Camp and Kayak Broken Group Islands via Secret Beach
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Paddling and camping from Secret Beach offers kayakers access to a kayaking paradise, from Toquaht Nation's homelands.
Toquaht Nation - Slipping our kayaks into the waters from the Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch, Lem and Anne Mamers marvel at the access this little-known spot provides to the paddling paradise on Vancouver Island’s west coast, particularly the Broken Group Islands.
“The experience has been great,” says Lem Mamers, from the Comox Valley Paddlers Club. “You can take a week and not do the same route to explore around here. You can go up the Pipe Stem up to Lucky Creek where there’s a waterfall at the end.
Sometimes there’s bears. You could cruise through the islands and go up to the end of Maggie River - there’s a waterfall at the end there too. You can go from here into the Broken Group (for stronger paddlers), but for the novice there’s lots of shoreline to do here.”
Situated halfway between Port Alberni and the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, the Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch is a perfect basecamp for any trip. Be it an overnight stay or a weeklong excursion, the campground connects visitors to a plethora of island staples - but above all else, it is unquestionably a kayaker’s dream.
This evening - my third time visiting - I spend some time with Lem, Anne and other members of the Comox Valley Paddlers Club, who have been paddling around the area for the past week while staying at the campground.
Aptly put, Barkley Sound offers virtually limitless opportunities for paddlers, with hundreds of islands, dozens of rivers, and countless miles of coastline to explore, all stunningly serene.
As Linda Wallwork puts it, “The scenery is spectacular! There’s a lot of different little places and you feel like you’re in the tropics. I’m in awe, I can’t believe we’re still in Canada. We didn’t fly anywhere.”
The campground itself, on the other hand, is undergoing a major upgrade, with a number of new additions on top of what is already an impressive site.
Anne Mamers gushes about Secret Beach: “We’re absolutely over the top with what they’ve been doing. The place is clean, the washrooms are being taken care of. They’ve even got bear-proof garbage cans. Everything is top notch.”
Among the many new amenities at the campground is the kayak launch, providing the ideal conditions for paddlers to set off onto the waters. Don Wallwork, another of the club members, remarks that “it makes a big difference when you’re not landing in big rocks.”
Adjacent to the launch are a number of new waterfront campsites, making it even more convenient for paddlers - from Secret Beach you can literally wake up, walk two minutes from your tent with your kayak, and set out for the day from the launch.
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds of resort towns this summer and adventure someplace more secluded (without the sacrifice of easy access to everything you could possibly need) Secret Beach is just the place you’re looking for.
With practically unparalleled options for kayaking (and a new kayak launch!) and plenty of amenities perched on the wildly beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island, Secret Beach is one spot you don’t want to miss.
WHEN YOU GO
To plan your trip, visit the Secret Beach campground website to book a stay today.
More #IndigenousCoastBC adventures
Environmentally and culturally rich coastal BC is home territory to many First Nations and a wide array of travel and recreation opportunities - hiking, kayaking, camping and Indigenous experiences - connecting you to the land and the culture. Read on for more travel ideas.