Sointula is a very special place. Sointula means "place of harmony" in Finnish. Early immigrants came from Finland looking for freedom, social justice and economic opportunity. The aim of the original Finnish settlers was to create a society where everyone was equal and everything was shared. Many people on Malcolm Island still try to uphold the vision of the early settlers. We have the oldest running cooperative store in British Columbia and the town is unincorporated. Much of the needs of the community are met through volunteer organizations. We have a rich history and a museum where you can visit and learn more about the dreams and experiences of the early settlers.
Malcolm Island seldom has bears or cougars. We can't say it never has them because sometimes they swim over from other places but they generally leave quickly. It is so lovely to be able to walk on our beautiful trails and beaches and not be worried about what you will meet around the next corner. There is lots of wildlife to watch though. In the early spring you can watch the sea lions swim by the hotel on their early morning rounds- usually about 9 am. You can whale watch from the beach at Bere Point or bring your kayaks and explore beaches that are seldom visited by people since they are accessible only by water. Most of our beaches are low bank and easily accessible by kayak. Take some hot dogs and have a weiner roast! That is a great way to spend a day on Malcolm Island.
Another good way to spend a day is to catch the 11 am ferry and go to Alert Bay. It is free to go from Malcolm Island to Cormorant Island and back, as long as you stay on the ferry at Port McNeill. You can explore the museums and hiking trails of Alert Bay and then be home in time to watch a fabulous sunset from your oceanfront deck!
If you go hiking at Bere Point, and spend some time on the beach there, just listen to the sound of the waves rippling down through the pebbles that the whales love to rub on. It is a beautiful sound that I doubt you can hear anywhere else. If you're lucky a whale might come along and have a rub. But, if they do, please get far back away from the water and be very quiet so you don't disturb them.
We have free bikes available from May - September for our visitors to use. You can sign up for one at the Resource Centre next to the Co-op Store. It is a fairly easy ride out to the end of Kaleva Road or in the other direction to Rough Bay. The road is fairly flat and you can stop anywhere along the way to explore the beaches and talk to the locals. Bring your camera! Everywhere is a photo op!