Discover B.C's hidden gem in the Gulf Islands
BC’s mountains, islands, beaches, rivers, and valleys make it a paradise for anyone who’s keen to try to experience Canada’s outdoors for a night or two. Well-known for some of the most beautiful campsites, bookings can fill up - faster than booking your next Europe trip. In saying that, there are plenty of sites you can visit for a quiet mini-getaway that still relatively have easy access.
Tip: mid-week is a great time for peaceful camping
To help you figure out where to camp in BC, whether it be with your friends or family, tune in to TheHonestExplorer camping series.
But first and foremost, if you’re looking for a more remote camping haven, Salt Spring Island’s Ruckle Provincial Park may just be your nature calling.
The best time to visit Salt Spring Island is between May-September. These are considered the warmer and drier months of the year.
How to get there:
1) Takes 45 minutes to get from Vancouver to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal by car
2) The ferry from Tsawwassen to Salt Spring Island takes 1.5-2.75 hours varying on the ferry you take. As some are non-stop and others include other island stops. Reservations are recommended ahead of time during peak summer periods.
Located on Salt Spring Island along Beaver Point Road (10km) east of Fulford, this 5. Sq. km provincial park offers you the perfect picturesque setting where you can pitch your tent in the grassy meadow that overlooks the Swanson Channel. You won’t even want to leave the site, we know we didn’t.
But if you are itching to explore, you are provided extended shorelines, tiny coves, bays, rocky headlands, and other beautiful features in the park. Not to mention a friendly Bambi or two may pop by to give their welcome. With a breath of shore on the horizon, you may glimpse seals, sea lions, porpoises, and whales as you watch the sun fade into the pink hued-horizon.
Other opportunities at the park include hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, swimming, windsurfing and so much more.
Now you may be wondering is there any space for you to stay in this natural sacred space. There are several camping options including 8 RV campsites and 78 walk-in sites available for reservation and first, come first serve basis. If you intend to camp, there is designated parking to leave your vehicle and carry your gear down with wheelbarrows provided by the park. The benefit of this is it minimizes traffic and any vehicle noise that may disturb your peace during your stay. You also have access to basic amenities and facilities and wheelchair-accessible areas.
If that’s not enough, you have this whole bohemian island to explore.
Here are the top 5 things to do while you enjoy your stay.
1) Stand-up paddle boarding exploring the calm ocean at Ganges Harbor – the perfect way to do seal spotting and island hopping (rent: https://saltspringadventures.com/paddle-board-rentals/)
2) Visit the Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm to experience your infusion of calm -surrounded by lavender flowers
3) Sample cheese at the award-winning Salt Spring Cheese Farm, taste handmade artisan goat cheese while patting a furry friend or two
4) Hike up to Mount Maxwell to see a par anomic view of the island, you may need at 4x4 to make it to the top
5) Kayak to Chocolate Beach from Ganges Harbor, where you will find yourself on a white-shell crushed beach remote and at peace
As one of the largest and most beautiful parks in the Gulf Islands, there is of course so much to offer and everyone will discover their special little gems on the island.
So, what are you waiting for, spring into Salt Spring Island this weekend?
By Marika Suzuki