Hiking along the beach at Sidney Spit, Sidney Island
Hiking along the beach at Sidney Spit, Sidney Island

Safe and scenic are two good adjectives to describe trails you’ll find on the Gulf Islands, from easy headland strolls in places like Campbell Bay on Mayne Island, Beaver Point on Salt Spring and Thompson Community Park on Saturna, to stunning mountain ridge views from the top of the Gulf Islands’ world on islands like Galiano (Bodega Ridge, Galiano Mountain)
or Mayne (Mount Parke), Pender (Mt. Norman), Saturna (Mt. Warburton Pike), or Salt Spring (Mt. Maxwell) to scenic lighthouse rambles (Mayne, Saturna, Galiano), to spots offering great views of Active Pass (Bellhouse Park, Georgina Point Lighthouse).

Or walk to lakes, or choose extensive logging road trails on islands like Quadra, or Galiano or Lasqueti. Interpretative headland and forest walks are also inviting for many less ambitious visitors, and several trails are also wheelchair friendly.

Because many of these islands have been logged, trails and old roads can lead the hiker into previously inaccessible areas. Trails tend to be quiet, wild life frequent, and views outstanding. Some trails offer picnic tables, benches, toilets, and seats at scenic lookouts.

Another plus to hiking on the Southern Gulf Islands is for the most part that there are no dangerous creatures sharing the outdoors with you. Cougars are rare, bears are absent, and there are no poisonous snakes or insects. The worst thing you are likely to encounter is stinging nettle.

There are many good guides to hiking in the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands.

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