From kayaking and hiking to fishing and cycling, adventurous visitors will love the awesome options open to them while visiting the Gulf Islands. Gear up and hop aboard a ferry or float plane to begin your outdoorsy adventure!
Escape to Saturna Island and discover the island's offerings on foot. More than half of the island is protected Gulf Islands National Park land with plenty of hiking trails to explore. Take the trail along the Brown Ridge Crest to Mount Warburton Pike, 497-metres above sea level, and enjoy the breath-taking views of the surrounding islands. Head to Fiddler's Cove with its beautiful white sand beach and walk to the small island offshore at low tide; make sure to visit East Point where it is possible to see whales from the shore.
Hop aboard a moped to see the sights on Galiano Island. Take in the panoramic views from Bluff Park, stop at Cain Beach where Mount Baker is visible on the horizon and explore Retreat Cove to snap some photos of the unique sandstone erosion. Take a hike with the Galiano Conservancy Association on one of their eco tours and discover wildlife at the Great Beaver Swamp including black tail deer, river otters and mink or search the shoreline at Montague Harbour at low tide for local marine life.
Cruise along the country roads of Salt Spring Island on two wheels to discover stunning scenery, quaint farm land and the vibrant local community. There are routes to suit all cycling abilities on the island; cyclists looking for a challenge should head to Ruckle Provincial Park and explore the coastline while visitors looking to take it slow can take a leisurely cycle from between Ganges and Fulford Harbour past orchards, lakes and farms. Make sure to have cash on you to pick up locally made treats along the way!
Completely immerse yourself in nature on the Pender Islands and opt to camp in an ancient Douglas Fir forest at Prior Centennial campground on North Pender, or enjoy a sea-to-sky experience arriving by boat or kayak to Beaumont Marine Park and hike up Mount Norman. Fishing is also a popular pastime here and visitors keen to find the best spots can take a chartered tour to catch salmon year-round. For a truly unique experience, don't miss the Golf Island Disc Park, Pender's disc or Frisbee golf course surrounded by lush forest.
Get out on the water from Mayne Island and take in the sights from sea level. Either rent kayaks and adventure by yourself or take a guided tour to explore the local hotspots in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Launch at Bennett Bay and head out to the Belle Chain Islets situated between Mayne and Saturna Islands, home to stellar sea lions, seals, otters and bald eagles. Head to Georgina Point at the entrance to Active Pass and check out the lighthouse; be sure to keep an eye out for more local wildlife!
With so many activities to choose from and countless locations to discover, these suggestions only scratch the surface of the adventures the Gulf Islands have to offer. For more information, visit vancouverisland.travel/regions/gulf-islands, mayneislandchamber.ca, galianoisland.com and saltspringchamber.com.