Experience rural living with welcoming smiles in Lighthouse Country –
a covey of small neighbourhoods that identify deeply with a sense of place.
Horne Lake, Spider Lake, Dunsmuir, Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay– closely connected communities that nestle at the foot of the Beaufort Mountains and look out to stunning vistas of the Northern Gulf Islands in the celebrated Salish Sea.
Start with a visit to Horne Lake, an off-the-grid cottage and recreation area, boasting two provincial parks, campgrounds, and an underground adventure of the Horne Lake Caves. Swim in the warm waters of Spider Lake grab, an ice-cream cone at Pine Ridge Marketand head over to the coast to the Island Highway (19A ) and meander oceanside thru Lighthouse Country for the next 15 kilometres. Keep your eyes open for glimpses of the iconic, and one of the few manned lighthouses on the west coast, Chrome Island Lighthouse.
Big Qualicum River, home to Qualicum First Nationsand QFN Campsite, is also a landing point of the summer Tribal Canoe Journeys. Tour the Big Qualicum Hatcheryin the fall to view 40 pound chinook salmon vie for spawning ground, as chum, pink and coho salmon dodge the lure of the fly fishers cast.
Qualicum Bay is coming into its own as a destination for foodies …Tidal Tacos and the West Coast Food House will tempt your palette with seafood tacos beachside, enjoy the diner-style of the Sand Bar Café or tap your toes to a live music jam at the Crown & Anchor Roadhouse Pub. Mingle with locals at the Second Sunday Market & Pancake Breakfast at the Lighthouse Community Hall.
Nile Creek– the restoration of this watershed has been a labour of love for the Nile Creek Salmon Enhancement Society. Walking and mountain biking trails wind throughout, including the wheelchair accessible Lighthouse Country Trail. Trek to Nile Creek Falls and experience an old growth forest in the making. Nile Creek estuary provides destination beach fly fishing enjoyed by both locals and international visitors and surfers love our southeast gales guaranteeing a prime ride during the winter storms.
Bowser, is an emerging rural village centre; building supplies, groceries and pet foods, liquor store, post office, banking, ambulance and the Legion. The Brew Coffee House, Things N Stuff and the Salish Sea Market, a local art gallery, all add to the appeal of a destination outing. Come in March, for the arrival of the herring – hundreds of eagles, sea lions and sea birds descend on the shoreline…a photographer’s dream!
On to Deep Bay, a bustling harbour catering to recreational boaters and working skiffs tending to a burgeoning aquaculture industry – scallop, clam and oyster farms. Launch your boat or kayaks, charter a fishing tour, savour a hearty serving of fish & chips at the Ship & Shore Restaurant, then walk the spit at low tide looking for sea glass treasures. Take the family to Deep Bay Marine Field Station, dip your fingers into tidal touch tanks and gaze at the enormity of the Gray Whale skeleton mounted overhead.
Come for a day visit or stay with us! We have a spot to throw up a tent, park an RV, a deck to relax on at a seaside resort or vacation home…or if you prefer the adventure…a sleepover In the trees at Free Spirit Spheres.