With its long, narrow sheltered inlet, Ha’thayim Marine Provincial Park in the Discovery Islands is a popular anchorage for recreational boaters. Located on the northwestern tip of Cortes Island, the inlet can be entered from northern Sutil Channel.
This undeveloped marine wilderness park encompasses lakes, estuaries, a salt water lagoon and the old-growth forest Coast-Salish First nations call “Ha’thayim”. Wilderness camping is permitted and the area is popular with cruising boats seeking remote tranquility in this beautiful area. The park features a number of secure anchorages providing protection from the elements. Von Donop Inlet is located at the southern terminus of the scenic Inside Passage. This mostly sheltered route has been popular with boaters for thousands of years. Today, yachts and kayaks have replaced hand trollers and dugout canoes as the methods of travel through the western route of Discovery Channel, where Ripple Rock made passage sometimes treacherous, or through the eastern approach through Yuculta Rapids.
Opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and exploration exist in this rugged park, which features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords and tidal flats within its boundaries.
More information about the park is available at the BC Parks Website.
This hiking area is the longest and most rugged on Cortes. The trails are user maintained. They are not difficult or hard to find, but be prepared for areas where you may have to climb over wind-fallen trees or hike/bushwhack through overgrown brush. The hike up to Cliff Peak is a full day’s excursion and involves a steep climb to the highest point on the Island. Throughout Von Donop you’ll encounter secluded inlets and giant trees. Keep your eye out for wolf tracks in mud alongside the trail, this area is home to a wide range of coastal wildlife. The first few kilometers of trail is available for use courtesy of Klahoose First Nation. If you choose to hike in this area, bringing a copy of the full island contour map available at the Cortes Food Co-op and the FOCI office is recommended. Park at the trailhead is along Whaletown Rd.
Access: Road access is off Whaletown Road just west of Squirrel Cove.
Estimated Walking Time: 1-3 days.
Local’s Tip: Make sure to be prepared – good maps and camping gear are available at the General Stores. Cliff Peak, on the north eastern edge of Von Donop, is Cortes’ highest point, with sensational views to the coastal mountains.
Latest updates about Von Donop Provincial Park:
Explore Other Cortes Island Hiking Trails
Easily accessible from Whaletown Road, the Whaletown Commons offers several short loop hikes through dense, verdant forest populated by several beautiful old growth cedars along Whaletown Creek. It’s the perfect place for an easy walk, especially with children.
A broad swath of land across the northwest of Cortes Island, the Children’s Forest stretches from Whaletown to Carrington Bay. It’s lined with logging roads and hiking trails — quiet and perfect for a half-day walk (or even longer).
Grandmother Grove sits at the southern end of Carrington Bay, where the sand disappears into the mouth of a stream surrounded by tall spruce and dense ferns. One of the most beautiful and accessible of Cortes Island’s day hikes.
Kw’as Park, stretching between Hague Lake and Gunflint Lake, has more than 170 acres of hiking trails through old growth cedar, spruce groves, and bluffs with pine and manzanita. Wildlife is often spotted in the park. With so many trails, Kw’as Park is the perfect forest to explore.
The Siskin Lane Forest is a 13 acre park that was donated to the Comox-Strathcona Regional District, to be managed in partnership with the Cortes community. A conservation covenant held by The Land Conservancy of BC prohibits any timber harvesting or development to protect the park’s ecological values in perpetuity. A network of well-kept trails runs through the park, a perfect spot to walk and explore.
This undeveloped marine wilderness park encompasses lakes, estuaries, a salt water lagoon and the old-growth forest Coast-Salish First nations call “Ha’thayim”. Wilderness camping is permitted and the area is popular with cruising boats seeking remote tranquility in this beautiful area. Opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and exploration exist in this rugged park, which features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords and tidal flats within its boundaries.
View Cortes Island Hikes in a larger map