IMF - Island Monetary Foundaton
We get lots of inquiries about how to obtain "Salt Spring Dollars $$." This program has a been a big
hit with orders from all around the world as well as from local people. The Salt Spring Island Monetary Foundation
is a non-profit society. The Salt Spring Island Dollars are considered "gift certificates" but are accepted at par
by many Salt Spring Island businesses. The bills are 100% backed by Canadian currency (plus there is a 25% gold
reserve) and have an expiry date, after which remaining funds are used on worthwhile community projects. To order
Salt Spring $$, visit the IMF web
The Salt Spring $$ are available in currencies of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Each features work by
local artists of local scenes and historical figures. To date, artwork by
Jill Louise Campbell,
Carol Evans and Robert
Bateman has been used.
Hiking & Mountain Biking
There are a number of hiking trails on Salt Spring Island.
The most popular trails are in Mount Maxwell
Park, on Bruce Peak, nearby Mount Tuam, the trail from Bruce Peak to Mt.
Sullivan, on Mount Erskine, in Peter Arnell Park which takes in an area on both sides of Stewart Road,
and the trail that starts by the entrance to the park and leads to 80 Acre Park, also known as Bryant Hills Park.
It can also be accessed from the end of Sarah Way. What looks like a gravel
driveway to the right of the cul-de-sac on the end of Sarah Way leads down to a
parking lot. If you go through the yellow gate below the parking lot, you are heading towards 80
Acre Park. If you go left at the yellow gate, there is a nature preserve. A
fairly new trail stretches out to the south of that point. There is also a network of
hiking trails at Ruckle
Park down in the southeast corner of Salt Spring Island. Except in the
northern end of the park, there is very little elevation change. A sign indicates that bikes are not permitted on the trails at Ruckle Park.
However, except for when the trails are wet and muddy immediately after a
rainfall, it would be perfect for multi-user access. Except for the end
closest to the parking lot, the trail out to Yeo Point is very lightly
used, but would be ideal for riding on. Generally speaking, there are not too many safety concerns with wildlife on
Salt Spring Island other than watching for deer on the road, but the occasional bear and cougar have been known to swim over
from Vancouver Island. There are many blacktail deer on
Salt Spring Island. There are also some lovely hiking trails in Mouat Park,
right in Ganges. The easiest access is just up the hill from ArtSpring. Yet
another new addition is the Quarry Park Trail in Vesuvius just off the end
of Quarry Drive. It takes only 25 minutes to hike down to the waters edge.
Mt. Maxwell, officially named Baynes Peak, is the second
highest point on Salt Spring Island. It rises about 595 metres or 1950 feet
above sea level. With a sheer drop on one side, the view can be quite
spectacular. There is a network of trails within the park. While you can drive to the top of Mt. Maxwell and enjoy the view,
it's a nice change to park at the bottom of the hill or part way up and hike
or mountain bike to the top. The approach is from either Blackburn Road or
Cranberry Road. It is about 5 km from the start of the gravel road to the
top. Once you start up Maxwell, it's uphill all the way on a good dirt road.
The view opens up to the southwest as you get to the top. There is a sheer
drop (fenced) at the top that gives a spectacular view down to Burgoyne Bay
below, across to Vancouver Island, to Bruce Peak which is slightly higher,
and stretching out to the south, the Fulford Valley. There is a good view
back up to the steep side of Maxwell from the Fulford Valley.
The trail to 80 Acre Park (Bryant Hills Park) is well marked and has stairs in the steeper parts. There are spectacular views at a high
spot about 2 km from the start on the Peter Arnell Park end. From there, the route goes level for a while and then
descends a steep hillside on a good trail with a number of switchbacks. It then climbs to a plateau in the middle of
80 Acre Park. There are views of Mount Maxwell and Burgoyne Bay from here. Old logging roads can even be followed
from there to Mereside Road, but may cross private land towards the end. Mereside Road joins the Fulford-Ganges Road
just south of Ford Lake.
The view from the top of Bruce Peak is spectacular if you
don't mind the many communications towers. Mt. Baker (about 3,050 metres or
10,000 feet) can be seen to the east, and on a very clear day, you can
even see Mt. Rainier (4392 metres or 14,410 feet) off to the
southeast. Two wheel drive vehicles can negotiate the road to a point that gets most of the vertical climb
behind you, but there is one very steep section near the top that used to be very rough.
Even though the ruts have been filled with gravel and it has been graded,
this section should be left for four wheel drive vehicles
or even better, continue to the top on foot or mountain bike to prevent
chewing the road up again. After enjoying the view from the top, the traverse
to Mt. Sullivan off to the northwest is very pleasant. There is a good trail most of the way. It's a mix of
replanted forest and some old growth. There are some "ups and downs" but there isn't a lot of vertical involved in
the traverse. The road to Mount Tuam branches off from the Bruce Peak road at about the 280 metre elevation
just above Little Lake. Mt. Tuam is lower but gives some nice views off to towards Victoria and the
There are trails to and from Manzanita Ridge and Mt. Erskine from both
ends. From the south end, go up Cranberry Road and turn right on Toinbee
Road. Turn right at the "tree farm" gate. Note: there isn't really
room to park at this point. About 100 metres from the gate,
turn left and proceed to the fork in the road. The fork to the right goes to
a new sub-division that is under development. Road access to the
sub-division will be from Juniper Place, but
the road is currently gated just above where it joins Rainbow Road. The left
fork takes you to Manzanita Ridge. The trail crosses under two power lines. After the second power line (nice views in spite of the power line) carry on
along the ridge about another 20 minutes or so and you will arrive at Mt.
Erskine. There are spectacular views down to the water below,
Vancouver Island in the background, the northern end of Salt Spring Island
to the north including St. Mary Lake, some of the other gulf Islands, and
the mountains to the north of Vancouver. From this beautiful spot trails
descend down to Collins Road. Watch out for the fairy doors and watch that
you don't step on any fairies or elves! Most people probably access Mt.
Erskine from the Collins Road end, but the Manzanita Ridge trail is an
The trails along the rocky shore at Ruckle Park down at Beaver Point on the southeast end
of the island are very scenic. Growing in popularity is the incredibly spectacular trail that goes about 4.4 km to
the shore at Yeo Point. Deer can often be seen on this trail and of course harbour seals and lots of bird life on
the water. You can do a loop trail that will total 8.6 km. Don't forget to ask "how are ewe doing" when you go by
the sheep! The land for Ruckle Park was donated to the province by the Ruckle family, who still lives on and farms
part of the property. There is a provincial campground at Ruckle
Park, but book early for summer.
The Dunbabin Trail
meanders through the forest in Dunbabin Park. It is an easy half hour hike
from end to end, with a few stairs along the way. The trail can be accessed
either 500 metres south of the intersection of Stark and Robinson Roads, or
500 metres to the west of the intersection. Please keep pets on a leash and