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Rose Spit - where the Hecate Strait meets Dixon Entrance - Photo: Owen Perry

The rainforest experience - moss carpeted paths, a lingering scent of fresh cedar and the sounds of silence - Photo: Owen Perry

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Owen Perry


Oceanside Biking on Haida Gwaii

By Katie Allen


The sun was shining and the wind was low making it a perfect time to be riding up the coast of Graham Island. My friend Kathryn and I decided to bike the 45km from Queen Charlotte to Tlell to visit Kathryn's friend, Marie.

Photo: Haida Heritage Centre

Mind you, the weather on Haida Gwaii is always changing and completely unpredictable so it drizzled on us a few times, but nothing major. We started out from our place around 11am, then stopped at Jag’s Beanstalk in Skidegate for a couple hours. It’s hard to leave when the food is so delicious and the company is so pleasant. So then around 1pm we started our journey with our main target being the Crow’s Nest Cafe and Country Store in Tlell.

Photo: Katie Allen

But of course we were in no real rush to get there. We had a dinner date with Marie at 6pm so we had plenty of time. Many stops ensued including Jungle Beach which is the stop just after the Bear carving at the side of the road. It’s a nice stop with a bathroom and a wicked sweet tree carving to fully take in the view of the coast.

Photo: Katie Allen

From here we biked on further, chatting and singing along the way and just enjoying our time rather than really pushing it. There wasn’t much traffic and the roads are flat the whole way so it was easy to bike together.

Photo: Katie Allen

With no real perception of where anything was we just stopped wherever we felt like. Just past Lawn Hill was the famous St. Mary’s Spring where the legend says that whoever drinks the water will always return to Haida Gwaii. So of course we had to stop here and drink the water. But note this is not recommended and the water is unpotable!!

Photo: Katie Allen

And further we trekked on our bikes until we finally reached the Crow’s Nest Cafe! It felt like such an accomplishment even if it did take 3 hours (it can normally be done in 1.5 hours). Here we snacked and relaxed for a good hour until we were ready to bike down the road to Marie’s place.

Haida Gwaii Tourism

When we finally got to her cabin it felt like time had stopped and I was in a top 10 list of cool cabins in the woods. It was absolutely divine. This custom built cabin was actually insulated with sheep’s wool collected from local farmers on the mainland.

We cooked a beautiful dinner over the fire and spent most of the night relaxing, sharing stories and stretching out our sore muscles. Marie was a beautiful hostess and provided us with everything we could ever need for the night.

Photo: Katie Allen

After a wonderful evening we woke up in the morning to the sound of French music and hot mochas over the stove. I honestly don’t think there’s a better way to wake up in the morning. We slept in, relaxed and chatted our morning away before we set off to take the dogs for a walk and do some beach combing. 

Before we left Tlell we had to make a couple stops to the art shops in the area. First we went to the Sitka Studio then the Crystal Cabin. At the Sitka Studio they’ve got a backyard filled with animals and gardens and even a little hobbit house. Both studios were really neat and unique in their own ways.

Photo: Katie Allen

After we had parted ways with Marie and said our thank yous and goodbyes, we started biking the 45km home again. This time however, the winds were vicious and it was taking a lot longer than it needed to.

Along the way we passed a sign that said “Davis Rd”, so of course curiosity got the best of us and we took a quick stop down the road to see what was there. As we soon came to realize it was a driveway to someone’s property we noticed a friend's car at the other end. We waved at the window and before we knew it we had been invited inside to listen to the banjo, chat about crafting, and eat cookies. It was such a great afternoon listening to the local stories and making new friends! I know for certain we’ll be back again soon.

And finally we made the last trek home back to Queen Charlotte completely exhausted and fully accomplished. It had been another amazing weekend in Tlell with incredibly kind and generous people.


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