Trip Report – Cortes Island – 15-18 May 2017

Day 1: Eight energetic hikers left for four hiking days on Cortes Island. On arrival at Cortes we drove to Carrington Trails. We took the main trail to the lagoon, which is an old dirt road. At the lagoon it was a delight to see purple star fish. On the trails there were lots of beautiful wild flowers. We walked on to Grandmothers’ Grove, ate our lunch and then continued through the mature forests. (10.5 km; 3½ hour)  The Forest Trust for the children of Cortes Island has been formed to protect these forestlands. Our group donated $60 at the end of our trip to the Forest Trust for the children of Cortes.

We packed our baggage into the Linnaea Farm House and chose our rooms. We then drove to Hank’s Beach for a short walk through the forest to a secluded wide sandy beach, overlooking Twin Islands. Beautiful rock formations, all enjoyed a good climb. Unfortunately it was pretty windy. (2.9 km; 1 hour)  Returned to Linnaea Farm. Team 1 prepared a delicious dinner along with wine and active communication. Had a wonderful log fire in the room at the  farmhouse.

Day 2: After breakfast, we put on our hiking boots. A beautiful day filled with sunshine.  Janis led the group into Kw’as Park, we vowed to spend the entire day in the park because we had never walked all its wonderful trails. 173 acre park,  20% of the park is still virgin old growth and the rest is mature second growth forest. The trails led through a number of rugged areas, many steep areas overlooking Gunflint and Hague Lakes. Magnificent old growth groves. We climbed ladders, held onto ropes to enable us to reach the high manzanita covered bluffs. We ate lunch overlooking Gunflint Lake and then upward and onward to the Summit. This was a superb day and returned to the farm house filled up with its beauty.  (14.2 km; 7½ hours)  Team 2 prepared another delicious dinner, some joined Janis in needed yoga moves. All ready for a good nights sleep.

Day 3: Breakfast. We took the cars and drove to near Squirrel Cove to take the trail to Von Donop Marine Park. Debbie and Norris led us on this trail. The first part of the trail was well maintained and marked. Later we came across wind-fallen trees and all managed bush whacking over and around trees. Again, a lovely forested area, we took the trail that led to Mud Bay. This bay is a beauty, lovely warm coloured rocks, small inlets, a boaters paradise. Enjoyed eating our lunch and taking in the surrounding beauty. Returned to the trail and hiked back to the trail head. (12.1 km; 5 hours)  Returned to Linnaea Farm.  Five of us hiked up to Easter Bluff. This trail is steep and rocky in many places, a really good work-out.  Gorgeous views at the top overlooking the south and west end of Cortes Island and the snow covered mountains. A lovely clear afternoon allowing us to see over to Powell River and beyond. (5.9 km; 2½ hours)  We treated ourselves to pizza for dinner followed by dessert. Julie led a few of us in a crazy board game.  Norris lit and kept an amazing fire going in the room.

Day 4: Packed our bags, ate breakfast. Moved our baggage out to the cars. We drove to Green Mountain trailhead. The trail was a steep trek and part of the trail looked like a streambed. The view at the top of Green Mountain is spectacular, overlooking Gorge Harbour, Marina Island, Quadra and to the mountains beyond. Beautiful rock ledges, old growth, manzanita covered slopes with huge arbutus. We hiked the loop and then continued on to Nutshell Lake. A small lake which the locals use for skating in the winter. Beautiful wild flowers along the edge of the lake. Ate our lunches on a warm rocky slope. Picked up a newly made biking trail and returned to the trailhead. (7.2 km; 3¼ hours)  We then drove to the ferry and returned to Quadra with our memories of Cortes.

This was four packed days of hiking, seeing and experiencing the beauty of Cortes, great food, laughter, wonderful company with eight wonderful hikers from Quadra. A truly beautiful happening.


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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 15-18 May 2017


Multi-day Hiking – Linnaea Farm, Cortes – 15-18 May 2017

 This trip is FULL, but you can contact the coordinator to be on the wait list.

Activity Four days of hiking
Destination Linnaea Farm, Cortes Island
Date 15-18 May 2017, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info or phone 250.285.2393; commitment for this trip needs to be made by March 13.
Description Planning four days of hiking on beautiful Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm House. This is an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse, on the edge of Gunflint Lake at the gateway to many of the hiking trails on Cortes. This is an active farm & was once the residence of the farmers who ran ‘Lakeview Dairy’, the last raw milk in B.C.
Many beautiful trails on Cortes, Green Mountain, Easter Bluff, K’Was Park, Sisken Forest Park, Carrington Trails etc. The schedule of trails will be developed presented daily with your input. This year we want to spend one day in K’Was Park, we always ran out of time. Pot-luck dinners will be organized, using the farmhouse kitchen. Please check:
Meeting Place Heriot Bay ferry line-up for Cortes
Departure Time 9:05 am sailing, be early in case of overload.
Difficulty  Easy to Moderate.
Cost Ferry costs plus shared fuel.  $35/night if you bring your own sleeping bag or linen; $50/night if Linnaea supplies the linens.
Trip limits Eight bedrooms.  Deadline booking is 13 March 2017.
Dogs? No. Dogs are not allowed on the farm.
Notes: Everyone is responsible for their own daily breakfasts & lunch, pot luck dinner teams to be organized.
Car-pooling will be organized.
Looking forward to once again hiking on beautiful Cortes Island.

Multi-day Kayaking – Carrington Bay – 12-14 June 2016


Activity Multi-day Kayaking
Destination Carrington Bay, Cortes Island
Date 12-14 June 2016, Sunday to Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 250-285-2393.  Please contact the coordinator by June 1st.
Description We will leave on the 10:50 a.m. ferry to Cortes. Drive over to Coulter Bay and launch from there. A nice paddle to Carrington Bay, to set-up our tents at the tent site. Explore Quartz Bay/Penn Islands. After dinner we can explore Grandma’s Grove plus the trails in Carrington Bay Park, which has a rich homesteading history along with a gorgeous lagoon. Next day paddle to Von Donop Inlet to explore.
Planning to leave Tuesday afternoon, returning to Quadra. Time either 3:50/5:50p.m. ferry.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up
Departure Time 10:15 for the 10:50 ferry
Moderate to difficult, weather dictates the difficulty.  Some exposed crossings.
Costs Ferry and gas cost.
Trip limits Must have kayak rescue skills.
Dogs? no
Notes: I will organize car-pooling and pot-luck dinners. Bring your own breakfasts, lunches and water for three day’s.
Ocean kayak and all necessary safety equipment, camping equipment, walking boots.

Trip Report – Cortes, Linnaea Farm – 18-20 Apr 2016

Eight members met at Cortes Ferry line-up for our three day hiking trip to Cortes Island. A lovely cruise on the ferry and a time for details about the trip. We first took a quick visit to Whaletown, a sweet community, then onto Gorge Harbour; walked the property and the dock. On to Linnaea Farm to leave our baggage. We began the first hike and hiked up to Easter Bluff, gorgeous views overlooking the south and west ends end of Cortes, Quadra and the mountains beyond. In the afternoon we walked at Hank’s Beach Forest Conservation Park, spent time on the beach.  The group enjoyed a delicious dinner around the big table at the farm.

Tuesday, Sabina, a marine biologist, took us on a walk from Smelt Bay to Manson’s Landing. This was a day filled with marine knowledge: identified wolf prints, sea-weeds, shells, grasses, birds, ducks, history of Cortes etc. It was a wonderful experience. Lunch near the beautiful maple trees and onto Manson’s Landing. Afternoon we walked Siskin Forest Park, one of the newer parks on Cortes. Again, a delicious dinner.

Final day we hiked in Kw’as Park. This is a large network of trails filled with old growth. We hugged the sides of Gunflint Lake and Hague Lake. Managed to climb up to the summit, a lovely display of wild flowers, arbutus and manzanita. We marveled at the huge red cedar trees and the dear survivor Douglas fir tree. We only managed to hike part of the park and certainly want to return.

Gunflint Lake was inviting and some chose to swim in order to cool down. Packed and onto the ferry, returning to Quadra.

I truly enjoyed this trip: the weather was a plus, the group was fantastic, the farm stay enjoyable and the hikes amazing. We all expressed what a gem Cortes Island is.


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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes, Linnaea Farm – 18-20 Apr 2016

Hiking – Cortes Island – 18-20 Apr 2016

Activity Hiking
Destination Cortes Island, Linnaea Farm
Date 18-20 Apr, Monday-Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 250-285-2393.  Please contact the coordinator by April 1st.
Description Planning three days of hiking on Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm House. This is an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse, on the edge of Gunflint Lake at the gateway to many of the hiking trails on Cortes. This is still an active farm & was once the residence of the farmers who ran Lakeview Dairy, the last raw milk in B.C.
I have ordered beautiful weather, allowing us to hike many of  the trails, Green Mountain, Easter Bluff, K’was Park, Hanks Beech Forest Park, Sisken Forest Park, Carrington Trails etc. Or you can sign-up for farm chores. If you wish to bring your kayak, we can paddle the lake & beyond.
A schedule of trails will be developed & presented daily with your input. I would also like to take you to the ‘Free Store’….pretty neat.
Pot-luck dinners will be organized, using the kitchen at the farmhouse.
You may chose to stay one/two nights……..let me know.
Please check:
Meeting Place Cortes ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:05 ferry to Cortes
Difficulty easy to moderate
Costs $50 per night with bed linens/ $30 per night with own sleeping bag. Ferry round trip.
Trip limits When the bedrooms are full.
Dogs? No. Not allowed at the farm.
Notes: Car pooling will be organized.
Bring food for breakfast, & lunch and pot-luck dinners.
Hope you can make this trip before we get out into the garden.

Trip Report – Channel Rock & Kw’as Park – 18 Aug 2015

Such a beautiful day, filled with sunshine. Ten individuals attended this trip, we caught the 9:05 a.m. ferry to Cortes Island. We drove to 431 Whaletown Road, parked at Channel Rock parking lot.  Steph (manager) for Channel Rock met us and we walked the lovely path to Channel Rock.  Channel Rock is a 140-acre, off the grid paradise, protected by land covenant, powered by solar energy, and only accessible by boat or by foot.  Steph took us on a tour of Gilean Douglas’s home, which is in need of care and attention.  Our donation went towards this restoration program.  Steph gave us further details of the life of Gilean Douglas during her time on Cortes Island and the present owners.  We then toured the gardens and the amazing locally crafted dwellings of Channel Rock.  Each structure fitted into the natural landscape, such beautiful craftsmanship.  We ate our lunch overlooking the stunning coastline and gardens.

Trekked back along the path to the parking area.  We dropped two hikers off at Whaletown Commons and the rest proceed to the Kw’as trails.  This is a large network of trails and we only had the time to cover a small section.  The section we chose took us along the side of Gunflint Lake and through deep old forests, up to high covered bluffs.  We crossed a bridge that gave us a view of Hague Lake and then continued up and over the manzanita covered bluffs.  We stopped a couple of times at different view spots and to read the information boards posted.  This trail is well marked and indeed beautiful. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to hike to the Old Growth area and all decided we need to return for the whole day next time.  It was a pleasure walking in the cool woods on such a hot day.  The group decided to take a side trip to the Co-op for a nice cold beverage and then onto the ferry line-up.

This was truly a rewarding day and again filled with beautiful memories of another visit to Cortes Island. All hikers arrived home safely and we look forward to seeing the pictures.

Lets return again!


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Hiking – Channel Rock & K’was Park – 18 Aug 2015

Hiking – Channel Rock & K’was Park – 18 Aug 2015

Activity Hiking
Destination Channel Rock and K’was Park Trails, Cortes Island
Date 18 August 2015, Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 285-2393; Please would you let me know before Aug 4th. I need to inform Channel Rock of numbers.
Description I will organize car-pooling for this trip. We will leave on the first ferry to Cortes. The group will visit Channel Rock starting with a beautiful hike along the coast line to Channel Rock. Channel Rock is a 140 acre paradise, protected by a land covenant, powered by solar energy, & accessible by boat or by foot. Surrounded by stunning coastlines, lush forests, & magical ecosystems. Many interesting dwellings have been built over the years, built by the islander’s talented woodworkers, that fit into the natural landscape & offer examples of highest quality craftsmanship & natural building mediums. The gardens are not just bountiful but beautiful. This was the home of Gilean Douglas for over 40 years. Gilean was a journalist, historian, feminist & a nature writer. I have booked a tour for us. This will be our morning trip & in the afternoon we will hike the K’was Park Trail Network. This large network of trails varies in difficulty & time depending on the route taken. Trails lead along the side of Hague & Gunflint lakes, through deep old forests & over high manzanita covered bluffs. We will return on the 3:50 p.m ferry.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up.
Departure Time 9:05 a.m. ferry
easy – moderate
Costs Ferry cost plus Channel Rock tour $15
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring your lunch and water