After fishing we headed over to Lucy Island which is about 16 km away from Prince Rupert. This island is home to an unmanned lighthouse and Rhinoceros Auklets, not to mention some excellent beaches!

Lighthouse at Lucy Island

When the tide is low more sandy beach is exposed and you can walk over to a couple different islands. There are tons of white broken shells washed up and gathered in rocky crevices.

Beach at Lucy

My favourite sight was absolutely these noisy Oyster Catchers!

Oyster Catcher

There’s a boardwalk running from one end of this small island to the other. It passes beautiful tall trees, shell midden excavations, pathways down to more beach, Auklet hiddy holes, lichen covered brush and a lighthouse at the end of it all.

Heading to the lighthouse on the other side of the island

While on the boardwalk we bumped into an archaeologist who gave us a bit of insight into the history on this island.

Shell midden is essentially an old garbage heap left by first nations people around pit houses. The houses eventually rot and fall apart but the midden endures. If you look closely at the shape of exposed midden, you can see the outline of where the house used to be. A botanical indicator of previous inhabitants is False Lily of the Valley. It covers spots where shell midden and pit houses are often found.

The midden in the terrible picture below (sorry!) was excavated in the fifties and there are a few more nearby locations presently being looked at.

What’s interesting is where these middens are found. They aren’t right down at the beach but they once were thanks to higher sea levels. The higher the shell midden are found, the older they are. The oldest found here is approximately eight to ten thousand years old!

Shell Midden

Sadly we didn’t see any Rhinoceros Auklets today. All the more reason to come back for a weekend trip. These diving birds fish all day and come home to their burrows at night. We did get to see piles of downy feathers here and there.

Mess of Auk feathers

When we got to the end of the trail we stood where the lighthouse keeper’s house would have been. It was neat to see the old gardens trying to survive the wild with tulips, daffodils and other non native varieties scattered here and there. Mint had overtaken a large area and gave us something to nibble on as we climbed down and up a ravine to the lighthouse where there was once a walkway bridge.

Lucy Island Lighthouse

Remnants of an old rock wall

We didn’t stay too long at the windy lighthouse but promised each other we’d come back soon.

Walking back to the beach

We came home with handfuls of shells and rocks but Lily’s shell ring was the best!

Shell Ring

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12 Responses to Lucy Island

  1. Debbie says:

    What a gorgeous life you live, Annie! <3

  2. Jo says:

    Is is sad that I don’t really care about the rare birds, but really want to explore the nerdy archaeology?

  3. Dawn Suzette says:

    What a great spot Annie! I love running into people who know about an area. What a wonderful opportunity to learn more!
    Awesome ring Lily!!!

  4. Lucy Dolan says:

    Yay, my very own island – and it looks amazing!

  5. It’s such a beautiful wonderland up there. Love the green vegetation, then the look of the mtns in the background, and of course the beach.


  6. David says:

    I am glad you enjoyed the island. I was a lightkeeper there back in 83-85. My wife and I had picnics with our three children on the beach where you came ashore. I helped build the boardwalk you used to go to the lighthouse. There was 3/4 of a mile of it. Those rino-auklets you wanted to see are usually only on the island at night. Enjoy the bueaty.

  7. Annie says:

    Lucy, You’ll have to visit this island one day!

    It’s perfect, isn’t in Lisa?

    Thank you, David for commenting! It must have been incredible living there when you did. That would be a dream job.

    We’ve camped since on the island and then we heard the birds coming in at almost midnight. It was loud and crazy the way they crashed into the bush to find their home for the night.

  8. Simon says:

    So interesting to read this, and also comments from David, above. My great uncle Frank Glinn (sometimes, eg in “Lights of the Inside Passage,” erronoeusly recorded as “Glynn”) was also lighthousekeeper on Lucy Island, until shortly before his death in Prince Rupert in 1963, the year of my birth. I never met him, but have a letter from him and his wife to my parents, welcoming my arrival! I would love to visit one day: no blood family member has yet visited his grave. Frank is also recorded commenting on the breeding of Rhinoceros Auklets on Lucy, in the ornithological paper the Auk, which gives me further connection as I am a keen birdwatcher too! I have copies of this, and photos of his grave, and long to have the money, health and time to make this journey whilst I stall have the chance.

  9. Annie says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Simon. I have a keen interest in history and happen to be delving into my husband history at the moment with my brother’s help. He’s quite knowledgeable about how to put the pieces together and after a recent death we received a wealth of information we never knew existed. It’s quite exciting!

    Some of my family have made trips over to Scotland for the purpose of seeking out information about family ancestry. I know how special these trips have been. I hope you are able to come one day to Prince Rupert and Lucy Island. It’s quite incredible, even without the family ties.

    My first thought was to offer to take some pictures of your uncle’s grave but you have some already. Perhaps some day when I’m in the local archives I’ll look his name up. Don’t hesitate to let me know if there is something I can do locally to help.


  10. David Archer says:

    I’m the archaeologist that Annie bumped into over on Lucy Island in 2010. My work was part of a larger project to replace the aging boardwalk that runs through the main island. That was finished over a year ago and the result is a great improvement. Not only is the boardwalk safe and secure but there are now several interpretive signs along the length of the boardwalk to help visitors understand what they are looking at. The project was initiated by BC Parks in conjunction with the Lax Kwa’laams and Metlakatla First Nations, and they did an excellent job!

    Just to give you a quick update on the archaeological aspects, the latest findings from last winter (2013) are that First Nations groups were camping on the main island as early as 9500 years ago! This is confirmed by a series of new radiocarbon dates. I hope to continue doing more work out there in the future. It’s an absolutely fascinating site! In the meantime, I teach in the University Credit Program at Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert. If you have any comments, you can reach me at

  11. Annie says:

    Thank you, David!

  12. Crystal Smith says:

    Hello! So exciting so see people on this island! My parents were the junior lighthouse keepers on Lucy Island when I was born, and we moved when I was about 5 years old. I don’t remember much about it, but I’d love to return someday and take a look!

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