Category: Gulf Islands

Top 5 Things To Do on Hornby Island

Hike the trail at Helliwell Provincial park. Free admission, easy trail (5kms). Recommend doing it in clock-wise direction for best view of cliffs . Allow time for photos along the way. Lots of great views, including old growth forest, spectacular coastline, seals, flowers. hint: take binoculars if you have them for watching the seals and sea lions. Hornby Island Blues Society puts on several events throughout the year, including a Blues workshop in May featuring several renowned Canadian blues musicians as instructors. Enjoy a great dinner at the Sea Breeze Restaurant. They also have great housekeeping cabins and a […]

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Ruckle Point Provincial Park and Yeo Point Salt Spring Island

Our second Salt Spring Island beach walk on our trip (see Jack Foster Trail) was at the south east part of the Island. To find the access point to this trail, from Ganges, take Fulford-Ganges Road, turn left on Cusheon Lake Road, right on Stewart Road, left on Beaver Point Road, left onto Bullman Road and then right onto Meyer Road. There’s a cul-de-sac at Meyer Road where you can park. The trail soon becomes this mossy magical location. In March the moss was so profound and wet and green that it felt like a scene from The Shire in […]

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Sunset Farm Studio Salt Spring Island

At the north end of Salt Spring Island, there’s a place to visit called Sunset Farm, which is on Sunset Drive, conveniently. Basically it’s a hobby farm with sheep, ducks, chickens, goats, two ponies and very cute black lambs (just don’t tell my kids what happens to most of them). One thing we learned was that it’s a lot easier to raise sheep on Salt Spring Island because there are no foxes, coyotes or wolves. In the Fraser Valley, predation by coyotes is an issue. Interestingly if you are raising chicken, you don’t want to be too close to the […]

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Tree House Cafe Salt Spring Island

On Salt Spring Island, in the middle of a parking lot, connected to an old house, with a large tree growing in the middle, is a cafe more suited to hobbits than normal humans. Salt Spring dining has a distinct tendency to be gluten free, vegetarian, and/or local — they are quite proud of their grass fed beef and lamb. Tree House Cafe does breakfast and lunch, so you need to be there before 3 PM to enjoy it. We took in lunch and the vegetarians very much enjoyed the veggie burgers. You can always tell when a place understands […]

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Jack Foster Trail Salt Spring Island

On Salt Spring Island, at the intersection of North End Road, Southey Point Road and Sunset Drive there’s an access point to Jack Foster Trail. We were lucky that the trail access was walking distance along a country road were we had a chance to feed grass to a couple of horses in a pasture. It’s a wooded trail, bound by moss-covered decaying snake fences that lead to the ocean. Technically this is an easy trail, which means you can easily use running shoes (preferably ones you don’t mind being covered in mud), but be aware that there are a […]

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Fernwood Road Cafe Salt Spring Island

During our trip to Salt Spring Island, we investigated Fernwood Cafe on 325 Fernwood Road, which is in the north end of the island. It’s a small cafe and like many rural businesses they share space with a massage therapist outfit. I mean, what else is more West Coast? The cafe is small, but has high ceilings and is very bright with a view of the water across the street. It was a bright sunny day when we were there and the birds were singing in the tree. The food is all home cooked. There was a 20 minute wait […]

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Mount Maxwell Provincial Park

In my opinion, calling this peak a “mount” is an insult to the peak. One of they key unexpected surprises is how twisty, up-and-down and basically mountainous Salt Spring Island is. By the time we were settled in our B&B, we had figured this out through driving and were listening closely when our hostess suggested that the Mount Maxwell view was stunning. However, she cautioned, the road was challenging for regular vehicles, but figured a regular sedan would do the trick. Taking Cranberry Rd from Ganges, you simply follow the signs. You will be going up and up. When the […]

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Oystercatcher Seafood Bar & Grill Salt Spring Island

Our first night on Salt Spring Island we needed to find a place to eat. In our case the usual issues of kids’ menu and vegetarian choices applied. Our B&B (Quarrystone House) was keen to recommend the Oystercatcher as they share ownership! The Oystercatcher is located at 110 Purvis Ln #201 near the Ganges shopping area. The restaurant has a great view of the Ganges Harbour. The decor was nautical with boats (like a sculling boat) hanging from the ceiling. I had the beef burger that’s a common theme on Salt Spring Island as they like to use the local […]

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The Ferry to Salt Spring Island

Important safety tip … when booking your ferry trip to Salt Spring Island, it’s a good idea to pay a lot more attention to the process than I did. It wasn’t until I went back to figure out what I’d missed did I realize on the BC Ferries schedule did you have to go to the Southern Gulf Islands schedule ( and then click on Vancouver Departures. On this page you have to navigate to further navigate Tsawwassen to Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour). There it tells you that it’s a three hour trip because you stop at Galiano, Manye […]

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5 Best Kept Secrets of Mayne Island

Carmen at Blue Vista Resort tells us these five secrets. Having Bruce’s amazing chowder at the Sunny Mayne Bakery Seeing the sea lion colony off the shores of Bennett Bay by kayaking out with Bennett Bay Kayak tours or your own kayaks Snorkeling near Piggott’s Bay and seeing the giant mollusks just at the entry to Navy Channel Cruising with Mayne InterIsland Sea Tours for a cold Beer at Saturna’s Lighthouse Pub Don’t miss the Mayne Island Fall Fair, which happens in August!

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