Onward Point Trail
This short trail features second growth forest and a look-out point with a gazebo on sedimentary rock. Occasionally, grey whales and other marine mammals can be spoted from shore.
This hike is also listed on the Guide to Recreation sites and trails of Haida Gwaii
This is not a strenuous hike; however, it is a good idea to wear appropriate footwear and clothing.
The trailhead is located approximately halfway between the Alliford Bay ferry landing and the community of Sandspit (about 6kms from both locations). There is a small parking lot and an outhouse where the trailhead starts. There is also a wooden sign at the trailhead.
The trail loop is only approximately 2 kms long, but in order to really enjoy the trail allow yourself to walk it over the course of an hour. At the halfway point there is a gazebo, where there is a fork in the trail. Going around the gazebo and down the trail, you can walk along the sedimentary rock, where you can find a few fossils and interesting rock formations. This is a good place to watch for Grey whales during their migrating season (late May – mid July). You may also see some harbor porpoises, loons, eagles, shorebirds, and harbor seals.
From the gazebo, you are looking west into Skidegate Inlet and the community across the water, on Graham Island, is Skidegate.
On the East side, you will have views of Sandspit, and the Hecate Strait.
You will see that there are 2 very different types of forests along the hike. The East side of the point has been logged and has grown back to become an open forest of mainly spruce and hemlock, all of fairly similar size and age. The ground is mainly covered in moss and wood debris. The West side of the point however is an older forest and trees have different sizes and there is more variety in the type of trees, with predominantly western red cedar. The ground is mostly covered in sword fern.
Near the gazebo, there are some berry bushes that flourish during the early parts of summer. You will see salmonberry bushes, salal, huckleberries and thimbleberries – the thimbleberries usually ripen in early August.
There are different types of flowers that can be spotted during late June that are found near the middle of the trail. Some of these flowers include chocolate lilies, single delights and western coralroots. In the late summer and fall, you might find a variety of fungus along the trail, including the famous chanterelles, that are commercially picked on the Islands.