Mount Erskine Park was established as a Class A Provincial Park in 2006. The campaign to establish the park was supported by many individuals, local businesses, and non-government organizations.
Mount Erskine Park is within the traditional territory of the Chemainus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation and Penelakut First Nation (all members of the Hul qumi num Treaty Group) and the Tsawwassen First Nation. The west side of Salt Spring Island from Burgoyne Bay to Vesuvius Bay was part of the traditional summer gathering area for the Cowichan Tribes. There are no recorded archaeological sites in the park.
Europeans first settled the area in the mid 1800s. Mount Erskine was named around 1859 by Captain George Richards of the British Royal Navy and labelled as such on British Admiralty Chart 2840, 1861. The name honours Admiral Elphinstone Erskine, who was then Commander-in-Chief of the North American Squadron. Captain Richards named several of the mountains in the area while conducting surveys for the British Admiralty along the west coast of Canada during 1858 to 1860.
Early recorded settlers to this isolated part of Salt Spring Island included many solitary bachelors like Charlie and Albert Toynbee, uncles of well-known islanders Dick, Manson, and Tom Toynbee. Charlie and Albert were thought to have lived in a cabin on the southeast edge of Mount Erskine Park, not far from the end of present day Toynbee Road.
Mount Erskine Park supports a unique series of ecosystem types that have very restricted distribution on Salt Spring Island. All but the western-most side of the park is within the Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone [CWH] although, in most of this ecosystem, Douglas fir is the dominant tree species. A very small section of the park is in the Coastal Douglas Fir [CDF] and is characterized largely by Douglas fir and western red cedar forests and the occasional grand fir. In addition, the park preserves an excellent example of the red-listed arbutus and hairy manzanita plant community as well as other species and habitats at risk.