
Of Note: Occasional
noise from single-engine aircraft and passing vessels. Ferry runs on a
schedule, and payment is required. Sailing waits are possible. One
confusing trail intersection.
Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park - by BC Parks,
Ferry Info Site.
Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook (9th
edition) Newcastle Island Coordinates:
Page 19 (Nanaimo) D2.
A very pleasant Newcastle Island is located across Newcastle Channel
from Vancouver Island, opposite from the city of Nanaimo. A small ferry
takes just over six minutes to cover the distance of less than 1.5
kilometers from a dock in Nanaimo's Maffeo Sutton Park (not too far from
Departure Bay Ferry Terminal, with service to Horseshoe Bay), to
Newcastle Island, also known as Saysutshun in the language of the local
indigenous people. The whole island is a BC Marine Provincial Park, and
has boat docking, camping, bicycles and kayaks rentals, and hiking
available. There is also a coin shower in the washroom building near the
Today, we hiked the 7.5 km-long perimeter trail around Newcastle Island.
There are many other trails which cross the Island and/or go to a small
Mallard Lake. You can take a bicycle on the ferry (for an additional
fee), but cycling is allowed only on a small portion of a perimeter
trail. Besides, during busy times there could be a long line-up of
people waiting to board, and someone may have to wait for the next
sailing, if a bicycle takes a limited space on a small ferry.
Newcastle Island ferry runs on a schedule - check out the website linked
above. If you miss the last sailing (which takes place fairly early
in the day, but that depends on the season), you may have to either
overnight on the island, or call a water taxi to get you back to
37. Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail 4.3 km from the ferry dock.
Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail
38. A hundred meters later.
Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail in Nanaimo BC Area
39. Another fine forest scene at 4.6 km.
Hiking in Nanaimo BC Area - Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail
40. At about 4.8 km, we briefly exited from the forest before getting lost for a
Newcastle Island Hiking British Columbia Canada
41. This is Departure Bay, with the ferry terminal about a kilometer away across
the water (to the left), and loud announcements on board of those huge ferries
can be clearly heard on Newcastle Island.
Hike on Newcastle Island BC
42-43. Here is this confusing part of the hike. Take note of the 5 knots sign on
the tip of Newcastle Island, as this is where it all begins...
Newcastle Island British Columbia
44. ...go around the mini-cove...
Hike in Nanaimo Area - Newcastle Island Trail
45...re-enter the forest...
Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail - British Columbia Hiking
46...then, upon reaching the area around this former info board a few hundred
meters later, keep LEFT. Coordinates for making that LEFT
Elevation: -1 meter. Another marker is a pit toilet just off the main
trail. Go PAST the toilet before making a right turn to continue hiking the
Newcastle Island British Columbia Canada
47. If you were to make a RIGHT turn at the GPS coordinates listed above, the trail would soon deteriorate...
Newcastle Island Trail British Columbia
48...and you would end up having to scramble 10 meters up. It's possible to
rejoin the main trail after that, but this sure was unexpected after such an
easy trail up to this point.
Hiking on Newcastle Island
49. Here is that area near the pit toilet. Just follow the smooth wide path,
making right turns after the toilet, and you won't go wrong.
Newcastle Island near Nanaimo BC Canada
50. Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail at 5.7 km from the ferry dock.
Hiking Trail in Nanaimo Area - Newcastle Island Perimeter
51. The next attraction is Sandstone Quarry, at the 6.0 km mark of the trail. Coordinates:
Elevation: -5 meters.
Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail ad Sandstone Quarry Access
52. It's basically a haphazard pile of sandstone boulders, and several very
interesting information signs (and a board), as well as a recovered sandstone
column, brought back after the ship, which carried the column, sunk in a storm.
Newcastle Island Sandstone Quarry
53. This information board tells which prominent buildings in British Columbia
used sandstone from Newcastle Island.
Newcastle Sandstone Information Board
54-56. And these two signs tell a story of a sandstone column carried by a ship
named Zephyr, which sunk in a storm. The column was then recovered and brought
back to serve as a monument.
57. Here is that column, nearly 150 years old by now.
Newcastle Island Sandstone Column
58. Continuing on the perimeter trail. At 6.3 km here.
BC Hiking - Newcastle Island Perimeter Trail
59. At 6.5 km, there is a view of the city of Nanaimo across from Newcastle
Nanaimo seen from Newcastle Island
60. Boats moored in Newcastle Channel near Newcastle Island.
Boats Moored in Newcastle Channel
61. Several deer were grazing near the trail.
Newcastle Island Deer
62. At 7.1 km, we are hiking past Newcastle Island camping area.
Newcastle Island Camping
63. A hundred meters later, we are in the open, with a huge field to our left.
Newcastle Island British Columbia
64. This fine-looking building is located at the end of the field, close to the
Newcastle Island BC
65-66. And we are back at the ferry dock, having completed the 7.5 km Newcastle
Island Perimeter Trail.
Ferry Dock Newcastle Island British Columbia
Newcastle Island Ferry Dock
67. A good view of Newcastle Island (on the left) and Protection Island (on the
right) from the ferry dock.
Newcastle Island and Protection Island
68. We are again on Grey Selkie ferry, approaching Nanaimo.
Approaching Nanaimo in Grey Selkie Newcastle Island Ferry
69. Back at the dock in Maffeo Sutton Park.
Newcastle Island Ferry Dock at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo
Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park is a very pleasant place to visit, with
a fine ferry ride, numerous good views, and easy hiking. Highly recommended.
Trip 229 - Newcastle Island Trail Hike
(Near Nanaimo BC)
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