Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands offer world-class sea kayaking adventures courtesy of the many marine parks, the abundant marine wildlife, and a comfortable Mediterranean climate, the warmest in Canada. Inland lakes are more suitable for canoeing, where paddling out of ocean currents is peaceful and serene.

Sea Kayaking

Exploring offshore waters by kayak is the best way to discover the Gulf Islands, either on day trips, paddles to marine parks rich in bird and wildlife, or guided multi-day camping expeditions. Kayak rentals and daily lessons are available from the four organizations offering equipment. The landscaped Rotary Maritime Park, in downtown Ganges overlooking the harbour, has a small dock for kayak and dinghy launching. The wharf at Fulford Harbour is also a good spot to begin a kayaking trip.

Princess Margaret Marine Park (Gulf Islands NPR) on Portland Island, located between Salt Spring Island and the Pender Islands is a favoured kayaking destination within comfortable reach of Salt Spring Island.

Canoeing

St. Mary Lake, near the north end of Salt Spring Island, is reached from a small beach and boat launch at the junction of Upper and Lower Ganges Roads and Vesuvius Bay Road.

Weston Lake in a wooded setting about 2 miles (3 km) north of Fulford Harbour has a sandy beach where you can enjoy paddling and a freshwater swim.

Other lakes on Salt Spring include Stowell Lake and Cusheon Lake. All four of these lakes on Salt Spring Island provide excellent trout and bass fishing, and great warm, freshwater swimming.