Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
While BC’s mainland is renowned for its nude beaches, Blackburn Lake on Salt Spring Island was more of a whispered legend for us. Unsure if its nude-friendly reputation still held, we took a brief 5-minute drive from the town of Ganges on a warm weekend, packing shorts and bikinis as a backup.
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To our delight, Blackburn Lake remains a haven for naturists. Most visitors were comfortably au naturel, and it was evident that this was a tight-knit community. Everyone seemed to know each other, and while we were the only ‘off-islanders’, the atmosphere was more indifferent than unwelcoming. Unlike the lively Wreck Beach in Vancouver, Blackburn Lake is a serene spot to lounge on the dock and take a refreshing dip. During our visit, the majority of the locals appeared to be in their late 50s, and we learned from them that we were the only heterosexual couple present.
Access to the lake is only via the dock, as the surrounding area is the Blackburn Nature Reserve—a sanctuary for wildlife and birds. We thought there might be a patch of grass or sand to lie on but there is essentially zero other places to lay your towel. This limited access ensures the spot never feels overcrowded. The lake itself is expansive and pleasantly warm in the late summer. Its history of hosting island swimming races attests to its breadth and depth.
Our initial attempt to reach Blackburn Lake led us down Blackburn Rd, logically enough. We mistakenly thought the lake conservancy parking was the spot to be, but that only leads to the nature reserve. We wanted an all over tan and the correct parking is adjacent to the dock on the bustling Fulford-Ganges Rd. While you might spot locals’ cars here or further down the dirt road leading to the dock, we’d advise against driving down due to the massive potholes. Navigating them seems second nature to the locals, but others might not be as fortunate.
Overall, local hotspot Blackburn Lake is a must-visit. There’s an unparalleled joy in swimming naked in a freshwater lake, especially in this region. If you’re planning a weekend visit, come prepared with a comfortable towel or blanket—the dock can be hard on the butt after a while! Also, remember that the tall trees can shade the area during early mornings and late afternoons. Dive in and enjoy!
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Reach the lake by taking the Fulford-Ganges Rd. On busy summer days, you'll see cars parked along the road or might spot a narrow dirt path leading to the dock. Parking on this dirt road isn't advisable because of significant potholes – though adept locals in compact cars sometimes opt to park there. The lake is a brief 5-minute drive from Ganges and is also easily reachable by bicycle.