Located at the entrance to Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, Russell Island is a small island with a large history. For boaters Russell Island is an excellent anchorage.
Russell Island was settled by Hawaiians as early as 1886. The historic Kanaka house still stands and can be found on a side trail off the northeast portion of the main loop trail that runs around the island. An old water tower and shed also still exist. Through a volunteer agreement with the park reserve, the Mahoi descendants share their family stories about life on Russell Island during the summer months. These are very interesting and often entertaining.
Russell Island has natural features typical of the southern Gulf Islands with Douglas fir, arbutus and Garry oak as the prime forest cover. Shore pine rim the island’s outer edges. Wildflowers are abundant in spring and during the summer months.
Recreational activities include picnicking, fishing, swimming and paddling. Near the shoreline, watch for mink, river otters and seals. If you are fortunate you might see porpoises or some of the resident orcas.