Level: Moderate

Distance: 6 km

Time: 2 h

Elevation Change: 311 m

Season: Year Round

Topographical Map: 92 B/14

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Access: Mount Galiano may be a bit far to access on foot from the ferry dock. A 4-km bicycle or taxi ride to the trailhead will solve the dilemma however. Follow a route via Sturdies Bay Road, Georgeson Bay Road, Highland Road, and Active Pass Drive to the trailhead at the end of Phillimore Point Road.

Anticipate some steep sections on the trail to the top of Mount Galiano. The last 20 minutes of the climb follows an old logging road. As you might expect the summit provides a panorama extending from Mayne Island across the twin Pender Islands to Saltspring Island on the right. You might be surprised to find a grove of Garry Oak on top, indicating how arid these islands really are. Retracing your steps off Galiano Island's highest point should take but a fraction of the time.

The End


Salal

Salal

Though not a popular trail-side snack in modern times, salal berries are not only edible, they are quite tasty. Perhaps the "hairiness" of the berries or the grainy texture imparted by their many, tiny seeds is a turnoff to jaded modern palettes. Being plentiful throughout the coast, salal berries were an important component of pre-European diets hereabouts. Aboriginal groups generally consumed salal berries directly from the bush or processed them into a kind of fruit leather for storage. These cakes were then reconstituted with water and served mixed with the omnipresent oolichan grease. An acquired taste, no doubt. The deep purple colouring of the berries found use in dying baskets. Salal berries are presently used primarily in jams and pies. The bright, leathery foliage is commercially harvested for use in floral displays world-wide.

Illustration by Manami Kimura