20+ Greatest Issues to Do on Salt Spring Island

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Our household has visited Salt Spring Island for many years, first on summer season holidays visiting my mom after we lived in Colorado, after which once more regularly after we lived in Vancouver. It’s all the time been an ideal escape from the massive metropolis. Life strikes at a slower tempo right here and but there’s nonetheless loads to see and do on Salt Spring Island if that’s what you need.

As the biggest of the Gulf Islands, there’s something for each kind of traveler on Salt Spring Island whether or not you prefer to camp otherwise you need the complete five-star expertise. You may see why it’s a preferred place in the summertime, so intention for the shoulder seasons in the event you can. You then’ll really feel like you’ve gotten a bit slice of heaven to your self.

Hold studying to find all you are able to do on Salt Spring Island from visiting native artisans to mountaineering, biking, and kayaking to eating, exploring galleries, and having fun with wine, beer, cider and spirits tasting. It was an actual deal with to return to the island and discover it with recent eyes after an absence of a decade.

This put up contains some affiliate hyperlinks. In case you make a qualifying buy by means of one in all these hyperlinks, I’ll obtain a small share of the sale at no further price to you. Thanks very a lot on your assist.

Looking out to Ganges Harbour at dusk
Looking to Ganges Harbour at nightfall

Salt Spring Island location – and how you can get right here

Salt Spring Island is among the southern Gulf Islands simply off the east coast of Vancouver Island, with Crofton and Swartz Bay offering straightforward ferry entry from Vancouver Island. From Vancouver, you may take the ferry from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on to Lengthy Harbour on weekends.

Salt Spring Island can be near Galiano Island, Pender Island, and Mayne Island – and might be accessed from these islands through inter-island ferries.

Verify the BC Ferries schedule from Tsawwassen to Lengthy Harbour and from Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour.

Your different possibility is to hop on a float airplane with Harbour Air from downtown Vancouver, Maple Bay or Richmond (YVR South). Seair Seaplanes is one other firm providing float airplane providers.

Salt Spring Island map
Salt Spring Island map

Location map of issues to do on Salt Spring Island

                                                       

  • Click on on the the three dots close to the highest of the right-hand nook to electronic mail a duplicate of the map.

What’s the greatest time to go to Salt Spring Island?

Salt Spring Island is at its greatest in summer season – so suppose July and August. You’ll get pleasure from heat, even sizzling climate and many sunshine. There’s tons to do on Salt Spring Island in the summertime – from kayaking to mountaineering, biking, swimming and extra, however anticipate much more guests on the island than in the event you go to within the shoulder seasons. April to June and September till Thanksgiving are additionally great instances to go to.

I love the blast of colour when you visit Salt Spring Island in spring
I like the blast of color whenever you go to Salt Spring Island in spring

1. Bike a loop or two round Salt Spring Island

Biking is fashionable on Salt Spring Island, however with slim roads and lacking shoulders, you have to select your time to cycle. Intention for the shoulder seasons. I’d suggest choosing one of many different Gulf Islands to bike in the summertime. In case you determine in any other case, attempt to keep away from the Fulford- Ganges Street after the ferry will get in. It’s price pulling over to let the automobiles cross.

After my downer of an introduction, I’d prefer to say that it will also be nice enjoyable exploring the backroads of  Salt Spring Island by bike. I notably just like the bike journey from Ganges to Ruckle Park on the quieter roads and the loop across the north finish of the island. 

You may as well lease ebikes on Salt Spring Island from OutSpokin’ Bike Store and have enjoyable on the hills.

John taking a breather while cycling Salt Spring Island
John taking a breather whereas biking Salt Spring Island

2. Discover Ganges

When my mom lived in Ganges, I spent fairly a little bit of time strolling into city and poking among the many outlets. It’s a cute city and the hub of Salt Spring Island. It’s the place everybody involves financial institution, choose up groceries, go to the Saturday market, poke about artwork galleries, watch the comings and goings of sea planes and boats within the harbour, get pleasure from coffees, have a meal and wander by means of the park. 

I like hanging out with a espresso and scrumptious cinnamon roll at Barb’s Buns, seeing what’s new in Black Sheep Books and ogling over what’s supplied within the artwork galleries. I’ve loved kayaking from Salt Spring Island, swimming in freshwater lakes and hikes across the island.

The Black Sheep Bookstore in Ganges is well worth a visit
The Black Sheep Bookstore in Ganges is nicely price a go to
Looking through the spring blooms to the harbour in Ganges
Trying by means of the spring blooms to the harbour in Ganges

3. Hike up Mount Maxwell

One of many quintessential issues to do on Salt Spring Island is to hike up Mount Maxwell. You solely want 2.5 – 3 hours to do the approximate 5.5 km hike with simply 270 metres of elevation acquire. Alongside the path get pleasure from many huge Douglas fir timber, beautiful patches of vibrant inexperienced moss, and a few fairly mountaineering by means of open forest. 

The Gulf Islands view from the Mount Maxwell summit on Salt Spring Island – and even half method up is awe-inspiring. Attempt to save this hike for a transparent day.

This hike begins on the finish of Armand Means the place you may park in a cul-de-sac. Another choice is to start out on the Burgoyne Bay trailhead, however that mountaineering route has extra elevation acquire and is within the timber for longer. 

The view of Salt Spring Island from the top of Mount Maxwell
The view of Salt Spring Island from the highest of Mount Maxwell

4. Get pleasure from a sundown on Mount Erskine, Salt Spring Island

Mount Erskine is among the premier hikes on Salt Spring Island providing massive, far-reaching views throughout Sansum Narrows and north up Vancouver Island. It’s additionally dwelling to fairy doorways – probably made by Salt Spring Island’s fairy door man. Hold your eyes peeled for these fantastically adorned doorways hooked up to boulders particularly across the summit.

It’s solely 3.5 km round-trip to the highest of Mount Erskine, so plan a hike an hour earlier than sundown. It solely takes a few half hour to get again down however take a headlamp to be on the secure aspect. 

To get to the trailhead from Ganges go west on Rainbow Street. Flip left on Juniper Place and left once more on Spring Gold Means. Make a proper on Trustees Path and park along with the street throughout from the signed trailhead.

John on top of Mount Erskine, Salt Spring Island
John on high of Mount Erskine, Salt Spring Island
Fairy doors seen on the Mount Erskine hike
Fairy doorways seen on the Mount Erskine hike

5. Go kayaking

One of many high issues to do on Salt Spring Island, particularly in summer season, is to go kayaking. You may lease kayaks (and SUP’s) proper in Ganges on the marina from Salt Spring Journey Firm and take a tour or discover by yourself. They’ve single and double kayaks and each sit-on-top kayaks and full sea kayaks.

They provide 2 and 3-hour excursions together with a simple circumnavigation of Goat Island in Ganges Harbour, the improbable Chocolate Seaside tour I did years in the past with my mom and daughter, together with a sundown, full moon, and a bioluminescence tour – greatest finished when the sky is darkish.

One of many animals you’ll probably see on a paddle is a harbour seal. In case you’re wanting the incorrect method, their splashes can startle you. Hen life is prolific too.

6. Go to Lavender Farms

There are two lavender farms on Salt Spring Island Lavender & Black and Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm. My most up-to-date go to was in April when lavender doesn’t look superb. However come the summer season, each locations are price a go to.

Lavender & Black is an natural, family-owned farm on the north finish of Salt Spring Island. The homeowners, Ben and Awatief, have a phenomenal property with a view of the Stuart Channel. On a go to you may learn to develop lavender, purchase lavender ice cream, and take a look at a number of lavender merchandise together with important oils, physique lotion, fragrances, lavender-infused honey and extra. That is one place I’d like to go to in the summertime when the farm is at its most lovely.

Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm close to Fulford Harbour grows 60 kinds of lavender and sells a variety of lavender infused merchandise. Search for Herbes de Provence, lavender sugar, important oils, lotions, lavender infused neck pillows, and a complete lot extra.

7. Take a look at artist studios on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is dwelling to quite a few galleries, workshops and studios with artists working in clay, glass, paint, wooden and extra. Top-of-the-line methods to expertise the inventive aspect of the island is to do a self-guided Salt Spring Studio Tour. Drop into over 20 galleries, farms, wineries, cider homes, and studios throughout the island and meet the artists at work. On one in all our bike rides across the island, we made a degree of stopping in to talk with the artists and see what they provide. 

We’ve checked out the gamut of studios through the years together with pottery stops, a spot promoting French tapestries, Sundown Farm – the place a flock of sheep produce wool for knitting and weaving, to Ciderworks, and the Garry Oaks Vineyard. We all the time study one thing and are available away admiring the fervour of the artisans.

Stop in at Sunset Farm to see the sheep
Cease in at Sundown Farm to see the sheep

8. Go wine tasting

There are actually three wineries on Salt Spring Island you may go to – Garry Oaks Vineyard, Salt Spring Vineyards, and Kutatás.

Garry Oaks Vineyard

The Garry Oaks Vineyard began in 1999 when a pair purchased a 100-year-old-farm and slowly transformed it to grape-growing and wine making. All of the wines are made out of grapes grown on the island. Search for award profitable Zweigelt and shiny flavours and aromas of their Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. They’ve a tasting room that’s open day by day from Could – September.

Salt Spring Vineyards

Salt Spring Vineyards produces dry, crisp champagne-style glowing, whites, reds, pinks, and dessert wine. They function a tasting room and promote picnics to get pleasure from on their scenic property.

Kutatás

Kutatás is the newcomer on the island. They provide Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, a rosé and a few varietals I’m not aware of. Go to the Saturday Market in Ganges to talk wine and make a purchase order.

Kutatas Wines is the newest winery on Salt Spring Island
Kutatas Wines is the latest vineyard on Salt Spring Island –

9. Get pleasure from a cider tasting on Salt Spring Island

There are two cideries on Salt Spring Island now – which is sensible given the truth that the island was as soon as the most important producer of apples in all of British Columbia.

The craft cidery, Ciderworks, provides 100% natural cider from Salt Spring grown fruit with no added sugar, solely apple juice if mandatory. They accumulate over 450 kinds of apples from 3,500 timber to make three completely different collections of cider – single orchard, flagship – and specialty cider the place they’ll get inventive. 

You’ll discover the cidery on the Fulford Ganges Street. Be sure you cease, go in and purchase a flight. Then take it open air and benefit from the view of the orchards and the water whereas consuming a scrumptious apple fritter or a chunk of pizza. It’s an ideal option to spend an hour!

The entrance to Ciderworks on Salt Spring Island
The doorway to Ciderworks
Enjoying a flight of ciders at CiderWorks
Having fun with a flight of ciders at CiderWorks

Salt Spring Wild Cider

I didn’t have an opportunity to style any of ciders produced by Salt Spring Wild Cider – however I heard nice issues about each the cidery (crisp cider extra akin to conventional English cider) and their cheese and charcuterie plates. They are saying, “the meals they serve is supposed to be drunk with cider.” They do take reservations for his or her restaurant.

The cidery makes artisanal craft ciders from each heritage pears and apples that develop on Salt Spring Island. Households and pets are welcome on a go to.

Look for Salt Spring Island Wild Cider at the Salt Spring Saturday Market
Search for Salt Spring Island Wild Cider on the Salt Spring Saturday Market

10. Quaff a beer at Salt Spring Brewing Co.

Salt Spring Brewing Co. provides recent, unpasteurized beer made with water piped from a mountain spring, with none preservatives brewed in small batches with native hops and malted barley. 

Get pleasure from a flight of chilly beer or a pint together with some snacks of their tasting room. They’re dog-friendly.

11. Take a look at the Saturday Farmer’s Market

Going to the Saturday Farmer’s Market is a much-loved custom for locals and guests. It begins up in early April and run till the tip of October from 9 AM – 3 PM, rain or shine. 

Go hungry is my greatest recommendation, as there may be loads to tempt you when you’re there. Among the meals is recent from the farm, and there’s numerous dwelling baking. Not solely are there over a dozen meals distributors, however cleaning soap sellers, wine, cider and spirit cubicles, jewelry, leatherwork, paper items and extra. 

The Salt Spring Island Farmer's Market
The Salt Spring Island Farmer’s Market on a wet Saturday
I should have bought the rhubarb soap from Saltspring Soapworks
I ought to have purchased the rhubarb cleaning soap from Saltspring Soapworks

12. Go to a craft distillery

For these of you who love artisan distilleries you’ll want to go to Salt Spring Shine for gin, vodka and moonshine made with 100% BC honey. All spirits are handcrafted, and hand bottled on Salt Spring Island. I can’t touch upon their style however in line with the proprietor you may anticipate easy flavours. Go see for your self – at both their tasting room or on the Saturday market.

You can buy spirits at the Saturday Market or at Salt Spring Shine store
You should buy spirits on the Saturday Market or at Salt Spring Shine retailer

13. Stroll the Fernwood Dock on Salt Spring Island

It’s price a go to to the Fernwood Dock. It’s throughout the road from the Fernwood Café and proper on Fernwood Level Seaside. On a pleasant day I might see spending time watching the boats go by earlier than heading to Fernwood Level Seaside for a bit beachcombing and chicken watching.

Walk the Fernwood Dock
Stroll the Fernwood Dock

14. Go to Salt Spring Island Cheese

Salt Spring Island Cheese was began by David Wooden in 1996 after six years of trial and error each on the farm and within the kitchen. The cheese is all made utilizing solely conventional strategies and 100% pure goat milk, sea salt, dairy tradition, and rennet. Their packaging as you may see within the picture, is beautiful – and their merchandise proceed to face the check of time.

This can be a enjoyable cease as a result of not solely are you able to style and purchase merchandise, however you may see and pet the goats. Once we visited in spring, there have been a number of very new child goats and lots of a pregnant ewe.

Stop in at Salt Spring Island Cheese
Cease in at Salt Spring Island Cheese
The beautifully presented cheeses from Salt Spring Island Cheese
The fantastically introduced cheeses from Salt Spring Island Cheese

15. Hike in Ruckle Provincial Park 15+ km of trails

Ruckle Provincial Park is a favorite of locals and guests alike – providing a mixture of fields, an lively farm (off limits), and a surprising seascape. I’ve buddies that camp religiously within the park each summer season, pitching a tent in a meadow overlooking Swanson Channel. From their tent they’ll see seals, sea lions and in the event that they’re very fortunate, killer whales. 

There are 78 walk-in campsites, a five-minute stroll from the parking zone. There are solely 10 campsites you may reserve, with the remainder being first come, first served. In 2023, they’re $20/campsite per evening. There are additionally 8 websites for RV’s or campers and 59 non-designated websites within the park.

Ruckle Park is a improbable place for mountaineering with 15+ kilometres of trails. One of many premier hikes takes you from the parking zone all the best way to Yeo Level – however in no way do you must go that far to get a style of how lovely the mountaineering is. Comply with the shoreline previous lovely arbutus timber, tiny pocket seashores – that will make nice picnic spots, up and over roots and rocks, previous Bear and Coppermine Factors, with many lookoffs out to Swanson Channel. Flip round and retrace your steps whenever you’ve had your fill.

Ruckle Park is among the should go to locations on Salt Spring Island.

Obtain a map of the Ruckle Park mountaineering trails.

Fantastic water views in Ruckle Park on Salt Spring Island
Implausible water views in Ruckle Park on Salt Spring Island

16. Go to a Salt Spring Island seashore

There are many seashores scattered round Salt Spring Island. A smattering of the higher seashores is described under.

The seashore on the finish north finish of the Jack Foster Path is a 45-minute stroll on a path off Southey Level Street on the north finish of the island. The path takes you to a blended gravel-sand seashore with good views of the Trincomali Channel

Beddis Seaside on the finish of Beddis Street is a phenomenal white crushed shell seashore however swimming can be chilly. It’s on the east aspect of the island.

Ruckle Park is on the southeast finish of the island and though there isn’t any sand, the beachcombing over boulders and flat rocks is great.

Fernwood Level is a good seashore throughout the summer season and is discovered to the left of the Authorities Wharf on the intersection of North Seaside Street and Walker’s Hook Street within the northern a part of the island. You may stroll out alongside sandy mudflats however watch out for reside (that are black) sand {dollars}. There are nice tidal swimming pools to discover too.

A beautiful pocket beach by Yeo Point
A fantastic pocket seashore by Yeo Level

17. Hike the Chris Hatfield Path

You solely want an hour to knock off the two.8 km spherical journey Chris Hatfield hike. It takes you to scenic Yeo Level on the northernmost tip of Ruckle Park. Though Yeo Level is accessible from the primary parking zone in Ruckle Park, it’s an extended, extra arduous out and again hike.

The Chris Hatfield hike additionally gives for a side-trip to scenic Cusheon Cove. To get to Yeo Level you’ll attain a path that’s a part of the Ruckle Park path community. Go left and comply with it to the tip, ideally through a small blended rock and sand seashore.

To get to the Chris Hatfield trailhead drive west on Beaver Pond Street in the direction of Ruckle Park. Flip left onto Bulman Street after which proper onto Meyer Street. You may park on the finish of Meyer Street however make certain you don’t block any of the resident’s driveways.

A short boardwalk section on the Chris Hatfield trail
A brief boardwalk part on the Chris Hatfield path
Me enjoying the view from Yeo Point
Me having fun with the view from Yeo Level

18. Go for a swim

Salt Spring Island is a improbable place for freshwater swimming in summer season. Cusheon Lake is ideal with its heat water and a sand seashore entry. There may be public entry which you’ll see on the Salt Spring Island issues to do map.

Beddis Seaside, close to the tip of Beddis Street is a good one for a morning ocean swim. The waters are shallow so children and households will adore it.

Vesuvius Bay Seaside close to the Vesuvius ferry terminal is an ideal place for a sundown swim. The water is the warmest ocean water you’ll discover for swimming on the island.

19. Eat nicely on Salt Spring Island

For an island with a inhabitants of round 10,600 residents there positive is loads of selection relating to eating places.

Barb’s Bakery & Bistro – 121 McPhillips Avenue in Ganges. Nice baked items particularly their cinnamon rolls.

Tree Home Cafe in Ganges provides mild meals open air beneath a 77-year-old decorative plum tree. Good atmosphere.

Home Piccolo in Ganges provides a European type menu with west coast influences. Scrumptious meals.

Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe is simply steps from the ferry in Fulford Harbour. There’s a café hooked up to the casual however moderately priced restaurant.

Moby’s Pub in Ganges provides good parts of pub kind meals with a view of the harbour. Pleasant waitstaff and speedy service with the aim to have a drink in your hand inside 7 minutes of sitting down. And so they did on our go to!

Salt Spring Inn is within the coronary heart of Ganges. Search for nicely priced pasta, pizza, burgers and seafood.

Fernwood Street Cafe is ideal for coffees, pastries, breakfast and lunch. On wonderful days eat exterior having fun with the view of boats passing by. 

Auntie Pesto’s is a improbable selection, particularly with its outside deck full with warmth lamps. Get pleasure from dock aspect Italian-themed meals with nice water views.

Manor Eating at Hastings Home provides a wonderful eating expertise in a phenomenal setting. Service is impeccable and the meals presentation is gorgeous.

Visiting the Fernwood Cafe on Salt Spring Island in spring
Visiting the Fernwood Cafe in spring
Tree House Cafe in Ganges
Tree Home Café in Ganges

20. Attend the Salt Spring Apple Pageant

At one level in Salt Spring Island’s historical past, the island grew extra kinds of apples than the Okanagan. Apples are celebrated on the island each fall with the Salt Spring Apple Pageant. It takes place Sunday, October 1, 2023. In previous years over 400 sorts of apple have been on show. You’ll discover loads of actions and many apple pie to pattern.

The place to remain on Salt Spring Island

You’ll discover the entire vary of lodging choices on Salt Spring Island from tenting in lovely Ruckle Park to the Hastings Home Nation Lodge – a Relais and Chateau Property that was included within the e-book 1,000 Locations to See Earlier than You Die.

For pricing and availability try Hastings Home Nation Home Lodge. We handled ourselves to a keep right here and completely loved it, particularly the recent, heat muffins delivered to our room by 7:30 AM each morning and the attractive gardens with a harbour view. 

The beautiful grounds of Hastings House Country House Hotel
The attractive grounds of Hastings Home Nation Home Lodge

Different lodging choices

There are many B&B’s across the island so it’s necessary to offer some thought as to what a part of the island you wish to be near. In case you prefer to dine out, you’ll in all probability wish to keep someplace near Ganges. The next choices can be glorious selections.

In summer season, the Cusheon Lake Resort, situated by itself non-public seashore can be great for a household.

Wisteria Visitor Home with its one-acre backyard is persistently rated very good. It’s a 10-minute stroll away from Ganges.

Wetherly Inn and Spa, rated distinctive, includes a swimming pool and backyard.

Excited by exploring extra of British Columbia?

On Vancouver Island head north in the direction of Port Renfrew and discover the tide swimming pools of Botanical Seaside.

Within the South Okanagan, uncover what you are able to do over three excellent days

In case you’re planning to go to Yoho Nationwide Park, these are the 10 greatest hikes to do within the park – all personally examined.

 

Click on on the picture to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

20+ great things to do on Salt Spring Island

 

 

 

 

 



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