Portland Island

Arbutus trees and anchored boats at Princess Bay, Portland Island
Arbutus trees and anchored boats at Princess Bay, Portland Island

With its cliffs, protected coves and sandy beaches, Portland Island’s 575 hectares can be explored through the over 10 kilometres of walking trails that run through the island and along the circumference of the island.

There is a lot of vegetation and wildlife to see, yellow-flowering cacti, arbutus and Garry oaks, mink, river otters, bald eagles and many more. The underbrush is sparse due to grazing from feral sheep (which were removed in 1980) and the island’s indigenous blacktail deer although this is changing quickly.

Portland Island Anchorages
Portland Island Photo Gallery
Portland Island Aerial Photographs

Portland’s history can also be seen in the fruit trees, roses and garden plants and shell midden beaches throughout the island. The island was the site of a First Nations’ village. Hawaiian immigrants who settled on the island in the 1880s also farmed there.

The island was given to Princess Margaret in 1958 to commemorate her visit to BC. The island was named after her when she returned the island to BC as a park in 1967.

Getting to Portland Island:

Access is by boat or kayak. The island is located between Salt Spring Island and Sidney on Vancouver Island.


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