- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 1.75 hours
- Round-Trip 3.5km
- Elevation Gain 175 meters
- Season year-round
- Camping No
- From Vancouver n/a
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
The views from the top of Mount Erskine on Salt Spring Island are some of the best on the island, looking westward towards Vancouver Island and further north. Mount Erskine Provincial Park can be accessed from two different areas but is most commonly hiked from the Trestees Trail on the east side of the park.
The trails in Mount Erskine Provincial Park are numbered 1 - 5 with this route passing along several of the trails in order to see the best viewpoints. From the trailhead, follow Trail #2 from the cul-de-sac as it briefly heads through a straight section before entering the forest and reaching the Provincial Park boundary. The trail continues up hill at a relatively gradual pace, under the canopy of cedar and Douglas fir trees.
The first junction is a 4-way junction and marks the start of the loop. Go straight at the 4-way junction and follow Trail #1 uphill. A short distance further, go left and continue to follow Trail #1 as you continue along the forested route.
After hiking up a steep rock, the trail reaches another junction with a sign marking the trails. Go right onto Trail #4, which will allow you to see another great viewpoint that you would miss if you continued along Trail #1. When you reach another junction, go left onto Trail #3 and hike up the very steep hill. The trail will level at a viewpoint that looks west towards Vancouver Island.
When you are ready to hike again, do NOT follow the trail that goes downhill as this is a very dangerous route. The hiking trail continues behind the viewpoint where there is an orange marker on a tree slightly uphill. Make sure you are going uphill from the viewpoint and the trail will become well defined as you continue walking.
Continue up the steep hill as you walk up onto the rocky area with an incredible view from the summit. The view looks west towards the town of Crofton on Vancouver Island and further north towards Penelakut Island.
After enjoying the view, continue following the trail heading south in the direction you were heading when you arrived. This is Trail #2 and you will follow this trail all the way back to where you began. This route is slightly longer but the descend is more gradual and easier on the knees. At the junction go left, continuing along Trail #2. The route zig zags through the 2nd growth forest as you make your way downhill, enjoying the forest scenery.
At the 4-way junction, go right and continue following Trail #2 downhill as you pass the Provincial Park boundary sign. The trail veers left and you hike the remaining section back to the start where you began at the cul-de-sac.