Ruckle Provincial Park
Know Before You Go
Dogs at RuckleDue to ongoing interactions with farm livestock, BC Parks has designated some portions of the park trail system as closed to dogs. This change will occur in the coming weeks and remain in effect until further notice. Park visitors will still be able to enjoy dog on leash areas in the lower day-use and campground areas and the coastal trail to Yeo Point. Signage is in place identifying restricted areas and directing you to dog appropriate locations. Thank you for your cooperation.
VegetationCarpet burweed (Soliva sessilis) is an invasive, introduced plant that has been discovered in Ruckle Provincial Park. Efforts to eradicate the plant are ongoing and include the creation of a fenced quarantine area to exclude seed dispersers (people) from one of the large meadows, and the use of work crews to locate and effectively deal with the plants. To find out more about the origin of burweed, its spread throughout the world, its effects on playing fields and golf courses and its history at Ruckle Provincial Park go to burweed poster [PDF 184KB].
During the months of April, May and June the wildflowers will be in bloom certain areas of the park, particularly around the group sites. Adults and children who may be prone to allergic reactions are advised to take necessary precautions and to use the mowed paths around the picnic tables and fire rings and the main trails as much as possible. The remainder of the grasses and wildflowers will be cut in early July after the bloom has completed its' cycle.
Water SystemThe water system is shut down for the winter season between November 1 and March 15.
Volunteer Host OpportunityRuckle Provincial Park offers volunteer host opportunities. Click here for more information.
About This ParkRuckle Provincial Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the southern Gulf Islands. Pitch your tent in the grassy meadow overlooking Swanson Channel then lie back and relax, watching pleasure boats and ferries sail by in a stately and colourful parade.
With its 7 kilometres of shoreline, rocky headlands and tiny coves and bays, Ruckle Park provides hours or even days of enjoyable exploration. A mixture of forest, field and shore habitats makes it one of the most productive wildlife viewing areas on Salt Spring Island. Watch for sea lions and killer whales out in the sea, and mink and river otter cavorting along the shoreline. Tidal pools are filled with a brightly-coloured world of crab, mussel, limpet, oyster, sculpin, starfish and more.
Scuba divers frequent the waters off Ruckle Park, drifting among the castle-like caves or floating above the bountiful ocean floor, where they will find a profusion of Plumose anemones, sponges, nudibranches, octopi, seastars and giant barnacles. On shore, birdwatchers can often catch sight of cormorants, grebes, guillemots, eagles, grouse or quail.
In addition to its natural beauty, Ruckle Park is an area rich in cultural history. Irish emigrant Henry Ruckle first homesteaded here in 1872, marrying Ella Anna Christensen in 1877. Their descendants have farmed the Salt Spring property for more than a century. The Ruckle family donated their land to BC Parks in 1972 for the creation of Ruckle Provincial Park. The family still operates the Active Farm area of Ruckle Park and maintains several residences through a Life Tenancy Agreement established with BC Parks at the time of the donation.
Park Size: 529 hectares
- The Active Farm portion of Ruckle Park is not open to the public. Visitors are asked to respect this property and to not interfere with the farming operation.
| Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
|Opening and Closing Campground Dates:
(campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
(Gate is open during the off-season)
|Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:||March 15 to October 31
Off-season: a winter fee is charged from Nov 1 to March 14; no services)
|Campground Reservable Dates: Group sites only||March 15 to October 30
(See group camping reservations below)
|Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:||Vehicle accessible = 8
Walk-in sites = 78
|Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
|Note:The above information is for the campground only. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.|
ReservationsAll group site reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite reservations Reservations are not accepted for individual campsites at this park; all campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Group Campsite Reservations:
Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park. Group sites must be reserved through Discover Camping for dates starting March 15 to October 30.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
- Map [PDF 137KB]
Nature and Culture
- Cultural Heritage: First Nations used this area for shellfish gathering, camas harvesting and settlement. The Ruckle Farm is the oldest continually operating farm in British Columbia. The Ruckle family began farming here in the 1870’s, and continues to farm here today.
- Conservation: Ruckle Park is one of the largest provincial parks in the Gulf Islands and protects a mosaic of wetlands, flowering Garry oak meadows, older forest and shoreline habitats. Strong tidal currents create the environment for rich kelp forests offshore. Kelp forests are important feeding areas for fish and attract many birds and mammals. Endangered and threatened species on land include Macoun’s meadowfoam, Nutall’s quillwort, sedges and the western screech owl. Habitat for the rare brittle prickly-pear cactus and northern alligator lizard is protected.
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- Salt Spring Island Protected Areas Management Planning Project:
- The Ministry of Environment (BC Parks) is undertaking a management planning process for the six Salt Spring Island Protected Areas including Burgoyne Bay, Mount Erskine, Mount Maxwell and Ruckle Provincial Parks and Mount Maxwell and Mount Tuam Ecological Reserve. Click here for more information on the Salt Spring Island Protected Areas Management Planning project.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
View the Annual Drinking Water System Report [pdf]: Ruckle Park Report
Click here for reservation information.
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $20.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
A large grassy area and rugged shoreline at the day-use area provide great viewing opportunities of passing boats and ferries. Facilities at the day-use area include pit toilets, picnic tables and an information shelter.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night