Local Bike Maps & Off-Highway Paved Route Options
Along the southern Sunshine Coast, Langdale to Earl's Cove, the highway follows the coast, rising steeply up to the interior mountains. So, alternate off-highway paved routes are limited. But there are a few options I've found over the years. And a few useful cycling maps.
Here's the sections you'll find below, with links should you want to jump straight into a section:
Marine Drive follows the seaside from the terminal at Langdale to the harbour and marina at Gibsons. This is an alternative to getting off the ferry and having to climb the big hill (though you'll still need to climb up later). Caution: no shoulders and heavy traffic when ferries arrive
The map below shows a number of useful route options around upper (highway) and lower (harbour) Gibsons. Click on the map or the section title above to go to the original map. It's dated 2014, and still titled a DRAFT, but you might get some good ideas. Note that the low road between Gibsons Landing (harbour & marina) and Langdale Terminal is labelled high traffic and no shoulder.
A few local off-highway options
The map below shows a few off-highway connectors I've taken off and on over the years along the south Sunshine Coast, mostly close to Gibsons and Langdale. These are all pretty short.
1. Marine Drive from Langdale terminal to lower Gibsons harbour. I usually take the highway, and thus the big hill off the ferry, but have taken this route several times. Note the map above highlights this Marine Drive stretch as high traffic volume and no shoulders, so it may be advisable to avoid when ferries are arriving. Note that even if you take this low route to the delightful harbour, you will still have a beast of a hill to climb to upper Gibsons.
2. Reed Road - this is about a 4km route, useful if you are heading north towards Sechelt and would appreciate avoiding the malls and traffic lights of Upper Gibsons. You can see closer detail on the map above as well: Reed Road branches west off North Road a few blocks before the highway route branches. Take the left/south on Henry a few kms along, then right on Russell to the highway.
3. Lower Road - I've not ridden this seaside route out past Roberts Creek. I saw it in the map above and it looks like a fine option (no doubt a little hillier than the direct route). Lower Road starts a few blocks west of where the Reed Road option (immediately above) comes down to the highway, so you could ride these 2 one after the other. It rejoins the highway near the provincial campground at Roberts Creek, in case you're looking for a place to camp.
4. Redroofs Road - around 7kms NW from Sechelt, you'll come to the foot of a serious hill up to Trout Lake, and then down to the wonderfully scenic village of Halfmoon Bay. Redroofs lets you avoid this hill, though Redroofs is a fairly up and down little route itself. It's also closer to the seaside, and pleasant riding. Just off the highway to the seaside in Halfmoon Bay, where you'll rejoin the highway, there's a general store and little coffee house/restaurant. Just north of Halfmoon Bay is a fav campsite at Smuggler Cove.
I was not able to find a decent cycling map around Sechelt. Maybe someone visiting the site can point me in the right direction? That said, let me share a few links that may be of interest to cyclists.
* Gibsons Trail & Cycle Network - This has been put out by the Town of Gibsons and seems to end very cleanly at what I assume are the town borders - which is not that useful for cyclie tourists passing through. That said, if you're spending any time in Gibsons, this maps highwlights a number of recommended routes.
* The Sunshine Coast Cycling Club has a website that's got parts still under construction, including this page for 'Popular Road Cycling Routes'. If they do finish this page, it seems like it would be well worth checking out
* Couldn't resist adding this link. A number of groups have come together to work on and advocate for the Sunshine Coast Coastal Bike Route. Here's a quote: "... vision is a designated bike-touring route linking the whole Sunshine Coast from Langdale to Earls Cove and on to Powell River that will draw cyclo-tourists to the Sunshine Coast, while also serving the needs of local cyclists..."