Salt Spring Island in British Columbia is the gem of the Southern Gulf Islands. It is nestled alongside the east side of Vancouver Island. Salt Spring Island is about halfway between Nanaimo and Victoria, the capital city of BC. The city of Vancouver on the mainland of British Columbia is to the north.
There are more than ten thousand human residents on Salt Spring Island, several thousand sheep, and a substantial deer population. Every now and then, a bear is spotted, usually on the south side of the island near Ruckle Park, and there are intermittent reports of a cougar being seen, sometimes close to the Ganges. It is thought that bears and cougars swim across Sansum Narrows from Vancouver Island. Nearby Galiano Island is longer but thinly populated with only about a thousand residents. Galiano, Mayne and Pender Islands (North & South) are closer to Vancouver and the mainland than Salt Spring Island. Prevost Island is located between Salt Spring and Active Pass, which separates Galiano and Mayne Islands. There are also numerous smaller islands throughout the Southern Gulf Islands.
Salt Spring Island has long been known as a very unique place in British Columbia. For the population, there are a very large number of artists, sculptors, and musicians living on the island. The community got together and raised funds to build Art Spring — a brand new community hall. Many well-known musicians, both local and from afar, have performed here already. Even the bars have a pretty good showing of local talent performing there.
Salt Spring Attractions and Things to do
Salt Spring Island has long been know as a magical place. For its size, it houses a large number of musicians, sculptors, and artists. Like much of British Columbia Salt Spring Island is known for its endless outdoor activities. Salt Spring Island is the largest, most populous, and most frequently visited of the Southern Gulf Islands, located in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, Canada. Copper Fern Farm is located smack dab in the middle of this unique island, famous for its pastoral beauty, farmer’s markets, organic farming, sustainable practices, artists, artisans, yoga, and cooperative community.
Salt Spring Island landscape has forests, arbutus and Garry oak meadows, beaches, mountains, lakes, the ocean, and rolling countryside. Hiking, biking and exploring nature and wildlife are at your doorstep. There is a small lovely downtown with a central park that frequently hosts concerts or special events and the famous Salt Spring Saturday Market. It also has many exquisite restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops. The island boasts several vineyards and a brewery, two cheese farms for tastings and, coming soon here at Copper Fern Farm, olive oil tastings from our new olive orchard. There are frequent outdoor and indoor music events featuring both well-known and up-and-coming musicians. The island is a joy to explore, with quiet beautiful backroads winding through the island where sheep, cattle, and deer graze, and eagles soar.
The island offers several hiking trails. Two of the best are the unspoiled, windy trails that lead to the summit of Bruce Peak and Mount Tuam – the two tallest hills in the Southern Gulf Island. Other shorter hikes are available such as the 2.5-kilometer trek to the top of Mount Erskine.
Salt Spring Island is situated in one of the premier diving destinations in North America. The high visibility water is teaming with marine life and is the final resting place of many wrecks waiting to be explored. Equipment rental can be had at Island Escapades.
Riding provides a great way to explore the island. The windy paved roads offer scenic views second to none. There are also endless single track and cross country tracks available to the mountain bikers. Salt Spring Adventures has you covered if you didn’t bring your own wheels with rates starting around $15 for half-day rental.
Golf is available at the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club. The club offers a 9 hole par 36 course that is open year-round, as well as a driving range and putting green.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in relaxation look no further than Salt Spring Island. This small island offers several spa options including the highly regarded Salt Spring Spa Resort.
Sightings of whales vary day to day but generally, sightings are greater between April and October. Gulf Island Safari is the whale watching operator on the island. They belong to a whale spotter network and are able to provide passengers with the most up to date whale watching information prior to departure.
Salt Spring Island Cheese Company
Specialists in sheep and goat cheese, their cheeses are entirely handmade, using traditional methods and only all-natural ingredients. website
Ruckle Provincial Park
The park is over 480 hectares large with a waterfront that includes 7 kilometers of coastline offering plenty of opportunities to view marine wildlife. website