Located a few minutes drive north of Sechelt, the 57-hectare Sargeant Bay Provincial Park is a perfect location to observe intertidal creatures and offers excellent birdwatching opportunities.
At the moment, few visitors know about this diminutive park on Redroofs Road, so you're most likely to find yourself sharing it with local bird-watchers who come down to explore the nearby marsh.
Don't be disappointed when you first arrive: as you walk south along the bay, the cobblestone beach changes to more hospitable sand, which is where you'll want to spread out and listen to the lapping of the waves and the laughing of the gulls.
A network of hiking trails meander through forested uplands, along rocky headlands and down to the ocean's edge.
The Triangle Lake Hiking Trail originates in the park's parking area and winds for 3.5 km along Colvin Creek, through an alder grove and up to Triangle Lake. Hikers should be aware of the presence of black bears in the upland areas.
The sandy beach at Sargeant Bay Provincial Park's day-use area is excellent for sunbathing, swimming and picnicking. The sand and pebbles give way to large boulders and rock cliffs that jut out into the northern section on the bay.
The diverse habitat of Sargeant Bay Park's beach, lake, marsh and forest support a large variety of birds. The marshland is an important stopover for migrating harlequin ducks, Canada geese and trumpeter swans, as is the upland area a host for migratory songbirds. The tidal marsh supports a great variety of waterfowl, including loons, grebes, cormorants and ducks.
Look for bald eagles, hawks and owls which frequent the area. From the walking trails in this forested park you can witness salmon fighting their way up the fish ladder in the fall. The salmon ascend the ladder and go on to spawn in the creek. Local volunteers have undertaken an ambitious project to restore the wildlife habitat around the bay.
Visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, boardsailing and fishing at the park, and Sargeant Bay also provides good opportunities for scuba diving close to shore. Facilities at Sargeant Bay Provincial Park include a boat launch, a picnic area and pit toilets.
Pebbled beach at Sargeant Bay
Sargeant Bay Provincial Park is located near Sechelt on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, and is accessed on Redroofs road off Highway 101, between Sechelt and Halfmoon Bay.