Haida Gwaii - Naikoon Provincial Park
British Columbia, Canada
A Haida Gwaii gem spanning over 69,166 hectares
(179, 500 acres) of sandy beaches, rolling sand dunes, forested
old growth hiking trails, wetlands, bogs, rock cliffs, marine
tidal pools, viewing look-outs, historical shipwrecks, west coast
fauna and flora and forests populated with wildlife like the smaller
Sitka Deer and the powerful Black Bear.
Today, the parkland is a large parcel of ecological
bliss with over 100 km (62 mi) of sandy beaches covering the north
and east coastal boundaries of Graham Island. Best access points
to the park are in Tlell and Masset.
The Naikoon Provincial Park conservation
efforts began in 1973, when it was among a group of parks created
by the BC Provincial Government in an attempt to make up for the
decommissioning of another park named, Hamber Park. A commercial
move so to allow for the damming of the Columbia River.
After losing hundreds of hectares of parkland and
realizing logging was expanding and growing fast ... the local
population of Haida Gwaii got behind the move to protect Naikoon lakes, forests and the wide open pristine
sandy beaches along the north coast and east coast of Graham Island.
The area of Naikoon includes part of Hecate Strait
and Rose Spit (an ecological reserve). The hike to Rose Spit is
ideal for watching birds migrating south. The Tlell
River area of Naikoon attracts fisherman from all over the
world for its coho salmon and steelhead trout.
Naikoon Provincial Park
few select hiking, backpacking trails to explore plus there are
some smaller park access areas located on the outside perimeter
of the park. Many backpackers use the Cape Fife Trail (north Naikoon)
or the Pesuta Shipwreck Trail (south Naikoon) as access points
to the interior of Naikoon Park via the 89 km East Beach Trail
which runs from the Tlell River Bridge (south) to Rose Point on
the northeast tip of Graham Island.
There are many trails/park areas in and around
the Naikoon Provincial Park like:
Beach: A large sandy beach easily accessible by foot or car.
A big reason this beach attracts people to the area is because
of the beach combing, hiking, crabbing, fishing, clam digging,
ATVing and relaxing.
East Beach Trail: A west coast 89 km trek
exploring the forests, wildlife and long sandy beaches (East Beach)
lining the eastern coastline of Graham Island.
Cape Fife Trail: Backpackers complete the
entire one-way 10 km Cape Fife Trail in about
4-6 hours. Often a trail used as part of the East Beach Trail.
A good lookout and camping shelter located at Fife Point.
Pesuta Shipwreck Trail: One of the more
popular day-use hiking trails created in the Naikoon Provincial
Park on Graham Island. The Queen Charlotte hiking trail is a moderately
easy hike that covers 5 km return and leads to a shipwreck
on East Beach.
Blow Hole Trail: The short 15-30 minute return
trek (approx. 2 km - 1.3 mi.) which meanders through coastal forests
walking along boardwalk pathways leading to surge channels, crashing
waves, view of Tow Hill and a blow hole.
Tow Hill Trail: A result of molten lava erupting out from
small cracks in the earth about 2 million years ago. Once the
lava reached the surface it cooled quickly and formed rock columns
referred to as basalt forming the, Tow Hill Lookout.
Lake: Picnic area nestled on the southern tip of Mayer Lake is a small
park with a boat launch. The area is enclosed with a picnic area,
small sandy beach and grassy area.
Beach: Many come to visit this vast rocky, sandy beach to
browse, explore and identify various rocks, stones and pebbles
while beach combing up and down the shores.
Meadows: Misty Meadows is one of the
better parks on Graham Island that is accessible by vehicle. It
has it all - sandy beach, short trail, interesting landscape,
seabird wildlife, picnic shelter, water, bathrooms and most amenities.
All walkers, hikers and backpackers should be prepared
for wet conditions and fast changing weather patterns. Most hike
the trails south to north to shield themselves from the, sometimes,
heavy winds, bright sun and torrential rains. Proper equipment,
attitude and planning are recommended.
There is a wilderness park office near Tlell.
How to Get to Naikoon
Provincial Park: (North
Drive north on Hwy 16 from Skidegate
BC Ferry towards Masset Village. Continue driving north-east of
Masset Village on the main hwy over the Chown River (northern
boundary) into the Tow Hill Ecological Reserve area of the Naikoon
Provincial Park. From here on in, it is all Naikoon Park area.
The paved road turns to gravel (Tow Hill Road). Continue straight
ahead to Agate Beach, Blow Hole/Tow Hill Hiking Trail and Cape
How to Get to Naikoon
Provincial Park: (South -Graham Island)
Drive north on Hwy 16 from Skidegate BC Ferry towards Tlell. Look
for the Tlell River Provincial Park and Misty Meadows Park sign
on your right which mark the southern boundary of the Naikoon.
Turn into Tlell River Provincial Park for the Pesuta Shipwreck
Trail and East Beach Trail. Continue on Hwy 16 to Pure Lake and
Mayer Lake Park.
Exploring Naikoon Provincial Park in BCeh!