Hiking – Homewood and North Gowlland Trails – 2 June 2021

Change of meeting location!

Activity Hiking
Destination Homewood and North Gowlland Trails
Date 2 June 2021, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday.
Description We will hike to three bluffs off of Homewood trails before climbing up to the telecommunications tower on Heriot Ridge.  From there we will descend to North Gowlland trail to visit some old trees and open bluffs.
Meeting Place Community Centre parking lot
Departure Time 10:00
Moderate.  Some steep sections, wet sections.  We will follow maintained trails, unmaintained trails and routes.  About 8 km; 4.5 hours with lunch.
Costs None
Trip limits 10 participants.  If you RSVP for this trip, please commit to coming as others may be excluded by the cap on trip participants.
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.

Trip Report – Cortes Island – May 2021

Day 1 – With Dr. Bonnie Henry’s encouragement to go camping locally, we stayed three nights and four days on Cortes Island, using the Smelt Bay campground as our base. After taking the ferry on Monday to Cortes, setting up camp and after having a sunny, relaxed lunch on the beach at Smelt Bay, we went to Manson’s Lagoon at a very low tide so that we could walk to the little island and explore the intertidal zone. (1.5 km; 1 hour)  After that we hiked to Easter Bluff, a short walk rewarded with excellent views to the south and east. (2.3 km; 2 hours)

(click to enlarge photos)

Day 2 – The night was quite cold, but we warmed up hiking up to the summit of Green Mountain, the highest point on Cortes Island, but still a very accessible trip. The loop around the top provided great views in most directions. (4.3 km; 2 hours)  In the afternoon, one couple kayaked on Hague and Gunflint Lakes, while the rest of us kayaked from the Whaletown government dock out to Shark Spit, once again at a very low tide. The launch down the steep ramp was quite extreme.  We walked around the Spit before portaging the boats over the spit and exploring the islets and coast around Uganda Passage.  (9 km; 2.5 hours)

Day 3 –  Rain was forecast overnight and into Wednesday, but we really only had drizzle overnight and it was dry by morning. Still, for breakfast we took advantage of the beautiful picnic shelter at the Smelt Bay campsite, with its timber-framed structure, wood stove and picnic tables. We then set out for the long loops at Kw’as Regional Park. Starting near the Cortes Motel, we hiked the eastern side Millennium Trail out to the Swim Rock for lunch. We followed along the Rock Face trail on the Hague Lake shore and visited the amazing Survivor Fir before crossing the narrows and hiking the loop out to the bench on the Pierre de Trail. Returning by the Cedar Ridge, we re-crossed the narrows and followed the Gunflint Lake shoreline stopping at the old steam donkey and then back to the cars. (12.4 km; 5.75 hours)

Day 4 –  Wednesday night was cool and windy, but Thursday turned into a lovely day. A few headed back on an early ferry (which it turned out didn’t run until 3:50), while the rest of us hiked in the morning at Hank’s beach, catching the low tide, sunny facing shore and great views. We rambled over the rocky bluffs and explored some tidal pools.  (3.2 km; 1.25 hours)  We then headed over to Squirrel Cove for lunch on the beach. We carried the kayaks a long way to the water and paddled into the protected anchorage, through the islands, enjoying the intertidal life. We were happy to see that the purple sea stars are returning very well. We stopped at the creek into the Squirrel Cove lagoon and walked across to the lagoon. In addition to the excellent intertidal life, there were duck and chicks in the lagoon. (7.7 km; 2.25 hours)  After ice cream from the Squirrel Cove store, most of us took the last ferry home.

There is so much to see and do on Cortes and we packed a lot into four days. The weather was kind to us, the low tides fascinating, and the spring growth lovely. We are so fortunate to have this nearby.


Thanks to Norris and Bonnie for the photos

Quadra Island Outdoor Club Reopens

Now that Dr. Henry has lifted restrictions on adult outdoor sports, the Quadra Island Outdoor Club has the opportunity to resume outings.  There will continue to be protocols in place, which will be available shortly, and will focus on limiting participation to local residents, the size of the group to 10, and to continued observance of distancing.

In a normal year, we would have a planning meeting in April, with the new membership year beginning in May, so we are only a little late.  At this moment no one has renewed their membership, so that is an important next step.  Here is a link to the membership form and to the liability waiver:

membership application


However, there are a few challenges about how to initiate the upcoming schedule.  I personally think a planning meeting outside (which would limit attendance to 10 people) or a Zoom meeting are not very appealing options to plan the summer events.  Please let me know if you think I’m wrong about this.  The other possibility is to do the planning through email and the webpage.  I really welcome feedback about this.  It’s essential that the Club energy comes from the membership.  We have lots of destinations, but without participants and coordinators, nothing happens. Please leave your comments about any of this.

Here is a list of possible outings, to tweak your imagination.  Only a very few have dates and coordinators.

2 June, Wed – hike the Homewood – North Gowlland trails – coordinator Debbie Quigg
date TBD – hike the Shellaligan Pass Trail – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike the Morte Lake Loop – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike the Beech’s Mountain Loop – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Mine Lake Bluff – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Main Lake and Yeatman Bay – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Stramberg old growth grove – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Newton Lake – Small Inlet – Waiatt Bay – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Blindman’s Bluff & Eagle Ridge – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Nugedzi Lakes and views – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike the Rousseau Ridge loop – coordinator Debbie Quigg
date TBD – hike to Maud Island – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Mt. Seymour – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Hopespring – Thompson Trail loop – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Surge Narrows – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike the Silk Stocking – Little Black Dress loop – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Trout Creek waterfalls – coordinator Debbie Quigg
date TBD – hike the Quinsam River trails – coordinator Debbie Quigg
date TBD – hike the Snowden Forest trails – coordinator TBD
date TBD – hike to Mt. Elma – coordinator Norris Weimer
date TBD – hike to Mt. Drabble – coordinator Norris Weimer

date TBD – kayaking in Gowlland Harbour – coordinator TBD
date TBD – kayaking to Open Bay – Village Bay – coordinator TBD
date TBD – kayaking on Main Lakes – coordinator TBD
date TBD – kayaking to Granite Bay,  Kanish Bay & Small Inlet – coordinator TBD

Don’t let this list limit what you would like to do.  It only takes three people for a trip to happen, so be proactive about where you would like to go.  I would like to kick-start the trip schedule as soon as possible, so don’t be bashful about volunteering to coordinate a trip.  I have not included multi-day trips here, because that varies widely from year to year.  But we have always had multi-day camping, hiking and kayaking trips and expect to do so again.

I realize that everyone’s risk tolerance and situation is different, but I hope that you are looking forward to a summer of outdoor exercise and beauty.