Quadding on “The Rock”
Not far from Powell River is Texada Island. It’s formed on a volcanic rock and limestone bed that was ground down during the ice age. With many visible outcroppings, it’s nickname is The Rock. Texada is 50 kilometres long, and has many forest service and logging roads. That makes it perfect for exploring by ATV.
We left Powell River on the BC Ferries North Island Princess. She runs multiple times daily. Crossing takes about 35 minutes and it’s a beautiful ride with views up and down the Straight of Georgia, Vancouver Island and occasional porpoise and whale sightings.
The population and several active quarries cluster on the northern half of the island. The southern end is open land that has been logged periodically. That’s where we headed. On the way through Gillies Bay, we stopped at the Ravenous Raven Lodge and Restaurant for dinner. It was an excellent way to start off a weekend getaway.
At the end of paved Shelter Bay Road we turned right onto dirt surfaced Bell Road. Main dirt roads are in good shape with occasional potholes. Standard vehicles would have no trouble, but farther south 4X4 is necessary. Many of the spur roads require an ATV, off-road bike, horse, or human foot power.
At the junction of the forest service road we wanted there was a sign leading the way to Anderson Bay at the south end of the road. There’s an old gravel pit past Second Lake, other wide spots along the road, or the recreation site at Bob’s Lake remote no service camping.
With full tummies, we set up camp and relaxed as the sun set behind the tall pines and firs. The next morning we offloaded our bikes and set out to explore.
A map from Powell River Tourism gave us the big picture. We continued south on the forest service road towards Anderson Bay. Until the final decent, it was fairly wide and rolling. I made it about half way down before I slowed my quad to a crawl. Wayne is a more advanced rider so he pressed on ahead.
We worked our way back to Bob’s Lake for a lunch break at a picnic table. No one was camping on such a nice summer weekend. In fact, over the 24-hour period we were camping and riding we only saw four vehicles and no other quad riders.
There are two main forest service branch roads heading south, Bell Road and Thompson Road. In between there are many old logging roads and a gas pipeline service route available to explore. We used the pipeline route just south of our campsite and joined a logging road that took us through some older growth trees to the east side of the mid-island ridge with ocean views across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island.
We connected with Thompson Road, headed south and reconnected with Bell Road. With impending showers cutting our camping short, we loaded our bikes, packed up and headed back to the ferry terminal at Blubber Bay. Named for its whaling history, it’s now home to an Ash Grove Cement Company transfer site.
After putting our quads away, we headed to the Costal del Sol in Powell River for some upscale Mexican food while the thunderstorms gathered and the rain began.
Here are some links for more information about Texada:
- Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Society
- Texada Island Wikipedia
- Texada Island Geology
- Texada Island Maps
- Texada Island Recreation Sites and Trails
- Texada Island Events
- Texada Island Accommodations
- Ravenous Raven Lodge and Restaurant
- BC Ferries
I invite you to visit Texada Island, whether or not you come to ride The Rock. It has beaches, forests and anchorages galore. It’s a place for quiet reflection, or active enjoyment — something for everyone.
Latest posts by Margy Lutz (see all)
- Learn a little bit about the logging industry in Powell River - November 18, 2016
- Quadding on “The Rock” - July 19, 2016
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