Naikoon (Agate Beach and Misty Meadows) Provincial Park

Hiking

  • There are many trails to explore in Naikoon. It is recommended that you hike from south to north to avoid prevailing winds, driving rain or sun in your eyes. The direction of prevailing wind is southeast (a constant of 30 km/hr is not uncommon). Travelling south to north creates a possibility of walking out on the numerous “finger sandbars” which project northward, paralleling the shoreline. Created by currents, they do not connect at their northern tip; this will mean retracing your steps. These same currents are also forming Rose Spit.
  • The major river crossings – the Mayer, the Cape Ball and the Oeanda, can all be easily waded across their mouths at low tide. Be sure to leave the Cape Ball River on a receding tide as the sea floods to the base of the cliffs along this section.
  • Camping is not feasible between Cape Ball and the next 16 km north. Pass this area on a receding tide only. A high tide may trap travellers between the cliffs and the ocean. This is an extremely dangerous position to be in and should be avoided as no adequate escape routes exist.
  • Water is undrinkable north of Fife Point, bring your own drinking water.
  • The best places for bird watching include: Rose Spit, the Tlell beach and the meadows near the Park headquarters.
  • The most interesting beach and dune plant communities are at Rose Spit, Tlell and north of the Oeanda River mouth.
  • There are a number of private property owners and environmentally sensitive areas adjacent to the beaches. Please respect them and always avoid travelling through the dunes.
  • To get the most out of Naikoon park, take binoculars and a camera. Read up on the natural and human history of these islands before you set out to gain some in-depth knowledge of the country you travel through. It will serve only to enhance your experience.
  • The best bogs to explore in Naikoon park are behind the spruce-salal vegetation strip inland from the Agate beach campsite. On the hike, watch for the Blue Danube swamp. The most interesting and dune plant communities are at Rose Spit, Tlell and north of the Oeanda River mouth.

The Route

The major river crossings – the Mayer, the Cape Ball and the Oeanda, can all be easily waded across their mouths at low tide.

Be sure to leave the Cape Ball River on a receding tide as the sea floods to the base of the cliffs along this section.

The entire distance from Cape Fife trailhead to Tow Hill across the base of the Rose Point is approximately 23 kilometres. It is possible to take the Cape Fife trail to Two Hill, cutting 13 kilometres. This trail also provides the option to make a two day circle route originating from Tow Hill. This alternate route allows visitors with limited time to experience the highlights of the beach hike, as many find the longer walk scenically repetitious.

Should you choose to hike from Tlell, begin your journey from the Tlell River day use hiking trail (described below).

Tlell (South End of Naikoon)
  • Pesuta Shipwreck Trail:
    This trail begins at Tlell River day use site just north of the Tlell River Bridge. It winds through a forest setting and then follows the riverbank of the Tlell River to the river mouth and East Beach. The remnant bow of the log barge “Pesuta”, which was beached in December 1928, is all that remains of this 264 foot log carrier. Best to approach this hike on a low or receding tide to avoid walking the riverbank during high water.
  • East Beach Hiking:
    Safety is your personal responsibility. It is recommended that hikers inform a responsible person or agency of their hiking plan, including departure and return times and dates. There are 3 rustic shelters along East Beach. These are intended to provide extra cover in the event of extreme weather. The shelters are located off the beach in the protection of the dunes. Be watchful of the orange signs posted high to indicate
  • Tlell to Cape Fife/Rose Spit:
    This is a long and demanding wilderness, multi-day hike requiring sufficient preparation and supplies.
    Tlell to Tow Hill via the Cape Fife Trail – 78km
    Tlell to Tow Hill via the base of Rose Spit – 89km
    Tlell Bridge to Tlell River outfall – 4.5 km
    Tlell River outfall to Mayer River outfall – 4.5 km
    Mayer River outfall to Cap Ball River – 6km
    Cape Ball River to Oeanda River – 36.5 km
    Oeanda River to Cape Fife trailhead – 17 km
  • Tlell to Cape Ball:
    A shorter hike along East Beach, Cape Ball can be reached within 4-6 hours from the Tlell River day use site. Follow the hike to the Pesuta shipwreck and continue northwards up
Tow Hill (North End of Naikoon)
  • Tow Hill Loop Trail:
    This trail starts at the Tow Hill day use parking lot and follows the west bank of the Hiellen River. A sign at the junction will guide you up the boardwalk for the 15 minute hike to two viewing platforms. One platform provides a spectacular view of South Beach, Yakan Point and the interior bogs. Halfway along this trail you will come to a junction directing you to the blowhole which is at the base of Tow hill – another 15 minutes and you’re on the rocky shoreline. Total loop distance is approximately 2km.
  • Cape Fife:
    Starts just past Tow Hill day use parking lot and the Hiellen River. Signs will guide you to the trail head. The trail crosses the Argonaut Plain and spectacular bog environments. Some portions of the trail are boardwalk. 10km one way. The Cape Fife shelter is located at the end of the trail on East Beach.
  • Cape Fife Loop:
    A two/three day wilderness hike through costal forest, bogs and along sandy beaches to Rose Spit. Hike Cape Fife trail to East Beach shelter – then turn northwards along the beach to Rose Spit. Follow North Beach back to Tow Hill day use area. Approximately 35km return trip.

Camping

Pleasant camping locations include Misty Meadows campground, the Mayer River, Cape Ball River, Oeanda River and Agate Beach campsite east of Tow Hill. Three primitive log shelters are located near the Cape Ball and Oeanda Rivers and near Fife Point. The Cape Ball River and Oeanda River shelters are approximately 2 km south of the river mouth above the high tide line. The Fife Point shelter is located on the east beach side of the Cape Fife trailhead. All three shelter locations are marked with an orange sign posted on a tree above the beach zone. Please keep a watchful eye for the signs as you approach the Cape Ball and Oeanda Rivers and Fife Point, as they are not directly obvious from the beach zone.

Return to Naikoon (Agate Beach and Misty Meadows) Provincial Park