10 Best Wildflower Hikes

These invigorating waterside walks welcome spring in living color.

Portland Island wildflowers
Photo: Cheadle/Getty Images

Portland Island, British Columbia

Just three miles from shore, visitors find an extensive trail system through the meadows of Portland Island, part of Canada's Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. A four-mile perimeter trail leads past cliffs, coves, sandy beaches, and carpets of blossoms. Two cross-island paths make an easy shortcut.

Insider's tip: The island is reachable only by private boat or rentable kayak from Vancouver Island.

What's growing: native sea blush (the purple blooms shown here), chocolate lilies, fawn lilies, and shooting stars.

When to go: April and May; 250/654-4000 or http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/gulf/index.aspx

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