Victoria Nearby: Salt Spring Island
This island is home to 7,500 permanent residents around its 180 square km area.
It has ferry access to three points: Fulford Harbour and Long Harbour on the south are accessible
from Sidney, Long Harbour from Tsawwassen, and Vesuvius (on the north side) is accessible from Crofton.
Salt Spring Island is the area's largest and has a dozen lakes and the highest peaks on the islands. Many of the attractions can be seen in a 60 km drive around the island, and you should allow a full day to explore this island. On the island, you can rent cars, bicycles, even scooters, or take the water taxi or seasonal bus service.
Enjoy fresh-picked fruit from the many "honour stands" around the island. The island is home to many artists and craftsmen who sell their wares to the visitors. Ganges and Fulford Harbour offer the widest range of boaters' services.
Saltspring Island Attractions
This small town consists of a few cabins stuck to the hillside, and is a fun place to hang around waiting for the next ferry. The town has a number of restaurants, a post office, some shops and a pub. These also the 1883 St Paul's Church overlooking the harbour, built from materials ferried over from Cowichan Bay on the Island. Drummond Park on the town's west side has some petroglyphs (ancient stone-carved graffiti) of seals.
Ruckle Provincial Park
This 486 hectare provincial park has 70 walk-in campsites, and is located at the eastern end of Beaver Point Road, from Fulford Harbour. The park is the largest working sheep farm on the islands, and the park also features the original Ruckle home dating back to the 1870's. The park's shoreline is a great spot to watch the passing BC Ferries.
On the west side is Bruce Peak, at 698 metres, the tallest point in the Gulf Islands. You also pass the Cusheon Creek Hatchery, a working volunteer fish hatchery in a cedar building that gives tours. Mount Maxell Provincial Park is a 199 hectare park that contains 595 metre Baynes Peak with some breathtaking views accessible from the various hiking trails.
This is the largest town on Salt Spring Island, with a population of 1,100. This town has everything to easily handle the needs of its residents and also 7,500 summertime visitors. The town has a vibrant Saturday Market at Centennial Park. There is a 2 kilometres seaside walkway with some great views. The town also has its own public 9-hole golf course.
This little town has great views of both Stuart Channel and the Island town of Crofton. In 1857, Vesuvius had the island's first settlers, nine American blacks who escaped into freedom. On the road between Vesuvius an Ganges is 200 hectare St Mary Lake, the Island's main resort area, great for fishing and swimming. You can head north on Sunset Drive for great views of Kuper and Galliano Islands (the road bends around and eventually ends up in Ganges).
The Saltspring Lavender Company
PO Box 314 Ganges, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9
250-653-9252 Fax: 514-370-4572
Visit the largest Lavender Farm in Canada, which also hand-makes luxurious personal care products from their lavender. Tours. Call for times.