The group of seven and two dogs hiked a series of mountain biking trails on a cold and mostly clear day. The loop was new to everyone on the trip. We started on North Gowlland Rd and hiked up Cash Only to an old mining site. We continued on Back Door and Silk Stocking through mostly open forest past some interesting old mining operations, complete with old cars and rails. We met up with two mountain bikers who were very gracious about our using their trails.
We stopped for lunch at an open copper mine. Instead of continuing on the planned route over Bite the Bullet and Sam’s Shorty, we backtracked a bit and returned via Little Black Dress. This route was recommended to us and had the advantage of avoiding the logged area and the walk on North Gowlland Rd. Little Black Dress is under construction and in some places only a flagged route. Most of the loop winds through open forest and high bluffs with peekaboo views of Gowlland Harbour, and Vancouver Island and mainland mountains, with quite a bit of up and down. After we joined up with Back Door, we used the old logging/mining road to return to the vehicles. 13 km, 3 3/4 hours.
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