NTS Map:92G4. Cable Bay is a small bay opening onto Stewart Channel, a short distance from Duke Point and Gabriola Island. The bay is well named; numerous pieces of rusting steel cable from the areas log booming grounds days are scattered along the mucky shore. The sand stone rock formations along the bay and the views of the area make this short hike very interesting.
Although the trail ends at the Cable Bay bridge, there is a rough trail that follows the shoreline along Stewart Channel to Dodd Narrows. Heading past Dodd Narrows, you can take a steep downhill branch trail to a small cobble beach, or head up hill back towards the parking lot. The trail ends abruptly at a gravel road, where
you have the choice of heading left or right--the GPS track is the result of heading right, an easy walk with a 50 metre push through moderate brush to rejoin the trail heading back to the parking lot.
Heading back from the Cable Bay bridge to the parking lot on the main trail is a 4.2 kilometre hike. Heading past the bridge to Dodd's Narrows and beyond is 4.7 kilometres and will take about 2 hours.
At low tides, you can explore Cable Bay itself, and the walk along the sandstone banks towards Dodd's Narrows. The current
through Dodd's Narrows is strong, making it hazardous for swimming,
and impassable for canoes and kayaks when opposing the current. Consulting the tide tables will enable a short but rapid and thrilling ride through the rocky passage.
The signage on the Cable Bay trail is poor; just stay on the main trail at all intersections.
There is GPS data attached to this trail (see "download GPS"), which if loaded into your GPS can help you find route points.
Trans-Canada Highway to Cedar Road exit, south of Nanaimo. Follow Cedar Road until it turns into Harmac Road. Take Harmac Road to Holden Corso Road (sign indicates Cable Bay park at elevated crossing over Highway 19--Duke Point Highway). Holden Corso Road eventually turns into Barnes Road; turn left onto Nicola Road. The parking lot is at end of Nicola Road.
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Posted By: Empc
- Fri Dec 09 01:40:41 UTC 2016
Comment2016-the trail along the water is now well developed. Nice view of the tugs working in Nanaimo, pulling log booms around. Saw sea lions, seals, eagles and an otter.
Posted By: Rawkfan
- Mon Nov 09 03:42:20 UTC 2015
UpsideMild grades, plenty of wildlife, and a lovely coastal section with several spots to relax for a bite to eat or with a book. DownsideNone CommentHead to Joan Point Park as the tide is coming in and you are likely to see Harbour Seals playing in the currents. Very easy hike, 2 hrs is more than enough.
Posted By: Junglefishy
- Thu Aug 18 15:30:53 UTC 2005
UpsideIt's nice and quiet except the sounds of nature. Watching the boats make it up the Narrows was great. CommentGreat family trail
Posted By: Urban trekker
- Wed Oct 13 01:43:21 UTC 2004
UpsideA good little walk to stretch your legs after having been on the ferry. DownsideUphill climb returning to your car. CommentNanaimo Parks and Rec signs abound - shouldn't have any trouble finding your way. Would be a tougher bike ride because of the uphill return.
Posted By: toolbox
- Mon Nov 10 08:12:50 UTC 2003
UpsideA great place to see Sealions and Bald eagles. Also interesting shoreline for exploring. DownsideIf the wind blows the wrong way you will be smelling the nearby pulp mill CommentWell worth a trip.