Rocky riverbank with mountain peaks in distance.
Sea kayaking: The M.V. Uchuck III, a former Second World War minesweeper, delivers kayakers 100 kilometres up the coast to destinations such as Friendly Cove, Escalante Point, Hot Springs Cove and a thousand other unnamed nooks or crannies.
Hiking: In addition to coastal options, there’s also hiking in and around Strathcona, where day trips on Crest Mountain and Mount Victoria are good warm-ups for a multi-day attempt at the Golden Hinde, Vancouver Island’s highest peak.
Kayaking: With the West Coast’s rain and steep gradient, it’s not surprising that the Gold River has more than 20 kilometres of class-II to -IV+ whitewater for much of the year.
Mountain biking: The 18 kilometres of trails in the Scout Lake area just outside town feature plenty of stunts, most notably the 45-foot gap jump that starts from a ramp 25 feet up a tree. In the words of its creator Rick Fawbert, “It could be fatal.” Work up to it by honing your skills in the bike park the town is building downtown.
The good news is, there’s not much in the way of fast food in Gold River. The bad news: There’s not much in the way of food, period. Still, for such a small community, Gold River covers all its bases when it comes to restaurant options. Pub? Check. Little coffee shop? Check. Take-out? Check. Global cuisine? Check. But don’t expect much in the way of nightlife, unless you count bustin’ a move at the local church concert. Gold River’s remoteness does seem to draw artists, and as a result, the village has a small but growing arts community.
Other factoids » Despite being named Rio del Oro by 18th-century Spanish explorers, no gold has been found in the area » was the first all-electric Canadian town and the first to have underground wiring » home to The Great Walk, “North America’s Toughest Walkathon,” a 63.5-kilometre trek along the logging road between Gold River and Tahsis