With the cost of ferries these days it is not always in the cards to do a long trip over two or more ferries. I decided to change it up a little bit when I headed over to the Southern portion of the Sunshine Coast leg of the BC Ale Trail. This time I decided to be a walk on passenger to the ferry.
In 2016 a group of people got together with the British Columbia government and tourism agencies to create the BC Ale Trail a selection of self guided craft beer and tourist trails. I have been doing similar self guided road trips for years now checking out what the province has to offer be it beer or sights and even had a much less grand idea like the ale trails.
Here is the official video from the BC Ale Trail.
If you are only doing the Southern Portion of the Sunshine Coast trail you have a ton of options on just how to do it. You could drive which is the quickest and most expensive way and you will need to find a designated driver unless you get a hotel room. You can also be a walk on passenger at a much cheaper fair or slightly more and take the ferry with your bicycle.
The first thing you need to figure out though is what ferries you will be taking. Click here for the schedule.
If you do not want to drive and park in Horseshoe Bay you can also take Trainslink. Find directions here.
Once you have found your way to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal its time to get to the fun part.
Make sure to spend some time on the upper deck to get the views of Beautiful British Columbia.
I took a little video as we left the terminal in West Vancouver.
Once on the Langdale side you do not have to follow my recommendations but this is what I consider the best route. While this route will be accessible to all in that it is on paved roads there are many big hills along the roads. Here is the full path I would take.
This route takes you through some really nice albeit hilly country side to Persephone Brewing then continues downhill to Gibsons Tapworks. To start walk up the highway when you get off the ferry and turn left at the first set of street lights. You will follow this to the first Right that goes uphill. Stay on N Road while it winds its way up the country side. Turn left when you get to Stewart Road at the same point N Road meets the Highway again.
You have now Arrived at Persephone Brewing. This brewery is also a Hop Farm although changes to the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) may force the brewery off this land. If you have a chance and live in BC please sign the petition to allow them to keep their brewery on this land. This brewery makes a beer for everyone with all kinds of styles on offer. They even have pizzas on weekends if you get lucky. There is also quite a bit of live music that is offered at the tasting room. As the weather warms up they have a nice big picnic area that you can enjoy your beer. To check out my detailed (although outdated) post on Persephone Brewing and see some video of my ride there a few years ago click here.
Once you have had your fill of their beer and it may take a while it is time to move on to the next local.
Head South on Sunshine Cost Hwy until you get to School Road and turn left. Turn left again at Marine Drive and a quick left on Cruice Lane. You will now be at the front doors of the Gibsons Tapworks! At the time of writing this post Gibsons Tapworks is a brand new brewery. The brewery currently has 4 of their own beer on tap as well as a guest tap and a cider tap. The lounge is really well laid out and really welcoming. The brewery is also open until 10pm or 11pm depending on the day. This should become the it place to be when you go to Gibsons or live there. For more info on Gibsons Tapworks click here.
Once you are done here you will probably be hungry. I hopped over to Bay View Szechuan & Chinese for some pretty good and amazing value Chinese food before my walk back to the ferry. It is right on Marine Drive a block away.
Once finished food I started my walk back to the Ferry.
This is a nice scenic route North along Marine Drive. You have lots of views of the ocean and beach access at many locations if you want to check out the beach. You also make your way though a small cute unincorporated that looks like a fishing town. Keep your eyes on the sky for hawks and eagles and on the ocean for wales or porpoises. While I walked I saw one of the last two blow water out of their blowhole while swimming along a ways off the beach.
Once you arrive back at the ferry its time to go home. While I love being on the Sunshine Coast its always good to get home after a long day of walking and enjoying brews. Total walking time according to Google maps is 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you don’t walk at a good pace and don’t go up hills well add some time.
In the future I plan on doing a full Sunshine Coast Ale trail post but I thought it worth posting on the lower Sunshine Coast as it is so easy for both locals and tourists to make it there! I hope this inspires you to make your way over.