Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact

K2 Park Services Ltd.
E-mail address: k2parks@shaw.ca
Phone/Fax: (250) 539-2115
Website: www.k2parks.ca

Ruckle Provincial Park

Know Before You Go

Dogs at Ruckle

Due 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.

Vegetation

Carpet 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 System

The water system is shut down for the winter season between November 1 and March 15.

Volunteer Host Opportunity

Ruckle Provincial Park offers volunteer host opportunities. Click here for more information.

About This Park

Kidprice LakePhotoGallery
Ruckle 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

Special Notes:
  • 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.)
Year round
(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)
Not applicable
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.

Reservations

All group site reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

Make A Reservation

Campsite Reservations:
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.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Located on Salt Spring Island in the southern Gulf Islands, Ruckle Provincial Park is situated 10 km from the Fulford Harbour ferry terminal along Beaver Point Road. BC Ferries offers service to Salt Spring Island from Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Crofton on Vancouver Island, and Vancouver (Tsawwassen). The closest communites are Ganges, Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island, Sidney and Victoria.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
  • Map [PDF 137KB]
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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.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

There are ocean kayaking opportunities at this park. Canoeing is not recommended.
Cycling

Cycling

This park is a popular camping location for cyclists, as it serves as a good location for cyclists wishing to explore the rest of picturesque Salt Spring Islands. Bicycles are allowed on the main roads only and are asked to walk their bikes into the main campground area. Bicycles are not allowed on the walking trails in the park. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Fishing

Fishing

There are salt water fishing opportunities at this park. Fishing is permitted as per provincial and federal fishing regulations. All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

An extensive trail system exists at Ruckle Park, with more than 15 km of trail. A shoreline trail runs from the heritage farm area right through to Yeo Point, along with other inland trail routes that range from easy walks to more difficult hikes. Detailed park trail maps are located at information shelters and convenient points along the trails. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

There are regularly scheduled Naturalist Programs offered during the summer season. View the current scheduled programs.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash and under control all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. It is extremely important that dogs be kept away from the working farm and livestock within the park. Dogs MUST be on leash at all times.
Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

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.
Swimming

Swimming

There is no designated swimming area at this park. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Ruckle Park features beautiful ocean views from the day-use area and along the trails, as well as scenic pastoral views of the neighbouring farm. The Heritage Farm feature a number of old farm buildings, including a barn, an old residence and other buildings, still used as working buildingstoday). The big orchard barn has open access (schedule is posted at the site). Other buildings are available for viewing from the outside only – visitors are not permitted inside.
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

There are opportunities for windsurfing at this park.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Campfires

Campfires

While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. There are a number of group fire rings throughout the campground. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Facility Operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

There are 6 pressurized drinking water stations throughout the campground and day-use areas.  NOTE: The water system is shut down for the winter season between November 1 and March 15.
View the Annual Drinking Water System Report [pdf]: Ruckle Park Report
Group Camping

Group Camping

There are 3 group campsites at this park, set in an open field. Facilities include pit toilets, a group fire ring, fresh water and picnic tables.
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).

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a day-use/picnic area; continue straight on the main park road past the campground turnoff to the day-use parking lot.
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

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park has pit toilets at the campground, day-use area and heritage farm.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park has 8 vehicle accessible campsites, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsite reservations are not accepted. Facilities include pit toilets, cold water taps and group fire rings.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $18.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $9.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

This park has 78 walk-in campsites, located along the edge of the forest and extending across an open grassy area overlooking Swanson Channel. These sites are located approximately 5 minutes from the parking lot and are popular with cyclists as well. Facilities include pit toilets, cold water taps and group fire rings.
Walk/Cycle-in Frontcountry Camping Fee: $18.00 per party / night
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

Some facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible.
Winter Camping

Winter Camping

This park has 8 vehicle accessible campsites, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campsite reservations are not accepted. Facilities include pit toilets, cold water taps and group fire rings.

Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night