Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact This park proudly operated by:
R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
E-mail address: office@rlcparks.ca
Phone: (250) 474-1336

Click here to view R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd’s Webpage, for more information.

Helliwell Provincial Park

  • cliffsCliff hazards exist adjacent to hiking trails throughout the park. For your own safety and for the conservation of delicate ecosystems; please stay on marked trails and stay well back from cliff edges.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the park.

About This Park

Helliwell Provincial Park Helliwell Provincial Park sits on a rocky headland forested with a beautiful stand of old-growth Douglas fir. Located on St. John’s Point on Hornby Island, the park was a gift to the people of British Columbia from John Helliwell. The stunning Helliwell bluffs guard the northern entrance to Tribune Bay.

Spectacular views of marine life, the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains can be had from any point along the bluffs. As you explore the park’s meandering hiking and walking trails, you will find weather-beaten old-growth Douglas firs and gnarled Garry oaks, as well as flora and fauna which may seem more at home in a desert than in a Northwest rainforest. The best times to visit are in late April and early May, when colourful wildflowers carpet the hillside along the cliffs. Please stay on designated trails to protect these fragile areas.

A recent addition to Helliwell Park is Flora Islet, which sits off the end of St. John’s Point. Flora Islet was designated as part of the park through the Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy and is one of only two locations in the world where divers can see the rare Six-gill shark. This primitive, deep-sea shark ascends from great depths to the relative shallows around Flora Islet, attracting scuba divers and marine biologists from around the world.

Park Size: 2,872 hectares

Special Notes:
  • Helliwell Bluffs are a fragile ecosystem – please stay on trails and do not cross the roped off areas that are being allowed to naturally revegetate.
  • The area into Lambert Channel is part of Helliwell Provincial Park. In 1997, the park was expanded to include Flora Islet, which was acquired as part of the Pacific Heritage Marine Legacy, and a large marine area. This area is managed as a marine protected area and has the following commercial fishery closures: anchovy, surf perch, pile perch, sea cucumber, octopus, scallop, squid, red urchin, Pacific oyster and green urchin. Local divers have implemented a voluntary closure on all marine life. All parks visitors are encouraged to comply with the voluntary closure.
Stay Safe:
  • Helliwell Bluffs are high cliffs; please be careful and stay well back from the edge. The high bluffs also make the park unsuitable for fishing.
  • Bring your own drinking water as potable water is not available in the park.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Helliwell Provincial Park is located on Hornby Island, two short ferry rides from Vancouver Island. To reach Hornby Island take the Denman Island Ferry from Buckley Bay, off Hwy #19a. From Hwy #19, take the Buckley Bay exit #101. Once on the island, follow Denman Road to the Hornby Island Ferry terminal. Another 10 minute ferry ride will put you on Hornby Island; from there follow the main road to the Hornby Island CO-OP then turn left following Central Road to St. John’s Point Road to the park. Nearby communities include: Hornby Island, Denman Island, Buckley Bay, Fanny Bay, Courtenay, Comox Valley.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • History: Helliwell was donated by John Helliwell and established as a park in 1966.
  • Conservation/Wildlife: The primary role of Helliwell Park is to protect rare and endangered terrestrial ecosystem elements, including old-growth Douglas fir and Garry oak meadows, and representative examples of marine ecosystems. The park contains sea bluffs and a rich intertidal zone. Helliwell Park is also an Important Bird Area that serves to identify and conserve a global network of bird habitat areas. It supports significant concentrations of birds that congregate in large numbers such as pelagic cormorants, surf or white winged scoters, glaucous winged gulls, long-tailed ducks, buffleheads, Barrows and common goldeneye and common mergansers. The park is nationally significant for the habitat of one of the last known populations of the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. A number of other endangered plants and animals can be found in the park, which is also home to the rare Six-gill shark.Many sea birds and marine mammals can be seen from the trail along the bluff in the park.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Kayaks and canoes can be launched along the beach for paddling around the bluffs.
Cycling

Cycling

Cycling is permitted on roadways only. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Hiking

Hiking

Helliwell Park features a 5 km loop trail leading along the Helliwell Bluffs and around through the magnificent mature Douglas fir and Garry oak forest. This trail affords magnificent views of Georgia Strait and the Coast Mountains.

Please stay on trails and do not cross the roped-off areas, which are being allowed to revegetate naturally. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times. You are responsible for their behaviour, and must pack out and dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Jacques Cousteau rated the waters in this area as the second best cold water diving destination in the world. The clear waters provide a high level of visibility and slight fluctuations in water temperature contribute to a comfortable dive. Flora Islet is one of only two locations in the world where divers can see the rare Six-gill shark. This primitive, deep-sea shark ascends from great depths to the relative shallows around Flora Islet, attracting divers and marine biologists from around the world. Dive shops are located on Hornby Island, and in Union Bay and Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

A magnificent panorama of Georgia Strait and the Coast Mountains can be viewed from the bluffs. Seals, sea lions, Bald eagles, sea and shore birds can all be observed at this park.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

There are no designated picnic facilities at this park however benches are located at various spots along the trail. Pit toilets are also located along the trail and at the parking lot. An information shelter and bike racks can be found at the parking lot.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

There are four pit toilets at this park – three along the trail and one at the parking lot.