Enjoying Life On Island Time On British Columbia’s Bowen Island

Last Updated on March 5, 2020

After a short 20 minute ferry ride from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal in West Vancouver, BC, you’ll find yourself at Bowen Island. We had not been there since we were kids and decided it would be a good time to take our kids to Bowen for an adventure. It was a beautiful sunny day, giving us a great day to be outdoors exploring the forested island on foot. We found that Bowen’s slogan “Within Reach. Beyond Comparison.” really rang true. Why on earth did we wait so long to go back? Bowen Island is so close to Vancouver, yet so different. So calm. So relaxing.

Bowen is a popular place for kayaking, though we didn’t get on the water this time with having a fresh newborn with us. It is also a popular spot to moor your boat, or go for a hike. We spent the day walking lush trails in Crippen Regional Park and to Killarney Lake. At some points, pushing a double stroller while baby wearing a newborn proved to be a bit of a challenge, but to us, it was a perfect day.

It was also a bit of a challenge taking a double stroller onto the ferry. It was a little hard to maneuver around. The double stroller can go through single doorways, but the ferry was more awkward. Getting off, we also had to wait for all the cars to clear before we could get off because we couldn’t fit between the rows of cars to get to where all the foot traffic was waiting, since we had to come down the elevator. All in all it wasn’t too much of a hassle, but it was a learning experience for sure! Driving a car onto the ferry is also an option, but we figured we would have enough to do just on foot for the day; walking on the ferry is a great option too.

We had a super busy day hiking, exploring the shops and wandering the island without a worry of what time it was. It was heavenly to disconnect. Bowen Island is great for a day trip, or longer to relax. It was also an easy trip to take with our newborn, Jacob, at just a couple weeks old. With him being our third child, we couldn’t wait to get him started on adventures as we wait for his Passport to arrive!

We are convinced that you will fall in love with the laid-back feel of Bowen Island. We did!


Take a look at some of the fun we had. Doesn’t Bowen Island look lovely?


The view from Horseshoe Bay park
Waiting for the ferry, enjoying the view
Another view from Horseshoe Bay Park
Another view from Horseshoe Bay Park



Views from the ferry ride — all those people are whale watching!


Enjoying the views
Even sitting inside, you get a fabulous view!
Breath-taking views
Approaching Bowen Island
Cars loaded up on the Ferry


“Sandy Beach” to the right and “Pebble Beach” to the left
Spending some time relaxing on “Sandy Beach”
The kids love when their Auntie Diana comes along!
Pebbles, driftwood and long sticks make great entertainment for the kids
Some of the shells we found were especially beautiful!


“Sandy beach”
“Sandy” Beach
Jacob having some chill time during our picnic
Union Steamship Marina
What a cute building — and great ice cream there! This is also where you will find the historic boardwalk with stunning views of bug Cove. Along the boardwalk you will find Bowfest Field, where we enjoyed a picnic for lunch.
Yummy ice cream break after all the hiking
Bowen Island is home to the self-proclaimed “smallest candy store in the world”. It really was tiny!
Enjoying a big liquorice from “the smallest candy store in the world”.
Those Canada Geese sure were brave! They came right up to us trying to get food and eat whatever they could in the grass.
A pretty find on our hikes
Is that a gorgeous view or what? From the causeway by Sandy Beach
Here you’ll find a great view of Deep Bay and the North Shore. On the other side you get a view of the lagoon.
Lush forests made for gorgeous surroundings for our hikes
Bridal Veil Falls and the Fish Ladder (to the right). The falls weren’t as intense with it being summer.
Bridal Veil Falls and the Fish Ladder (to the right). The falls weren’t as intense with it being summer.
Loved the changing landscape on the hikes. Forest, marsh, wide open fields.
Killarney Lake – 45 minutes to the lake, but allow yourself 1.5 hours to walk the loop around it.
Killarney Lake – 45 minutes to the lake, but allow yourself 1.5 hours to walk the loop around it.


How To Get There

BC Ferries runs an hourly service between Horseshoe Bay and Snug cove, with a break in the afternoon. You can drive on the ferry, or leave your car at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal (like we did) and walk on.

How To Get Around

It is totally possible to have a great day exploring Bowen Island on foot. There are many great walking trails within an easy distance from the ferry. You can also fill a day wandering around the stores in Snug Cove, the beaches and the parks.


Have you ever been to Bowen Island? Where are your favourite spots for a quick getaway?