I’ve always loved the ocean, and ever since moving to British Columbia, I’ve fallen in love with the mountains, too. So it likely comes as no surprise that I get really excited when the opportunity arises for those interests to intersect.
Well, blessed are we who call Vancouver Island home, because these views are readily available to anyone along the interior coast, or willing to make the drive there.
A few weeks back, before the wet weather really set in, I became determined to photograph Salt Spring from Vancouver Island. A set of three peaks that dominate the horizon anywhere along the east coast of the island, I’ve never actually visited our neighbouring isle, though Conor has done some work for the brewery there. Though we still plan on making a trip to explore all that Salt Spring Island has to offer, for now I’d be satisfied with viewing it from afar: so we started exploring the Duncan page of our map book.
First on the list was Maple Mountain, an area I knew I wanted to explore immediately upon discovering the plethora of beautiful views it had to offer on Instagram, about two or three months into living here. Unfortunately, we chose to hike Maple Mountain right at the beginning of the wet season, so water wasn’t flowing down the mountain yet. However, when we return this winter, a creek will come crashing down near the trail. Disappointed with the dried up cascade, we didn’t end up doing the full blue/yellow loop which would have given us even more incredible views of the Sansum Narrows. Instead, we made our way to the three kilometer mark, a beautiful flat bluff overlooking the water which would make a perfect spot for a picnic, and walked back the way we came.
Another popular picnic place offering similar views is Stoney Hill, a regional park just half an hour south of Maple Mountain and fifteen minutes east of Mount Tzhoulahem, from parking lot to parking lot. In my opinion one of the island’s most underrated hikes, Stoney Hill Regional Park makes for a perfect backdrop for a photoshoot if you ever find the need. A quick and easy hike for any level hiker to some beautiful views, any time of year. Knowing we needed to go up to Duncan at some point that weekend, we tried to find a hike that would make the drive worthwhile. A quick scan of page 11 of our Backroads Mapbook told us that Stoney Hill might be worth more research. Then I called on my good friend Instagram to show me what the hill had to offer. Both Conor and I were immediately convinced.