Bowen sits at the south entrance to Howe Sound, the second-largest island in the sound and the only one with car ferry service. Bowen is home to some 3,700 permanent residents.
Mount Gardner, the highest of three peaks, attracts hikers by the score with shimmering panoramas of the Salish Sea, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver. Settled areas consist of over 20 neighbourhoods that, all told, consume only a tiny portion of Bowen’s total area. The remainder is largely Crown Land. Snug Cove village is the commercial hub, with restaurants, food and specialty stores, medical offices, pharmacy, public library, post office, museums, credit union, elementary school and other useful amenities. Nearby, Artisan Square is home to artist studios and galleries, boutiques, cafes and more. Wrapping around the village, 242-hectare Crippen Regional Park offers 12.5 kilometres of walking trails through nature and history, forest and seaside.