Paddlng the Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail) on the Howe Sound: Sea to Sky Marine Trail

Map Legend & Disclaimer

Note that you can click on each object on the map to obtain details about it.

Trans Canada Trail Legend:

Trans Canada Trail Pavilion
Multi-Use Route (Cycling & Walking)
Hiking Only Route (No Cycling)
Equestrian Route (May Allow Cyclists/Walkers)
Paddling/Water Route
Temporary Bypass or Unofficial TCT Route
Trans Canada Trail Closed
Obstacle or Warning (click it for details)

Alternate Route Legend:

Alternate Route for Cyclists & Walkers
Alternate Route for Hiking
Alternate Route for Equestrians
Connection Point to the Trans Canada Trail

Google Maps Legend:

Map menu to access highlights, campsites, grocery stores, parking areas, toilets and more!
Click the grey star at the top of the map to favourite it in Google Maps, so you can pull it up later in your Google Maps app's "My Places".

Disclaimer: This trail information is subject to changes. While reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is correct, Trails BC makes no warranty about the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience or any direct or consequential loss arising from reliance upon this information. Be sure to check our Latest Trail Closures before heading out and read our full disclaimer!.

Please contact Trails BC if you require in-depth trail knowledge or have suggestions or corrections. Support us by becoming a member or donating funds!

GPS Downloads

  • KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
  • GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colour and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead of GPX if possible.

The files below include data for only this specific area. For all of our Trans Canada Trail data for the entire province (including features, campsites and alternate routes), download our BC.kmz master file (1.2 MB)

Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.

About the Route: 

A recognized paddling route (kayaking and brigade canoe only) to connect the Trans Canada Trail in West Vancouver to the Sea to Sky Trail in Squamish is now open and operational! This route provides launching and camping sites along the Howe Sound, which visit tranquill islands and takes in the majesty of Howe Sound from a very unique perspective.

As this an ocean paddling route, please note that while this site does provide GPS data, we highly recommend carrying paper charts for the Howe Sound. Contact your local chart dealer. Ideal charts from the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) are Chart #3311 and/or Chart #3526. Both charts cover the region with 1:40,000 scale. However, Chart #3526 covers the southern shore of Bowen Island (south of Snug Cove) if you will be paddling in that area.

Trail Highlights and Developments: 

Trail Operator: 

Strictly speaking, marine trails have no operator or owner. The waterways themselves are overseen by the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The remainder of Trans Canada Trail marine routes consist of landings/launches and campsites.

Landings and boat launchs shown on our maps are mostly located on municipal land (such as parks). Before launching your watercraft, please confirm you are indeed allowed.

Campsites on crown land have been developed by Recreation Sites and Trails (Ministry of Forests), such as:

  • Ramilies Channel Recreation Site
  • Bain Creek Recreation Site
  • Thornbrough Channel Recreation Site
  • Islet View Recreation Site
  • Zorro Bay Recreation Site
  • Tantalus Landing Recreation Site

The route also uses utilizing existing campsites administered by BC Parks, as well as the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), such as:

  • Halkett Bay Provincial Park
  • Porteau Cove Provincial Park
  • Plumper Cove Provincial Park
  • Sir Thomas Lipton Regional Park (SCRD)

Trail Stewards and Volunteers: 

The Sea to Sky Marine Trail was developed by the Sea to Sky Trail Committee with assistance from BC Marine Trails.


Parking & Staging Areas

Boat launching can be performed in the following locations.

  • Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) or Batchelor Cove (as a Plan B)
  • Snug Cove (Bowen Island)
  • Gibsons
  • Hopkins Landing
  • McNair Creek Park (Port Mellon)
  • Lions Bay (public park with toilets and swimming area, closes at 10 pm; overnight parking in the area may be difficult)
  • Porteau Cove
  • Brittania Beach
  • Nexen Beach (Squamish) or downtown pier (as a Plan B)

See our map for precise locations of where to launch, and for hints on long-term vehicle parking with minimal complications and cost!

Public Washrooms

Washroom locations are shown on our maps. Also, all campsites shown on the map include washrooms of some variety. We have also marked several public beaches on the maps (under "Features") which may suffice for quick "pit stops".


Please see "Trail Operators" for a list of campsites. Camping is the only form of accommodations for the marine trail. Bed & Breakfasts may exist on Bowen Island and elsewhere but we do not supply this information.

Shopping & Provisions

Provisions and groceries are located in West Vancouver, Snug Cove, Gibsons and Squamish.

Kayak rentals are available on Bowen Island and in Gibsons.

Due to the nature of this marine route, we do not recommend sit-on-top kayaks.

Directions: Northbound

As can be expected with marine trails - strictly speaking they are not trails but routes. In other words, every paddler has the freedom to travel from point A to point B in their own unique way. Therefore, providing directions is impractical. We suggest paddlers use nautical charts to plan their routes, taking local weather conditions into consideration to find the safest route possible to match their paddling ability and capability of equipment.

That said, we have listed many of the typical passages below with theoretical distances. We have taken into consideration the distance between two points while closely following shore and making direct crossings of open water. Paddlers can certainly shorten distances by taking straighter point-to-point courses. Some paddlers may cover greater distance by exploring every bay along the way.

Horseshoe Bay Snug Cove 5.5
Horseshoe Bay Halkett Bay 10
Horseshoe Bay Lions Bay 10.5
Snug Cove Halkett Bay 11
Gibsons Plumper Cove 3
Plumper Cove Halkett Bay 14
Plumper Cove Bain Creek 18
Plumper Cove Sir Thomas Lipton 9.5
Plumper Cove McNair Creek 13.5
Sir Thomas Lipton Halkett Bay 17.5
Lions Bay Halkett Bay 8.5
Lions Bay Porteau Cove 13
Halkett Bay Ramilies 9
McNair Creek Bain Creek 6
Bain Creek Thornbrough 6
Ramilies Thornbrough 7
Ramilies Porteau Cove 11
Porteau Cove Park Porteau Cove Boat Launch 1
Porteau Cove Brittania Beach 8.5
Porteau Cove Islet View 5.5
Porteau Cove Zorro Bay 5
Thornbrough Islet View 7
Islet View Zorro Bay 5
Zorro Bay Brittania Beach 4.5
Zorro Bay Tantalus 10.5
Tantalus Nexen Beach 4.5
Brittania Beach Nexen Beach 11


Report a Trail Closure


Trail maintenance issues are the responsibility of the Trail Steward, which is either the trail owner or a group given authorization to perform maintenance work. Trails BC is a trail steward for a very limited number of trail segments on the Trans Canada Trail; unfortunately, if a major trail issue occurs along the Trans Canada Trail, there is often very little we can do about it - but we can try to pass on the information to the trail steward, if one exists.

Information such as a precise location (GPS waypoint), photo, as well as your contact information is extremely helpful to ensure the problem is accurately reported.

AGAIN, DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO SUBMIT NOTICES ABOUT TRAILS THAT ARE NOT PART OF THE TRANS CANADA TRAIL. We will simply delete the submission and it will not be posted or passed on to anyone. If you need to report a closure on such a trail, please determine the trail owner or operator and send a notice to them.

Would it be unwise to continue through the closure or blockage? You may add more detail in your report.
Please enter your trail closure report. Include a GPS location or a detailed description of its precise location.
JPG format only, 3 MB max. You must click "upload" after selecting file.
If the blockage/closure can be bypassed, please include your recommended route to do so!