|Vancouver Island Nature Viewing Region|
|Discovery Islands Area|
|Kw'as Park, Cortes Island|
|Gunflint Lake: photo by Krista Kaptein||"Inca Ruins": photo by Krista Kaptein|
|Cortes Island requires two ferry rides from Vancouver Island to access, but the rewards are remote wilderness scenery and wildlife viewing, with opportunities for beach exploring, hiking, and shellfish harvesting. Located in the south central part of the Island, Kw'as Park is an easily accessed, ecologically diverse park that includes wetlands, rocky bluffs, old-growth and second growth forest around the two largest lakes on the Island.|
|Geographical Description||Forested area between Hague and Gunflint Lakes on Cortes Island.|
|Ecosection||Strait of Georgia|
|Area/ Trail Length||70 ha. park; 12 km network of trails. Moderate hiking, some hills.|
|Seasons to Visit||Year round.|
|Habitat||Old-growth Douglas-fir forest, mature second-growth forest, high open bluffs, lakes.|
|Viewing Highlights||Variety of habitats featuring large Douglas-fir; spruce, redcedar, alder, pine, arbutus & manzanita. |
Beaver lodge near south entrance; numerous Red Squirrrels. Wolves are possible in the park.
Coastal Cutthroat Trout landlocked in Hague & Gunflint Lakes.
Rock bluffs & interesting formations including 'Inca Ruins'.
|Other Features||Historical remnants of logging including remains of a steam donkey.|
|Main Access||From Vancouver Island, Cortes Island is reached by ferry from Campbell River to Quadra Island, then by another ferry from Quadra to Cortes. Once on Cortes Island, the main trailhead is across from Cortes Motel on Seaford Road leading to Manson's Landing.|
|Secondary Accesses||Parking area off Kw'as Bay Road.|
|Cautions||Trails may not be safe during high winds.|
Be aware that wolves live on Cortes Island - keep dogs on leash or leave at home.
|Jurisdiction||Strathcona Regional District Park.|
|Regulations||No biking in the park. No fires allowed at any time. Keep dogs on leash.|
|Facilities||Limited roadside parking. Occasional benches; maps & interpretive signage; bridge between lakes.|
|Other Recreational Activities||Swimming, canoeing.|
|Other Connections||Mansons Landing Provincial Park nearby.|
|History||The area was once owned by the Manson's, pioneer homesteaders on Cortes Island. A local resident worked to create a wilderness recreation park resulting in the current Regional District Park status.|
|Links||Strathcona Regional District Parks|
|Kw'as Park Map|
|Friends of Cortes Island|
|Cortes Island Trail Map|
|Wolf Safety Guidelines|
|Manson Century Farm|
|© 2013 BC Nature|