Powell River

Foregone charm is hidden within the natural beauty of Willingdon Beach Trail

Experience Powell River’s lush forests and mechanical relics on Willingdon Beach Trail

Two women take a dog for a walk along a shoreline.
The Willingdon Beach Trail is one of Powell River’s most idyllic settings. — Photo courtesy Chris Thorn Photography

Powell River’s Townsite is old. With that age comes beauty and historic distinctions. 

Back in 1995, the Townsite in Powell River was designated as a National Historic District of Canada. The distinction was one of only seven in Canada and the only one in Western Canada. The prestigious designation confirms Powell River Townsite as a historical asset to the entire country, with over 400 original buildings contained within the borders of the 1910 town plan.

Willingdon Beach Trail

One of Powell River’s most iconic settings is Willingdon Beach. The Willingdon Beach Trail offers weary RVers one of the most relaxing walking paths in Powell River. The flat, wide trail is approximately 1.2 kilometres, making it easily accessible for all levels of ability.

“It really is a beautiful trail and a part of the much larger Millennium Park,” said Paul Kamon, executive director for Sunshine Coast Tourism. “You are in the heart of Powell River and it’s beautiful.”

View of the Salish Sea from Scout Mountain on the Sunshine Coast Trail.
Powell River boasts stunning scenery from all angles. — Photo courtesy Paul Kamon

The trail is set within a lush green forested area with plenty of floral overhang and diverse plant life. Various tree species include broadleaf maple, red alder, Douglas fir, grand fir and western red cedar. And then there are the ancient remnants of human origin that really give the trail its memorable charm. 

“The Willingdon Beach Trail follows an old 1910 railbed that was once used to carry logs to the dumping wharf of the Powell River Company Mill,” Kamon said. “Many of the old machines from a bygone era of logging still remain like ghosts of the past and offer a unique interpretive walk in the forest.”

A couple of the relics to keep your eye out for are the old Steam Donkey and the Sidewinder.

Directions

To reach the Willingdon Beach Trailhead, head north from the Powell River Visitor Info Centre on Joyce Avenue toward Alberni Street. Turn left onto Alberni Street and take a slight right onto Marine Avenue. Park your ride and head to the northernmost end of the campsite.

“Having a full-service waterfront campsite surrounded by all the amenities within walking distance helps,” said Kamon. “This is the perfect RV spot on the Northern Sunshine Coast.”

The coastline of B.C. has trees and mountains.
The Willingdon Beach Trail follows an old 1910 railbed that was once used to carry logs to the dumping wharf of the Powell River Company Mill. — Photo courtesy Darren Robinson

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