Fulford Harbour a charming enclave with lots of character

Home to one of Salt Spring’s three ferry terminals, Fulford Harbour balances quaint village appeal with a surprising number of amenities, making this south-end centre a favourite stop for those passing through and a treasure in its own right.

Just a few streets perched along the edge of the harbour make up the village proper. Fulford residents are passionately committed to retaining the community’s small village character, resulting in a collection of shops and cafes nestled in historic cottages near the water’s edge. Here visitors can peruse and buy a variety of unique goods, from fine linens to local artwork, to tie-dyed clothing.

In the village, hungry travellers will find an organic café and bakery, a restaurant focusing on fresh west coast cuisine and Salt Spring Mercantile — a cafe and country store that opened in the spring of 2012 on the former historic Patterson’s Market site.

Fulford village also has a post office.

Salt Spring’s well-known creative side is not to be missed in Fulford, with several artists’ studios and galleries in both the immediate village area and along other nearby south-end roads.

For leisurely pursuits, Drummond Park and a great beach is at the head of Fulford Harbour, a quick walk, cycle or drive from the village. A recently upgraded playground overlooking the beach is dedicated to children. Travellers venturing beyond the village will find a wealth of farm stands offering fresh eggs, vegetables, garlic, honey and cut flowers.

A number of people arriving on Salt Spring via Fulford Harbour are on their way to Ruckle Provincial Park, an undeniable 486-hectare jewel of the Gulf Islands. It deserves to be on a visitor’s “must-see” list because of its fabulous hiking trail network, including several kilometres of coastline paths, access to the shoreline and its heritage values. The property was donated to the provincial government in 1974, more than a century after Henry Ruckle and his family first homesteaded there. Their original home still stands near the orchard behind the barn, and other outbuildings have maintained a sense of pioneer farming history.

Ruckle Park also contains the largest provincial campground in the Gulf Islands, with 78 walk-in and eight drive-in sites.