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Háthayim Marine Park [a.k.a. Von Donop Marine Park]
About This Park
With its long, narrow sheltered inlet, Háthayim Marine Provincial Park in the Discovery Islands is a popular anchorage for recreational boaters. Located on the northwestern tip of Cortes Island, the inlet can be entered from northern Sutil Channel.
This undeveloped marine wilderness park encompasses lakes, estuaries, a saltwater lagoon and the old-growth forest Coast-Salish First nations call “Háthayim”. Wilderness camping is permitted and the area is popular with cruising boats seeking remote tranquility in this beautiful area. The park features a number of secure anchorages providing protection from the elements. Von Donop Inlet is located at the southern terminus of the scenic Inside Passage. This mostly sheltered route has been popular with boaters for thousands of years. Today, yachts and kayaks have replaced hand trollers and dugout canoes as the methods of travel through the western route of Discovery Channel, where Ripple Rock made passage sometimes treacherous, or through the eastern approach through Yuculta Rapids.
Opportunities for wildlife viewing, camping, hiking and exploration exist in this rugged park, which features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords and tidal flats within its boundaries.
Know Before You Go
- Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) may be present from May through August. Please check with the Department of Fisheries in Campbell River for recent information on harvesting and PSP regulations.
- Bring your own drinking water as potable water is not available in the park.
- This park does not have a boat launch. The nearest launch is located at Whaletown, approximately 15 km south of the park. On Quadra Island, a boat launch is located at Heriot Bay.
Háthayim Marine Provincial Park is located at the northwest tip of Cortes Island, east of Campbell River on central Vancouver Island. Access to the park is by boat only, via Sutil Channel. Boaters can reference marine chart #3538 for more information on this area. Nearby communties inlcude: Cortes Island, Quadra Island, Squirrel Cove, Whaletown, Campbell River.
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: Háthayim was named Von Donop Inlet by Captain Daniel Pender of the Royal Navy, who conducted extensive hydrographic surveys in the area from 1860 until 1879. The name commemorates Victor Edward John Breton Von Donop, RN. Von Donop, a midshipman, arrived aboard HMS Charybis at Esquimalt in 1862. Charybis, a ship of 21 guns, had been dispatched to Canada from China at the time of the American Civil War when it seemed possible that hostilities might break out between Great Britain and the United States. Since it was first surveyed, this quiet inlet has contributed to the economy of British Columbia. Evidence of past logging and settlement is inconspicuous, as much of the area is being reclaimed by nature.
- Conservation: Lush forests of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar with scattered patches of Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine, big-leaf maple and red alder that characterize the southern British Columbia coast are well represented around Von Donop Inlet. The old-growth forest between the inlet and Robertson/Wiley Lakes and the mature second-growth forest along the outlet of Robertson Lake are part of the area’s mosaic. Undergrowth, in the form of red huckleberry, salal, Oregon grape and other shrubs and shade-tolerant ferns and flowering plants contributes to this forest’s natural diversity.
- Wildlife: The park is home to Flying squirrels and Douglas squirrels, as well as river otter and mink. Harbour seals are often seen in the inlet, and during the winter months, Steller’s and California sea lions are present. Killer whales occasionally pass through Sutil Channel, but rarely enter the inlet. Háthayim contains excellent shellfish, including butter clams and littleneck clams. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) may be present from May through August. Please check with the Department of Fisheries inCampbell River for recent information on harvesting and PSP regulations. Other forms of sea life present include jellyfish, sea sponges, cucumbers, octopus and turnicates. Nearby waters are noted for salmon and rockfish. Seabird populations increase during the winter months in the park. During spring and summer, visitors can hear the calls of varied thrush and Swainson’s thrush, a variety of flycatchers as well as yellow-rumped townsend’s and black-throated grey warblers. Bald eagles are often seen soaring above the inlet.
Activities Available at this Park
The sheltered waters in this park offer good canoeing and kayaking opportunities.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
This park offers opportunities for ocean fishing. Fishing is permitted as per provincial and federal fishing regulations. All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
There are no designated trails at this park however a rough route does exist from the bay to Squirrel Cove, outside of the park (approximately 5 km).
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash and under control at all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.
There is no designated swimming area at this park however there are opportunities for ocean swimming. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Facilities Available at this Park
While small fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. If you do have a fire, please utilize previously constructed fire rings and use small pieces of wood that will burn completely. If you can't find a previously used site, try to construct your fire rings below the high tide mark. Never leave your fire unattended and practice “Leave No Trace” camping ethics.
Pit or Flush Toilets
One pit toilet is located at the far end of the bay.
There are no designated campsites at this park, however random wilderness camping is allowed. No facilities are provided. This park is accessible year-round; there is no winter camping fee. Please practice “Leave No Trace” camping ethics.