Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Please Note: During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin [PDF 79KB].
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Visitor Information
  • The final portion of the trail to the beach is very steep and slippery. Visitors should use caution and wear proper footwear.
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.

Sandwell Provincial Park

About This Park

Sandwell Provincial Park, with its long sandy beach and views of the Strait of Georgia, is a favourite destination for residents and visitors to Gabriola Island. One of three provincial parks on Gabriola Island, Sandwell offers a short walking trail through the woods leading to a picnic area overlooking the sandy shores of Lock Bay. This is a lovely place to spend a peaceful afternoon relaxing on the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the ocean waters.

At low tide, visitors can walk down the beach to view a prehistoric petroglyph carved into the sandstone rocks, east of the day-use area. This site is only accessible at low tide.

Park Size: 12 Hectares
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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. Sandwell Provincial Park is located on Gabriola Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo on south Vancouver Island. The park is located on Strand Road, approximately 10 km from the ferry terminal. Take North Road and turn left on Barrett Road, following park directional signs. Neary communities include Gabriola Island and Nanaimo.
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Nature and Culture

  • History/Conservation: Sandwell Park was established in 1988 to protect the archeological sites, including a petroglyph and shell middens, and their setting. The sandy beach ecosystem includes threatenedcommunities such as those found in the back dunes.
  • General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Cycling

Cycling

Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Fishing

Fishing

All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.

The park does not have a boat launch. The nearest boat launch is located at Silva Bay on Gabriola, approximately 5 km from the park.
Hiking

Hiking

An 800-meter walking trail leads from the parking lot to the day-use/picnic area on the beach at Lock Bay. The final portion of the trail to the beach is very steep and slippery. Visitors should use caution and wear proper footwear.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash and under control all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Pets/domestic animals are not allowed in beach areas.
Swimming

Swimming

There is no designated swimming area at this park however the sandy beach at Lock Bay is a nice spot for ocean swimming. There are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty at provincial parks.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

The beach offers lovely views of the Strait of Georgia.  A prehistoric petroglyph is located east along the beach from the picnic area and is accessible during low tide.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

A picnic area overlooking the sandy beach at Lock Bay is located approximately 800 metres from the parking lot. Facilities include 2 picnic tables, pit toilets and an information shelter.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park has 2 pit toilets, located at the day-use/picnic area next to the beach at Lock Bay.