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Bowen Island, BC

Bowen Island is a charming and idyllic island located in the Howe Sound, just off the coast of West Vancouver, and a short 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay. This 50 square km island with about 3600 residents is known for its natural beauty, friendly community, and artistic culture, Bowen Island is a popular destination for both day-trippers from Vancouver.

History of Bowen Island

The island has a long history of Indigenous occupation by the Squamish Nation, a Coast Salish people.

European explorers, including Spanish and British sailors, explored the waters around Bowen Island in the late 18th century. The subsequent fur trade brought European traders and trappers to the region, who interacted with Indigenous communities.

In the mid-19th century, the British Royal Navy’s HMS Plumper, under the command of Captain George Henry Richards, conducted a hydrographic survey of the area. Bowen Island was named after Rear Admiral James Bowen.

In the late 1800s, logging and milling became significant industries on Bowen Island. The island’s forests provided timber for construction and other purposes.

With the development of transportation infrastructure, including ferry service from Horseshoe Bay, Bowen Island became more accessible. Improved communication links facilitated the growth of the island as a residential and recreational community.

Bowen Island was incorporated as a municipality in 1999. This allowed the island to have its own local government to address the needs of the community.

Bowen Island Attractions

Artisan Square

Artisan Lane, ont he west end of Snug Cove

Located above Snug Cove, Artisan Square is a hub for local artists and artisans. Visitors can explore studios, galleries, and boutiques showcasing a diverse range of handmade goods and artwork.

Bowen Island Museum and Archives

1014 Miller Rd, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G1

Learn about the history of Bowen Island at the museum, featuring exhibits on the island’s Indigenous heritage, early settlers, and development.

Bowen Island Sea Kayaking

Bowen Island Marina, Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G0
604- 947-9266

Explore the coastal waters of Bowen Island with guided sea kayaking tours. Paddling around the island allows you to experience its natural beauty and marine life.

Crippen Regional Park

South end of Snug Cove

A waterfront park located near Snug Cove, Crippen Regional Park offers walking trails, a playground, and scenic picnic spots. The park provides a peaceful setting for relaxation and family activities.

Crippen Regional Park

Via Dorman Rd, south end of Snug Cove

A waterfront park near Snug Cove, Crippen Regional Park features walking trails, a playground, and picnic areas.

Hiking Trails

Bowen Island is known for its network of hiking trails. Popular trails include those leading to Mount Gardner, providing panoramic views of Howe Sound and the surrounding islands.

Mount Gardner

At the northwest corner of the island
Trailhead is on west side of Killarney Laek

Mount Gardner offers hiking trails with breathtaking views of Howe Sound and the surrounding islands. The hike to the summit is a popular outdoor activity for nature enthusiasts.

Snug Cove

At the ferry dock

The heart of Bowen Island, Snug Cove is a charming harbor village featuring a marina, artisan shops, galleries, and restaurants. It’s a great place to explore the local scene and enjoy waterfront views.

Snug Cove

The heart of Bowen Island, Snug Cove is a charming harbor village. The area features a marina, the ferry terminal, a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries. It’s a welcoming place where visitors often arrive and depart.

Bowen Island, British Columbia Area Map