I had a long list of Things I wanted to do on the Coast on our last family road trip earlier this month. Between Whale Watching and visits to the Cannery, I desperately wanted to show my toddler low tide. Having spent many summers visiting the Sunshine Coast, and exploring tidal pools, I knew this would be perfect for my curious and rambunctious toddler. The problem is, Prince Rupert is a deep port, meaning there isn’t a lot of options for beaches and exploring along the shores of Kaien Island.
With some help from the Tourism Information Desk, we found ourselves at Grassy Bay along the Butze Rapids Interpretive Trail bright and early in the morning. Knowing the Ocean beaches are best explored at low tide, we checked the tidal reports and ventured out as soon as the kids woke. I guess that’s the perk to early rising children.
I distinctly remember the lady at the desk telling me it was an easy trail from the parking lot to the water. We aren’t avid hikers, but we do get out and explore. Our pace is easy, but we are up for a Medium challenge. I asked if my toddler could handle the trail, and she mentioned her young kids did just fine. I asked if I could take my stroller, and she said it was a nice easy path.
It’s not an easy trail.
Yes, my stroller handled it just fine, but my toddler did not. He can handle a good 2km hike, but for some reason, he didn’t feel like hiking.
It’s hilly. Very hilly.
Despite the cool of the morning, we both found ourselves in a sweat pushing and carrying children up and down hills to get to the shoreline.
When we arrived at Grassy Bay, I immediately regretted my choice of footwear. My romantic notions of dry sandy beaches at low tide were crushed by the dewy reminder we were out before the sun. Sneakers were a soggy wet mistake, and I envied toddler gumboots!
Dear Husband was less than impressed with the prospects of clambering over the wet rocks and out onto the sand, but I finally talked him into it. This was why we were here.
There might not have been the tidal pools full of starfish and sand dollars, but there were birds, puddles, and shells to clamber around. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we needed to return the 3km hike up the hill with nearly 50lbs of the child before our Whale Watching Tour.
Butze Rapids Trail: Before You Go
- Hike Length: 5km round trip loop.
- Rating: Easy (but doesn’t feel that way with kids).
- Trail Peak Info.
- Shortcut: Park on the road near Tall Trees and skip a good 300 metres of steep up and down the gully. If you forget this tip, be cool like us and walk along the highway back to your car because it’ll take less than half the time than taking the trail.
- Wolves: It’s wolf territory so be careful with dogs and small children.
- Strollers: Yes, but pushing heavy kids up a hill is not my cup of tea. I much rather carry them on my back. There were a few tough roots.
- Butze Rapids: This is ideal for viewing with the changing of the tides.
- Cell Reception: available.
- Washrooms: Outhouses were available
- Information signs: starting to show signs of sun fading.