If a luxury fishing charter is on your bucket list for a while, you’ve no doubt taken a look at the many fishing lodges that British Columbia has to offer. But while each is unique and will no doubt help you reel in a catch or two, there’s something special about British Columbia fishing lodges situated on Malcolm Island.
If you’ve ever visited Sointula Lodge in the past, you know that arriving at the picturesque resort is an experience all it’s own. Located on 38 acres, our historic Lodge, with its herd of alpaca, wild deer, and wooded setting, feels like it’s a world away from Vancouver Island or wherever else you traveled to it from.
Malcolm Island is actually home to more than just Sointula Lodge. The island has its own rich history, not to mention incredible scenery that rivals that you’ll find at any other British Columbia fishing lodges.
Whether you’re planning your first visit or coming back to see us again, keep reading to learn a little more about this unique and beautiful island.
The Island is Small and Quaint
With 38 acres to stretch out on, it’s easy to forget that you’re actually on an island. But not only is Malcolm Island, well, an island, it’s also pretty small. It is around 15 miles or 24 kilometers long. At it’s narrowest point, it’s just 3 kilometers, or less than 2 miles, wide.
While hundreds of tourists flock to the island every year, it’s home to less than 700 residents. Most of the visitors, as well as some of the residents, come to the island during the warmer summer months. But many of the 680 or so residents stay year-round, enjoying the winter months of quiet and peace on their beautiful island.
The Island Was Founded By Finnish Immigrants
In the first few years of the 20th century, a group of immigrants from Finland went in search of an idyllic location to build their own community. They dreamed of escaping the coal mine towns of nearby Vancouver Island, with their plumes of smoke and busy, crowded lifestyles of that time. The group found exactly the escape they were dreaming of in the picturesque Malcolm Island.
The Finnish Immigrants established a town on the water, naming it Sointula, which means “a place of harmony.” At its peak, the town was home to almost 2,000 settlers. Unfortunately, the utopian community would last less than a decade. By 1904, the colony disbanded.
But the town’s name, as well as the Finnish influence on the area, remains. Many residents continue to speak Finnish, and as you wander through Sointula, you might notice signs written in both English and the early settlers’ native tongue.
Visiting Sointula and the Rest of Malcolm Island
Malcolm Island is home to more than just some of the best British Columbia fishing lodges.
If you have time before or after your visit to Sointula Lodge, you might choose to visit the island’s seaport. Sointula, while small, offers plenty of attractions of its own, and is a great hub for exploring more of the island’s remote beauty.
The Sointula Co-op Store, founded in 1909, remains open today and is the oldest continuously running co-op store in all of Canada. Another highlight of the town is the Sointula Museum. Despite the town’s small size, the museum offers a deep history of the island, including artifacts left behind by early pioneers and even a coffee grinder used by the co-op store during the 1930s. Local volunteers run the museum and are great resources for learning about the history of the island and its unique culture.
If you want to explore more of the island up close and personal, stop by the Sointula Resource Center to borrow a bicycle, free of charge. Kaleva Road is popular among cyclists and follows the island’s southern shoreline. You’ll pass farms and quaint cottages with tidy gardens.
On the north shore of the island is Bere Point Regional Park. Here you’ll find the island’s only public campground, as well as picnic areas for day use and a boat launch. The Beautiful Bay Trail begins in the park as well. The popular trail is the closest access point to the famous orca rubbing beach, where passing orcas are known to come close to shore to rub against the pebbles.
Planning Your Next Visit to Sointula Lodge
Travel to British Columbia fishing lodges, as well as many other destinations around the world, came to a grinding halt early in 2020. This has meant two quiet summers for the residents of Malcolm Island, and for Sointula Lodge. For the safety of our guests and staff, we suspended tours for the 2020 and 2021 season. However, we’re excited and ready to welcome back guests in the summer of 2022!
Whether all that time at home has you longing for an adventure, you’re looking for a safe, private vacation alternative to crowded tourist destinations, or you’re just dreaming of casting a line or catching sight of a whale, Sointula Lodge is waiting for you. Book your 2022 fishing adventure or wilderness tour today to guarantee your spot and start planning the ultimate getaway on beautiful Malcolm Island.