Winter Harbour – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
A sheltered west coast haven from violent Pacific Ocean weather for sailing ships in the 1800s and fishing boats over the last 100 years, the historic fishing village of Winter Harbour is North America’s western-most point. Tall-mast sailing ships would hole up here in the 1800s and this tiny dot on the map has been a refuge for fishing boats and its own fleet over the last century.
- Fishing Charters
- Wild Life Sightings
- Grant Bay
- Botel Park Trail
Today, Winter Harbour is known for its saltwater fishing charters that head for the northwest coast of Vancouver Island in search of salmon, cod, snapper and halibut. Birders get busy with their life lists while viewing puffins, oyster catchers and dozens of shorebirds. It’s also a stop on the biennial Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, offering the only stationary fuelling facility in Quatsino Sound and safe year-round anchorage for pleasure craft and commercial fishing boats.
From the village, visitors can walk to sand beaches along a seaside boardwalk, observing sea otters, bald eagles and other intertidal wildlife along the way. Botel Park Trail grants gorgeous views of Forward Inlet and the Pacific Ocean. Cape Scott and Raft Cove Provincial Parks are both nearby. Beachcombing is a popular pastime on the white sand of Grant Bay and at rugged Hecht Beach, an ideal spot for winter storm-watching. Winter Harbour is commonly accessed by boat from Quatsino Sound, by floatplane, and by vehicle via a gravel logging road, approximately 75 km from Port Hardy.