Smugglers Cove Trail – Sunshine Coast

Smugglers Cove Trail – Sunshine Coast

Smugglers Cove Trail was the final short walk we did on our mini holiday in the Sunshine Coast. This is a super speedy walk that will take less than a couple of hours. It is really varied, beautiful and full of mushrooms. This walk isn’t one of the ones listed in the 105 hikes book; I found it on the Vancouver Trails website (which is another great website to find hikes near Vancouver).

The trail is really varied with the bog, the pretty forest as well as the coastal sections. If you are lucky you’ll get to see porpoises and bald eagles as well. We saw both!

Smugglers Cove Trail – the basics

Distance: 4 km (there and back)
Elevation gain
: Hardly any at all
Time:  1.5 hours (or less)
There is a ca park at the start with a toilet and a map board.
Great for doggos but they need to stay on a lead.
How hard is it?
Easy – Bring your granny and toddlers.  There were loads of young families exploring the trail while we were there.

Smugglers Cove Trail Map

Smugglers Cove Trail – the bog

After the first few minutes through the forest, the path arrives at a boggy area. While we were there the bog was very flooded, so it was more like a giant mirror, reflecting the surrounded forest.

You can see the lines on the trees where the water level has receded a little. It is a VERY wet boggy area.


The bogs are more like lakes at the moment. There must be some very enthusiastic beavers to flood this much of the forest.

Rainbows in the mud

The light was so low, that the sun lit up a layer of oil on the top of the bog, showing off multiple rainbows. I thought this might some kind of natural phenomenon, but apparently it is actually from all the boats that visit the cove. Now I know it is pollution, I feel bad for all the ducks swimming around on that layer of oil.

The forest was looking really beautiful with the sun shining through the trees. This was another walk that was full of mushrooms, even in the sunshine.

The path winds through the trees along next to the bog, and then every so often you are treated to pretty views out to the flooded trees, bog and reeds.

Near the end of the boardwalk, the water reflected the surrounding colours of the forest. I thought it looked a little monet-like. Isn’t it pretty?

Finding Fungi

We’ve had quite a few amazing mushroom walks since we attended the mushroom foraging tour near Vancouver. This was no exception. However, as I’ve already posted loads of mushroom piccies recently, I’ll just leave a few photos of the interesting fungi we found on this mini walk.

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Rocky Beach view

If you take a left turn halfway along the trail, the path will lead you to a pretty rocky beach. There are lovely views of Grant Island. We saw some kind of spashy aquatic animals from afar…possibly porpoises. This is such a nice spot to sit and relax. Fewer people bother with this side trail, so you’re likely to have it to yourself.

Smugglers Cove

We made it to Smugglers Cove! The waters are a lovely shade of greeny blue, and they are surrounded by moss and lichen-covered rocks. It is easy to imagine smugglers heading off from here to smuggle booze into America!

It’s a lovely spot!

There is even a pretty hut in the center of the cove. I wonder if it is still full of smuggleable goods?

Once you’ve had a look, you can walk around the headland in a loop, looking out to the surrounding islands and the Strait of Georgia.

Great for bird watching

We sat on the rocks for a while watching eagles and seagulls flyover us. I didn’t get many good photos, but it was a peaceful place to sit and watch the world go by.

We had to leave and rush back to take a ferry back to Vancouver. So, here is one last photo of the sun set along the sunshine coast.

I am a little bit in love with all the sunsets we saw along this beautiful coastline.

We really loved our hikes along the sunshine coast. None of them was particularly strenuous, but they were all pretty and great fun. If you’d like to see more, we explored:


30 thoughts on “Smugglers Cove Trail – Sunshine Coast

    1. Yay! My husband bought me a mushroom identification book for my birthday, so I might even learn what some of them are! 😉

        1. Yeah, that was a gift from last Christmas, but we didn’t manage to use it until this Autumn.

          Experience prezzies are the best!!

    1. Thanks Amelia!
      It was great for a quick stroll, but I think you could make a longer afternoon of it easily (especially if you bring a picnic!!)

  1. I just can’t get over the beauty (and the range of habitats) in your part of the world. I can be reading about a great snowshoeing adventure one day, and then a beautiful bog the next. Another wonderfully descriptive post with fantastic photos, Josy!

    1. Thanks Erin! I think it is just because of all the mountains…they really do make our walks varied. It’s a nice change to do these easy coastal walks after our recent mountain hikes!

  2. That boggy area looks way better than a bog should look! I love the poetry of reflection in the water, mostly of the woods. It makes me think of nymphs and dryads hovering around us unseen. Beautiful trail to be on and it has come alive for me with your nimble combination of photos and observations.
    And I do love the name of the trail, Smugglers Cove. Takes me back to an Enid Blyton-esque world.

    1. Yeah, I think Beavers know how to make a bog into more of a mini lake!! It made me think of nymphs and fairies too (especially when we found so many mushrooms again!)

      The smugglers name is because it used to be used by smuggers. Firstly to smuggle Chinese people into America, and then to smuggle booze to America!

      Still, the name makes me think of pirates.

        1. Have you ever seen a beaver? There is one that lives in Vancouver (it has its own twitter account…) but I have never managed to see him… I’d love to see one in real life!

          1. Gosh no. I believe if I saw one, I would be tempted to offer him a non-watery home. If he/she be a particularly imaginative one, he/she could build dams in the air then. 🙂 A beaver with his own twitter account…curiouser and curiouser. I have to look him up now!

  3. I know first hand how tough it is to get good shots of mushrooms, and I’m wicked impressed with your results! In fact, all of your shots are impressive – gorgeous captures, as always, Josy!

    1. Thanks Traci!!

      I guess ‘shrooms are almost always in shady places with very little light, so they can be hard to get good photos. I normally have to delete most of my pictures, so i only share the good’uns.

    1. Yeeees!! 😉

      BC is ridiculously pretty though. We thought it was funny that all the car number plates say “beautiful British Columbia” …until we started exploring more. I mean it IS beautiful, so I can sort of see why they boast on their number plates!

    1. Me too! I love reading about people’s holidays and wanders around the world. <3

      Can you be a tourist in your hometown? I love doing that too, that way, you don't need money to travel!!

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