Smuggler Cove Cruise


Sunshine Coast · shíshálh Nation

Distance / Elevation

113 km / 1841 m


Pavement, Gravel, Singletrack


2 Days

What was supposed to be a trip all the way up to the Sunshine Coast and over to Vancouver Island turned into a shorter, ultra-chill trip up to Smuggler Cove, a real gem of the Sunshine Coast. We planned to spend two nights in this little bit of paradise, which was not typical for us. Usually we’d spend a night somewhere and then carry on to another camp spot the following day. We loaded our bikes, stocked up on some homemade banana bread (and lots of peanut butter) and set off to the Horseshoe Bay where we’d catch the ferry to Langdale.

Our trip was unexpectedly shortened a few days before we headed out to the Sunshine Coast. What was going to be a trip all the way up to coast and over to Vancouver island turned into a 45 km trip up to Smuggler Cove and staying (shockingly) in the same place for two nights. Something we haven’t done unless we’re on the road for over a month. We loaded our bikes stocked with some fresh homemade banana bread and lots of peanut butter and set out for the bus to horseshoe bay ferry and onwards to Langdale.

Although the Sunshine Coast is beautiful, most of the ride over to Smuggler Cove I couldn’t help thinking how excited I was to get there so we could get off the road and out of the traffic. We opted to add a few more kilometers to the route to get off the highway and ride on the Red Roofs rd. a far more scenic route with slightly less cars, or at least slower moving ones.

Still early in the day we spotted a sign for the Halfmoon Bay general store and cafe which we grew maybe too familiar with over the two days we were in the area. After fuelling up on some ice cream and water we finished the last few kilometers of the route and were of so excited when we got to the park entrance and found we were able to ride 99% of the trail into park which involved numerous boardwalks over the bog.

We found a nice camp spot tucked away in the wood and set out to hike around and have a snack of cheese, crackers and salami in a sunny flower filled patch of grass. When we came back to camp we met two tourers from Bend Oregon with one of their fathers helping carry their luggage on his motorbike. After sharing stories of our travels we spent the rest of the day soaking up the sun we were waiting for all day and finding nicer and nicer spots where we could make dinner. Dinner was spent watching sailboats anchor for a night in the cove as the sun went down.

The next morning we were happy to leave our camp set up and find another spot by the water to enjoy our coffee and breakfast. Afterward we headed back to the cafe to fill our water and fuel up on pizza, chips and coffee. The second part of the day made us really appreciate being able to explore on our bikes (unloaded ones at that!). A long haul up a continually rougher logging road led to epic views of Vancouver Island and an awesome flowing ride down one of the many mountain biking trails in the area. Me on 700 x 28 tires the ride was slow but I was happy with what I could do on it. Half way down we came across a beautiful waterfall where we snapped quite a few photos before continuing down.

That evening we were exhausted but couldn’t help exploring more of the trails at Smuggler Cove before settling into our new favorite spot to watch the sunset and make dinner. The morning was spent in the same spot sipping coffee after packing up our site.

After making one more trip to the cafe we took off down the highway (the route we didn’t take on the way there). At the top of the big climb Geoff decided to take some mountain biking trails down and although I enjoyed the trails the day before I was skeptical with two large panniers. I think we were both happy with our choices (although I am looking forward to getting some fatter tires on my bike). I got to spend an extra hour on the beach while Geoff made his way down all the trails.

The rest of the ride back was fast and included a much anticipated stop at persephone’s brewery for some beer and pizza on the beautiful patio. I feel so fortunate to be able to plan these little trips on a whim and leave on our bikes from our front door.

5 Responses

  1. Love your site… would you do a story about what you pack on these weekend adventures? I am going to get my Specialized Diverge set up for some overnighters this Spring/SUmmer

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