Super Camping British Columbia
Super Camping British Columbia

Super Camping
British Columbia
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View from Ruckle Provincial Park, Salt Spring Island | Carol Stathers

Salt Spring: Exploring British Columbia’s Largest Gulf Island

By Carol Stathers

On this trip, along with hiking and exploring the beautiful beaches of Salt Spring Island, we decided to check out the many local artisans and farm stands. We found the Salt Spring Studio Tour website and map and it was very helpful in directing us to some talented local artisans.

Drying Lavender at Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm | Carol Stathers

I absolutely love lavender, so we went to both lavender farms on the island, definitely worth a visit. Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm is located on the south end of the island on Musgrave Road. I loved the farm shop with all their products plus seeing the rows of lavender tied in bunches and hanging in their drying room.

Lavender and Black was the other lavender farm we visited, this time on the north end of the island on Pringle Farm Road. We had a chance to talk to one of the owners who kindly spent time telling us all about their growing practices and then enjoyed sitting in the gardens and catching their lovely view. Next visit I plan to sign up for one of their essential oil distilling workshops.

Fruit Stand on Salt Spring Island | Carol Stathers

We were lucky to be on the island on a Saturday so we could visit the Salt Spring Market, located in downtown Ganges in Centennial Park (check out their website as they do not run during the cooler months). The variety of vendors was beyond what I had experienced at other farmers’ markets. We left with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables plus my new favourite soap (Rosemary Mint) from Salt Spring Soap Works that I have already re-ordered since we came home!

Hiking A Trail Through Ruckle Provincial Park | Carol Stathers

This trip we were staying with friends, but we had to check out Ruckle Provincial Park for our next camping trip.

When you first approach the park, you will pass through Ruckle Heritage Farm, the oldest working farm on the Gulf Islands (since 1872). They have all kinds of tours depending on the time of the year including bottle feeding lambs and playing with goats. Watch their website in case you can attend the Ruckle Farm Day which looks like a great event. Before we left, we had to stop by their farm stand; we picked up some tomatoes and squash for dinner!

Roosters Welcome Visitors to Ruckle Provincial Park | Carol Stathers

At the entrance to Ruckle Provincial Park, I loved the roosters meandering around and welcoming us to the park. This park is geared towards walk-in camping with 78 campsites right on the ocean and 8 RV sites in a small forested loop. It was neat to see all the campers using the wheelbarrows to help haul their gear into the grassy camping area beside the ocean. We hiked all around the park and felt like there were many trails and areas that we missed; apparently there are over 15km of trails.

Smoke Mountain Farm Stand, Salt Spring Island | Carol Sathers

Along the road (Beaver Point Road) heading back towards Fulford Harbour we found at least four more stands, all with their fresh produce and home-made items for sale. One of my favourites was Smoke Mountain Farm Stand; it was unique how they used an old truck as part of their stand. During our time on the island, we must have visited over 30 of the 200 farm stands; it was a fun way to see the island.

Other highlights of our trip were a beach afternoon at the popular Beddis Beach, located at the end of Beddis Road. Parking is limited on the road, and it is only a short walk down to the lovely sandy beach. I was lucky enough to find a few pieces of beach glass to add to my collection.

Fernwood Dock, Salt Spring Island | Carol Stathers

Another favourite stop was Fernwood Point beach with the well-photographed, bright red Fernwood Dock. It was low tide and fun to walk around the sand bar, mud flats and rocky tidal pools looking for sea life. It’s a good place to wear waterproof shoes or boots.

A great way to end off our time on Salt Spring Island was a visit to Vesuvius Bay, where BC Ferries runs its ferry to Crofton on Vancouver Island. We spent a beautiful evening there dining on fish and chips at the Seaside Restaurant followed by a walk on the beach and were spoiled by a beautiful sunset. Until next time, Salt Spring!!

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Getting to Salt Spring Island: BC Ferries offers several options depending where you are travelling from. The shortest route is from Crofton on Vancouver Island to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring.

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Published: June 29, 2023
Last Updated: June 29, 2023


About the Author

Carol loves being in the outdoors whether it is hiking, camping, kayaking or enjoying time at the lake. With a health background in nursing, she has written for many health-related journals and is also writing a historical non-fiction book about the Peach Valley area of Summerland where she lives. Along with writing, she and her family love camping. She grew up camping on Vancouver Island and has explored many parts of BC with her husband, three kids and their golden retriever. She and her newly-retired husband just upgraded to a newer trailer and are looking forward to more camping adventures throughout British Columbia.


Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989