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Island destinations have a number of unique characteristics and here on Salt Spring Island, it’s no different. One of the best features of our little rock is the amount and variety of easy ways to escape to nature that let you sink peacefully into that highly-sought-after ‘vacation mode’. Whether you’re looking to appreciate a range of west coast scenery or if you’d like to find the perfect spot to take your Hastings House picnic basket, we have a myriad of places to suit. The next time you’re ready to explore beyond the bounds of our lovely gardens, here are a few of our favourite spots to relax and rejuvenate amidst Salt Spring’s natural beauty:
Ruckle Provincial Park
In the south end, Ruckle Park is a must-do and it’s adored by locals and visitors alike. The classic, gulf islands coastlines with sweeping views out over the Salish Sea make it the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring the trails or lounging in one of the many secluded coves or rocky points. With picnic tables dotting the park, it’s a nice place to have a snack – we recommend a stop at Salt Spring Cheese Co. to gather provisions en-route. Don’t forget to watch for Ruckle Heritage Farm, British Columbia’s oldest working farm and home of the renowned Salt Spring lamb.
Arguably the best views on the island, Mount Maxwell sits roughly at Salt Spring’s centre and offers expansive vistas across the gulf islands, Vancouver Island and, on clear days, to the Rockies, Mount Baker, and the Olympics. Best of all, you can drive all the way to the top! There is minimal walking once you reach the summit but if you’re looking to explore, trails extend around the viewpoint and all the way down to the base at Burgoyne Bay.
A relatively flat area with the peaceful beauty of calm waters, the Burgoyne Bay trail to Daffodil Point is the ideal place to take a blanket and a book for a bit of solitude. On warm summer days, you might even be brave enough to go for a swim. It’s a short, easy trail that’s suitable for all levels and the scenery never disappoints.
For more adventurous outdoorsy types, the Channel Ridge network of trails is an excellent place to spend an entire afternoon. With numerous entry points as well as both long and short trail loops, it’s a great location in the north end to spend time amongst the mossy, west coast trees. It’s also a popular mountain biking location!
For a moderate challenge with more great views, head up to Mount Erskine. The roughly 1.5 hour loop will treat you with amazing carpets of moss, twisted trees, and excellent views over Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. Best of all it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset, with 360-degrees of dusky, pink hues to enjoy.
On your next visit, be sure to ask our friendly Reception team for maps, directions, and further recommendations to escape to nature and make the most of your island getaway. We also offer all our guests free bike rentals, binoculars, beach towels, and bocce, croquet, and horseshoe sets for all your outdoor pursuits.