Sturdies Bay to Bluff Park Lookout and return
This is one of my favourite hikes. I suspect it is because we live at this end of the Island and I can do it without having to drive anywhere. Typically I hike up to the Bluff Park Lookout through the Bluff Park trail system and then return using a combination of trails and roads to make a nice circular trip out of it. My typical travel time will be 2.5 hours.
The trail starts near the head of Whaler's Bay. There is a lack of parking near this trailhead so those of you from other parts of the island should plan to park in the vicinity of the Sturdies Bay Ferry terminal. Hike along Sturdies Bay road past the end of Whaler Bay. You will shortly notice a prominent Trailhead sign on the left side (South) of the road announcing the “Sturdies Bay Trail”.
Shortly after you enter the Sturdies Bay Trail you will notice a trail to the left that is signposted “Bluffs Park”. Take this branch and enjoy the scenery for about 10 minutes, but watch carefully for the Warbler Road/Bluffs Park junction. It is easy to miss the turn to the right to Bluff Park and end up on Warbler Road.
it is harder to go astray. Shortly after you enter Bluff Park I
would recommend taking the fork to the left along what I call
the “Bluffs Park East Trail” through some magnificent forest,
mostly along an ancient logging road. It eventually merges with
what I call the “Bluffs Park West Trail” and turns left towards
the Bluff Park road and the lookout. Examine the intersection
with the east trail as it is possible to miss this junction if
you decide to return the same way.
Shortly thereafter the trail exits onto Bluff Park Road. Follow the road uphill a short distance to the car turnaround. In the turnaround the trail to the left leads up to the Bluffs Park lookout.
Return the same way or consider returning on
a different route making use of the road system (these roads are
nowhere near as busy as the main Sturdies Bay Road). I enjoy a
variety of routes using combinations of Bluff Road, Warbler Road
and Winstanley/Shopland Drive to Burrill Road. The return trip
marked on the map uses Warbler Road South, a short trail to
Winstanley Road, then down to Burril Road and back. Sometimes I
go to Matthews Beach but adding that side trip requires quite a
bit of extra time.