The kids formed a great friendship that week!
HORNBY ISLAND. Words aren’t enough to describe this unique jewel in Coastal BC. Just a stones throw from the shores of eastern Vancouver Island, Hornby boasts some of the best outdoor recreation around.. all contained within a compact 30 square kilometres. Whether you’re visiting for the popular Tribune Bay, Helliwell Provincial Park, world class mountain biking, hiking or scuba diving.. Hornby offers something for everyone. This article details my three day ‘mountain’ biking excursion to Hornby this past June. I hope this provides as a helpful guide for anyone who’s been thinking of making a trip over.
…From the Ferry Terminal, it’s only a 15 minute bike ride to my campsite. On this journey, I chose to stay at BradsDadsLand. This is one of only two campsites on Hornby to choose from. The latter being Tribune Bay. BradsDadsLand is family oriented, has a fantastic view from the bluffs, and looks to the west so campers can watch the sunset. I’ve only camped here once before when I was very young, so there wasn’t much I remembered about it besides the great sunsets!
Once I checked in, setting up camp was quick & pain-free. I was fuelled with my excitement to get riding. Once my tent was setup and I lightened the load on my bike, it was a quick top-up of my water bottle.. it was go time. My first stop would be the Bike Shop at the Market Circle.
Geographically, Hornby is quite simple, it’s almost entirely circular with the exception of Tribune Bay, which cuts a slice out of the South Eastern half. BradsDadsLand is located on the western edge. Most of the services, shops & beaches are located on the eastern end of the Island. At only 14km across, most of Hornby can be accessed fairly easily. It’s worth noting the bike ride in takes only about 30-40 minutes at a leisurely pace, and there are plenty of trails to choose from to get into town. I took the most direct one that followed the main road in.. even for a multi-use trail… it was a fantastic ride!
….After several hours of adventuring, it was time to head back to camp. It was one of those very hot days, and staying a steady 34C + even by 5PM. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the beautiful views at BradsDadsLand campsite & having a fantastic conversation with the campsite managers. It’s worth noting this campsite is worth every penny. Those looking for a quiet, family friendly, full facilities campsite should look no further. Not only are the folks that run the campsite wonderful people, we spent a good portion of the evening chatting & talking about life, travel & great food! They even leant me a phone charger as I lost mine during the trip… who could ask for better hosts?
The beautiful bluffs overlooking the sunset.
The rest of the afternoon & early evening was spent lounging on the large, comfy wooden chairs that overlooked the bluffs at BradsDadsLand. Although still very hot, the Arbutus tree’s that dotted the bluffs provided just enough needed shade. I met a few visitors at the campsite (like myself) who were here for mountain biking. As today was my last full day, I ended up giving my Mountain Biking trail map to the managers at the campsite. I figured it was the least I could do to pass on something useful for the next mountain biking enthusiast who passes through….