Weekend Adventures - Gabriola Getaway

Every once and a while, I find myself craving an escape from the city. A recent weekend getaway took me to Gabriola Island. It’s a lovely, peaceful place, perfect for reflection and relaxation. With a foundation of mainly sandstone, Gabriola features incredible rock formations on almost every beach or water access point. It's a perfectly sized island to explore over about three days – and explore I did!

There’s a very high concentration of artists living on Gabriola, and their studios are dotted throughout the island; however, I was in search of natural beauty and found it. I wanted to share my three favorite places on the island.

Malaspina Galleries

The most spectacular place I visited was called Malaspina Galleries. You may assume that this would be some kind of art gallery, but it’s actually a natural wonder carved by the ocean. It's a wave-shaped tunnel that you can walk along, if you're brave enough to clamber around a corner with a steep drop to the ocean right beside you!

Elder Cedar Forest

Gabriola is an extremely lush place, carpeted with thick ferns, moss, and salal. In particular, the Elder Cedar Forest is an emerald wonderland. Mushrooms and fungi were everywhere, which I think also speaks to the superior air quality. The vegetation was noticeably greener and fuller than on the mainland. We walked through the entire forest until we were sabotaged by a raging stream. Undaunted, we retraced our steps.

Drumbeg Provincial Park

With gorgeous arbutus trees and deciduous species coated in reindeer moss and lichen, Drumbeg Provincial Park is an exceptionally beautiful spot. We walked out on a peninsula and were surrounded by gorgeous views: snow-capped peaks on one side, tranquil bays on the other, and incredible rock formations all around. I was there at a relatively low tide and was able to walk out on flat sandstone rocks. Little pockets on white shell sand, sculptural logs, ocean detritus... It was the perfect place for a picnic lunch.

As you can likely tell, I had a delightful weekend, and highly recommend a visit to Gabriola. I’d love to hear your favourite places for rest and rejuvenation!

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