A plethora of options await those who seek an ideal picnic spot in and around qathet Regional District.
Oceanside and lakeside beaches are not only in abundance, but also handy and easily accessible within City of Powell River limits or a short drive north or south of town.
Other areas require a bit more planning, a bit of a walk, hike or bike ride, but provide more than a bit of fantastic scenery and ambience. Some have picnic tables while others are more rustic.
Pack a lunch or order takeout from your favourite restaurant, cafe or bistro, and bring a blanket, or just sit on Mother Earth while eating and enjoying the surroundings.
Here are a few stunning locations that will enhance any meal:
Just a casual 45-minute forest walk (or 15-minute bike ride) from Inland Lake Provincial Park, Anthony Island is a jewel among many shimmering locations surrounding the lake. A picnic table in a shaded area provides relief from the sun in addition to a quiet spot for lunch or dinner. Logs and a rocky area along the beach are an equally ideal location for munching on snacks or a meal before or after a swim.
The qathet region is blessed with views of the Pacific Ocean and Vancouver Island, and Gibsons Beach is one of the best for gazing at the water and islands in-between. Add in a grassy area above the beach, which is an ideal setting for a leisurely meal for two or more, and the sandy beach, and an afternoon or evening meal can turn into hours of outdoor activity, or non-activity, depending on one’s preference.
At 25 minutes by foot from the trail entrance near Duck Lake, Kelly Falls is just one of the waterfalls along the Blackwater Creek Trail. Eat right on the footbridge adjacent to the falls, or step off the path into a resting spot below to enjoy a takeout meal or prepared lunch, and perhaps a little rest before continuing on to complete the loop or heading back. Keep an eye out for bikes as the trail is popular with cyclists and hikers.
Some planning is required in order to enjoy a picnic at Myrtle Rocks, meaning a check of the tide guide is necessary to ensure the path is walkable, and not a swim. At low tide, a short excursion from the highway, through the sand, or just inside the water’s edge, then finding a route to the top of the rocks leads to several good spots to sit and eat, including a picnic table. You might find a souvenir or two along the way, too.
Willingdon Beach is not only a stunning location to eat, drink and play, it’s location at the centre of town is also handy to get to. But just across the street, multiple trailheads lead into the Millenium Trails, and the myriad of routes through the forest and alongside creeks, which are also easily accessed from Powell River Recreation Complex, offer countless areas to take a break, pull out the picnic basket or takeout meal of choice, and dig into the goodies.
For a different experience than the Beach Trail and Sea Walk offer in town, try the trek into and along Stillwater Bluffs to work up an appetite. Carry in your lunch, dinner or snacks in a backpack through the forested trail, then find a spot anywhere along the bluffs for a quick meal or set up shop for a couple hours, taking in the view of Texada Island, before further explorations. How about two meals? It’s worth hanging around.