Perhaps the most
interesting and perfectly sculptured limestone formation on the Gulf
Islands is located just south of the beach and picnic grounds at Gabriola
Sands Provincial Park on Gabriola Island.
sandstone ledge of the Malaspina Galleries
open, breezy location on Taylor and Pilot Bays is rather unique
on the islands, due to its manicured ambience. It's an easy 2-km
jaunt from the ferry dock at Descanso Bay to Gabriola Sands Park.
the beach at Taylor Bay to the must-see limestone formations, called
the Malaspina Galleries. The hooded galleries, carved out
of sandstone by natural elements, are 4 metres high and stretch
for about 100 metres from just around the southwest tip of Taylor
Bay along the rocky shoreline of the small park.
Exploration of the seaside formations is prohibited due to the deteriorating stability of the overhanging formations,
and concerns for public safety. Engineers have cautioned that the
distinctive landmark could soon start crumbling, as fissures have
appeared on the overhang. At low tide, visitors can still stand
on the foreshore at one end and look into the cavern, but the best
way to view the Malaspina Galleries is by kayak.
Gabriola Sands Provincial Park is an ideal location to stop for
a picnic or take a stroll along the beautiful sand beaches. The
park features two lovely sandy beaches and large manicured grassy
lawns. This small day-use only park is a very popular local destination
for swimming, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking. Designated salt
water swimming areas can be found at Taylor Bay and Pilot Bay. Camping
is not permitted in the park.
include 2 pit toilets (one on Taylor Bay beach and the other on
Pilot Bay beach), picnic tables, a child's play area, and drinking
water from a hand-operated pump in the middle of the day-use area
- water must be boiled.
Provincial Park is located on an isthmus dividing Taylor Bay and
Pilot Bay, on the northwest side of Gabriola Island in the Southern
Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Access to Gabriola Island is by
a 20-minute BC Ferry trip from Nanaimo on southern Vancouver Island
to Descanso Bay.
The park is situated off Taylor Bay Road, a short distance north
of the ferry terminal. From the ferry terminal on Gabriola, turn
left on Taylor Bay Road and follow until you see signs for Gabriola
Sands Provincial Park, located on DeCourcy Drive. The park is also
accessible by boat.