A Day Out on the Amazing Salt Spring Island

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Salt Spring Island is the largest island in the Southern Gulf Islands. You can access to Salt Spring Island by a ferry either from Vancouver Island or the Mainland. In my eyes, it is worth a day visit. The ferry leaves from Crofton on Vancouver Island and arrives at Vesuvius, Salt Spring Island. The journey only takes 25 minutes and a full day of exploring awaits. I would recommend having a car for this trip. There is a small bus route around the island but not very practical.

Salt Spring Island is famous for its Art Culture, organic farming, rugged coastlines, and natural beauty. There is plenty to explore on the island. We knew what we wanted to see and set off early. Also, starting early helps you to avoid hiking in the mid-day sun especially in the height of summertime. This is a must as it gets very hot.

A Morning Hike up the Magical Mount Erskine

The first point of call from the ferry was Mount Erskine. The trailhead was confusing to find. It does indeed have multiple entrances. The first entrance we arrived at looked like it was someone’s house (or so we thought). So, we did a bit more googling and found another starting point. We headed over to that one. This looked much better as there was a trailhead this time. I am not completely sure which trail we did, to be honest. We parked up at a turn-around area; I couldn’t tell you what road it was on.

Before setting off up Mount Erskine in search of what this trail offers, breakfast was on the menu. One of the best things about van life is you pick what view you have when you eat. This morning’s option didn’t disappoint.

Starting the Trail…

Fairy Doors at Salt Spring Island
The Only Fairy Door We Found

The trail started by entering a small clearing. As you enter you do get the feeling this is a magical place. The point of doing this trail is to find the fairy doors that lay throughout the forest. I had decided on wearing flip-flops. Therefore, to some people my choice of footwear is silly. I know it sounds silly but I feel like I have more grip.

We only found one fairy door on the hike and we didn’t quite make it to the top. It was a very unclear trail and people had made their own paths. At one point we ended up walking along a very narrow, steep, sheer drop cliff. Don’t get me wrong the sea view was amazing and worth it but this definitely got the heart racing. This was way more intense than the morning stroll I was expecting.

The View from Mount Erskine
The View from Mount Erskine

Overall, this trail was a good hike. If you come, I would do some research on where the fairy doors as are they are hard to find. I believe there are many fairy doors so hopefully, you have better luck than us at finding them!!

Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island

Ruckle Provincial Park is a coastal park that starts at Beaver Point on the South-Eastern shore of Salt Spring Island. The trail was a one-way 7 km hike to King’s Cove. In comparison, this was a nice relaxing walk compared to the climb up Mount Erskine. The trail was at sea level taking you through different landscapes. As well as an abundance of wildlife to look out for such as orcas, otters, and birdlife.

Dancing at Ruckle Provincial Park
Dancing at Ruckle Provincial Park

Ruckle Provincial Park’s coastal path has amazing ocean views. The trail isn’t clearly marked either (seems to be the theme of the island). At times we went off course yet it was fun exploring the surroundings. There were times where we were hugging the coastline climbing over rocks. Most of the trail edged along rocky headlands, tiny coves, and bays to explore. Look out for rock pools. For us the tide was high so we didn’t see the colourful range of crabs and other species.

When away from the coastal path you work your way through the forest. Listen out for birds and watch out for turkeys and chickens. The Quartz Fields is the other landscape to view. Yes, we did dance around like idiots in the fields. No one else was around though.

A Relaxing re-charge at Beddis Beach

After all that hiking, we earnt this well-deserved afternoon at the beach. The beach was small but delightful. The beach we visited can be found at the end of Beddis Road. We parked on the side of the road, followed a path to the sand. Also, the beach was quiet which was surprising as the sun was out.

There were only about 5 other people on the beach. People were in the nude. There were no signs that we saw to indicate if it was a nudist beach. The water was a little cold but nice to wash off all the sweat!! We kicked back and topped up our tans in the mid-day sun.

Ganges Village

The Ganges Village is the largest village on Salt Spring Island found centrally on the east side of the island. The harbour was very busy and we watched many floatplanes come and go as we ate dinner.

Best Calamari on Salt Spring Island
Best Calamari on Salt Spring Island

Well, being by the sea only means one thing for dinner; fish n chips. We shared delicious buttermilk calamari which was very tasty. The main course of fish n chips that followed didn’t disappoint either. All of the food was cooked to perfection. Finally, a good choice for our treat. When I am on a road trip eating out is rare as I try and save my budget for adventures.

Summary of Salt Spring Island

There is so much to see and do here and the island definitely has a laid back feeling to it. Also, there weren’t many other tourists either so that was great. The few people we did meet on hikes were locals with great tips and knowledge. These hikes were very different from popular hikes like the Grouse Grind. This place is worth the visit if you want to escape the crowds.

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