Baynes Sound - Denman/Hornby Island (Area 'A')
Baynes Sound - Denman/Hornby Islands, (Area 'A') PHOTO GALLERY includes the area south of the southern boundary of the City of Courtenay to the most southern boundary of the CVRD being Cook Creek. Includes Minto, Royston, Fanny Bay and Union Bay.
- Bill Mee Park - This public boat launch is located on the south end of Denman Island, a 15-minute drive from the Denman Island ferry hill. The 3.3-acre park is a great place to launch kayaks, canoes or motorboats. Enjoy the busy Lambert Channel between Denman and Hornby or just to take in the view of passing ferries, seals, eagles and the occasional whale from one of the several picnic tables.
- How to get there: Take the 10-minute ferry ride to Denman Island from Buckley Bay, twenty minutes south of Courtenay. Drive up the ferry hill and follow Denman Rd. to East Rd. that hugs the scenic shoreline for 10 minutes. Continue south on a dirt road one-km past Hornby Island ferry dock. (Map [PDF - 67 KB])
- Glover Community Nature Park - What a difference a couple of people can make. In 1992, Harry and Winnie Glover donated this unique property tucked away beside Island Highway 19A and surrounded by residential homes. The six-acre wood has been lovingly preserved as an oasis for birdlife - and for people in need of a little quiet space. An easy-acces, 15-20 minute cedar path circles the park that includes three rustic benches to sit and listen to the sounds of this woodpeckers' haven. Old growth stumps, trillium flowers, and dense patches of ferns give this park a sense of delicate beauty.
- How to get there: Turn east off Island Highway 19A onto Glover Rd., two km north of Union Bay, turn right onto Spence Rd. Look for trail openings on the west side of Spence Rd. (Map [PDF - 87 KB])
- Joe Walker Park - Stretching your legs on the drive up beautiful Vancouver Island is never just an ordinary rest stop. Joe Walker Park is no different. Conveniently located beside Island Highway 19A just south of Union Bay this 2.7-acre park site is just 20 minutes south of Courtenay. A short stride down cement steps brings you to a picnic shelter and three picnic tables beside the beach on Baynes Sound. A bench thanking longtime park volunteer Joe Walker allows a view you won't quickly want to leave. The 500 metres of walking trails just off the beach and shaded by surrounding Maples, Fir and Cedar will make you glad you needed a rest. Note: the park is not signposted on the highway.
- How to get there: Keep your eyes open for the cement steps and pullout on the ocean side of Island Highway 19A, 1.5 km north of Buckley Bay and south of Union Bay. (Map [PDF - 120 KB])
- Maple Park – This might be the smallest regional district park at just under half an acre in size. The park offers beautiful vistas over Morrison Marsh, a rich bio-diversity and a tranquil ambiance inviting nature viewing. The park is named to honour a magnificent bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum tree. The tree is believed to be well over 400 years old.
- How to get there - Take the 10-minute ferry to Denman Island from Buckley Bay, 25 minutes south of Courtenay. After unloading stay to the right at the top of the hill and follow Denman Rd. to East Rd. which hugs the scenic shoreline. Turn right onto McFarlane Road. Enter along the footpath located between 9521 McFarlane Road and 4555 East Road. The land to either side of the path is private property so please stay to the trail. (Map [PDF - 518 KB])
- Morning Beach Park - Located near the north tip of Denman Island this park provides access to one of the most scenic beaches in the region. The sand and cobble beach known for its glorious sunsrises is at the bottom of a 30m sandy bluff. A narrow path with several staircases makes the trip down to the beach quite easy although you tend to notice the 121 steps a little more on the way back up. At low tide you can walk out to Sandy Island Provincial Park to the north. Take a moment to share your experience in the logbook at the top of the bluff.
- How to get there - Take the 10-minute ferry to Denman Island from Buckley Bay, 25 minutes south of Courtenay. After unloading go left at the top of the hill. Follow North West Road for 7km to Danes Road. Turn right up the steep gravel road and drive another 1.4km to the Point Road. Turn left. The park is on the right at the end of the road. Parking is available on the west side of the road. The total distance from the ferry is a little over 10km of which half is along gravel roads. (Map [PDF - 374 KB])
- Mount Geoffrey Nature Park - One of the largest CVRD parks at 303 hectares, this vast expanse of forested hillside offers stunning views from the top of the escarpment across to Denman Island and southward. There is an extensive network of walking, horse and mountainbike trails that link to Crown land and Mt. Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park. Some are exclusive walking trails while others are designated for use by equestrians or cyclists.
- How to get there - Take the 10-minute ferry to Denman Island from Buckley Bay, 25 minutes south of Courtenay. Follow East Rd. 20 minutes to the Hornby Island Ferry. Once on Hornby, there are six entrances to the park. Check park maps. For the Slade Rd. entrance head north on Shingle Spit Rd. that turns into Central Rd. Take the next right on Slade and follow it to the end. (Map [PDF - 142 KB]) • Mount Geoffrey Bench Park - (Map [PDF - 426 KB])
- Royston Viewing Stand - is an integral part of this small Vancouver Island coastal community and a treasured find among lucky visitors who wander its way. The viewing stand, located at the base of Royston Rd. was built in 2003 on the site of a wharf built to offload petroleum from large tankers. The practice ended in the 1990s and now two benches, a grassy area and flowerbeds create a much different ambiance for the site. Neighbours meet to chat and walk along a nearby path that is part of the old Comox logging railway grade. Look for the interpretive display 200 metres north of the viewing stand. This park is particularly popular during BC Day fireworks set off at Goose Spit - another CSRD park located northeast of the viewing stand across Baynes Sound.
- How to get there - Turn east off Island Highway 19A at Royston Rd. Head to the foot of Marine Drive to the viewing stand overlooking Comox Harbour. (Map [PDF - 516 KB])
- Ship's Point Park - Down a tree-lined, single-lane dirt road off Baynes Drive this small but breathtaking slice of coastal beauty is easy to access half-a-minute down Park Rd. From the U-shaped turnaround and parking, head south for a breathtaking panoramic view of islands, busy waterways and mountains - the three unique features of the Comox Valley. Chrome Island is visible to the south, Denman Island to the east and the Beaufort Range to the west. Walking is limited as working oyster beds now border this small park but eagles, seals, sandpipers and local birdwatchers who love them call this spot home. Check out the small stand of Garry Oaks as you head back to your car and grab a few salmonberries for the road.
- How to get ther - Five minute drive south of Buckley Bay turn east off Island Highway 19A onto Ship's Point Road. Turn right on Baynes Road. to Park Rd. (Map [PDF - 501 KB])
- Stanehill Park – This patch of young second growth forest is also just half an acre in size. A loop trail and other features make the park a place for nature study, walking and relaxation. Along the bumpy single track trail you will find a rest spot with a log bench, a small “frog pond”, bird and squirrel houses to attract wildlife are in place, and plenty of signs of wildlife. A self-serve nature guide pamphlet is available for plant identification and natural history information.
- How to get there - Take the 10-minute ferry to Denman Island from Buckley Bay, 25 minutes south of Courtenay. After unloading stay to the right at the top of the hill and then go right on Lacon, left on McFarlane and right on Greenhill. The park is at the corner of Greenhill and Stanehill Place. Access is from Stanehill. (Map [PDF - 321 KB])