Enjoy Salt Spring’s Assortment of Provincial Parks
Visit the beautiful BC Provincial Parks on Salt Spring Island. All parks featured are unique and offer their own version of natural splendor.
Visit for a day trip or settle into a camp site (where available) and stay a while. See the list of parks where camping is permitted.
Salt Spring Island is the ideal destination for immersing yourself in the natural world. And that’s exactly what BC Provincial Parks areas are preserved for – our enjoyment and the freedom of the native wildlife, for generations to come!
DAY USE PARKS
These parks are ideal for daytime visits for a hike, a few hours of beachcombing, or a picnic. There is no camping available in the day use parks.
BURGOYNE BAY PROVINCIAL PARK
This 524 hectare park is a very special place. Home to 11 documented archaeological sites, and forests of Douglas-fir and threatened Gary Oak trees.
Burgoyne Bay was a First Nation gathering place, which is evident from the middens found there.
There is much spiritual and cultural significance connected to this land, including the creation story of the Hul’qumi’num people.
From the more recent past, there are various old and historic farm buildings in the park which are currently being restored.
Today, this area contains the last undeveloped salmon-bearing estuaries on Salt Spring. Stroll the beaches or hike the surrounding trail and enjoy the peaceful solitude of this protected bay.
MOUAT REGIONAL PARK
23 Hectares just a short walk from Ganges, Mouat Regional Park is named after a family of Scottish immigrants (the Mouat’s) who arrived on Salt Spring Island in the 1880’s.
The park features a popular disc golf course and is an ideal place for nature lovers of all ages to spend an afternoon. Definitely one of the most accessible parks on Salt Spring, although it’s not technically one of the BC Provincial Parks.
The paths throughout Mouat Park are mostly flat and wide and there are toilet facilities and picnic tables as well as fresh water available for visitors.
MOUNT MAXWELL PROVINCIAL PARK
At its summit (Baynes Peak) of 588 meters, Mount Maxwell provides a panoramic view of surrounding Gulf islands, Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands in the US… even all the way to the plains of western Washington on a clear day!
Popular with hikers, climbers, and horseback riders, Mount Maxwell allows for spectacular sunset views over Vancouver Island.
The peak, and rock face on the west side of this mountain are visible from the ferry as it comes in to Fulford Harbour from Swartz Bay.
Access the road to Mt. Maxwell from Cranberry Rd., just west of Ganges on the Fulford-Ganges Road. The road is narrow and rough. It leads to a parking lot from which you can hike throughout the park and to the summit.
Short clip of the view from the summit of Mount Maxwell…
CAMPING AT THESE BC PROVINCIAL PARKS
Campers can haul their gear to one of the parks listed here to set up a temporary home amongst the splendor of the Southern Gulf Islands.
RUCKLE PROVINCIAL PARK
At the southern end of Salt Spring Island, Ruckle Park covers over 486 hectares. This one is as diverse as BC Provincial Parks come. There’s so much to see!
This park is formed around the old Ruckle farmstead, which can be toured during specific hours. In total, there are 15kms of hiking trails and 7kms of shoreline featuring pebble beaches, and hidden coves strewn with collections of sea debris and driftwood.
Popular with scuba divers, the intertidal areas near Beaver Point contain a bevy of sea life. Deeper dives reveal under water caves resembling oceanic castles and marine spectacles like Giant Pacific Octopus, sea stars, huge old barnacles, and oodles of anemones.
Camping is available at Ruckle Park, which has 78 walk in camp sites along the rugged seashore and 8 more sites accessible by vehicle (including a few RV sites). Only a limited number of reservations are accepted for camping at this park.
The park is a popular destination for cyclists or walk-on ferry visitors because of the close proximity to Fulford Harbour.
There is a day use area with picnic tables and space to toss a frisbee. Drinking water is available in the busy season.
*Note: remember to bring some change for the parking toll.
WALLACE ISLAND MARINE PROVINCIAL PARK
Wallace Island is a small island located in the Trincomali Channel between the northern ends of Salt Spring and Galiano islands.
There are 10 campsites ideal for kayak camping, plus another 8 walk-in camping sites. To get to Wallace Island, boaters and kayakers can launch at Southey Point for a 1.5km paddle or at a beach access point near Fernwood.
72 hectares in total, this park/island is largely undeveloped and offers secluded coves, hidden beaches, and a host of wild and sea life to enjoy. There is a dock at Conover Cove near the SW tip of the island, available for vessels under 36′ in length.
**No campfires are permitted at this park, nor dumping of sewage or grey water.
PRINCESS MARGARET MARINE PARK
A National park, part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Princess Margaret Marine Park is located on/around Portland Island off the south/east tip of Salt Spring Island. The park is 194 hectares in total and home to 3 campgrounds with fresh water and toilet facilities.
This marine park is the site of the first artificial reef around Vancouver Island. The GB Church was deliberately sunk in the Princess Margaret Marine Park in 1991. It can be found off the northeast shore of the island.