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
Difficulty
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.
Dogs?
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.

Debbie

Thanks to Norris and Bonnie for the photos

Trip Report – Kw’as Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

We were a group of four on the Remembrance Day hike to Cortes Island.  The ferry was uncrowded and the crossing calm.  We began the hike at the trailhead near the Cortes Island Motel and walked through this beautiful rainforest.  We ascended up toward the Summit and then along the Millennium Trail undulating over rocky bluffs through some old growth trees.  We had views of Hague Lake before we reached the Swim Rock, where we stopped for lunch.  The water and the weather were calm, and we chatted with a local woman who was fishing from her kayak.
 
We continued on the trail high along the shore with great views and descended the ladder along the Rock Face.  We made a short side trip to visit the Survivor Fir, which we measured as 7.9m in circumference.  We crossed the bridge across the narrow waterway between Hague and Gunflint Lakes and walked the loop to the south, including Pierre de Trail and the Cedar Ridge.  We also enjoyed the large Douglas fir at the junction, which we measured as 8.35m in circumference.  We returned over the bridge and walked the trail along the west shore of Gunflint Lake, with great views along the way and the steam donkey remains.  We continued on through the Spruce Grove and returned to the vehicles.  
 
It was a great hike with lots of variety and highlights.  The trail was very quiet at this time of year.  After the hike we stopped at the Cortes Coop for delicious refreshments before taking the ferry home.  8.9 km, 4½ hours.
 
Debbie
 

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Hiking – Kw’as Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

Trip Report – South Morte Lake – 4 Nov 2020

This hike was a substitute for a trip to Cortes, which we put off because of the wind forecast.  Seven of us hiked a loop from the east end of Reed Lake up and over to the south shore of Morte Lake and back.  We only had a few drops of rain, but the trail was really wet, having had some heavy rains this fall and over 40 mm 24 hours earlier.  
 
We started along the north shore of Reed and Mud Lake to the South Bluff trail and the beach and viewpoint at Morte Lake, where we took a short break.  We then followed the official Morte Lake trail, turning on Nirvana and continuing up on Seven Sins to the viewpoint for lunch while it was nearly sunny.  We then turned down on Deadfish and Lost Rider and back to the vehicles.
 
The mushroom were still great and everything was very, very wet.  7.2 km, 3¼ hours.
 
Debbie
 

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – South Morte Lake – 4 Nov 2020

Hiking – South Morte Lake- 4 Nov 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination South Morte Lake
Date 4 Nov 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.
Description We will park at the east end of Reed Lake and hike a loop over to Morte Lake on bike trails.  The plan is Mud Lake trail, South Bluff, Morte Lake trail, Nirvana, Seven Sins, Upper Deadfish, Lost Rider and back.  If it rains hard the loop can be shorter.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store parking lot to convoy to the trailhead.
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Moderate: undulating on good trails, with wet sections
Costs None
Trip limits Eight
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.

Hiking – Kw’as Regional Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Kw’as Regional Park, Cortes
Date 11 Nov 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday.
Description We will hike through this lovely park, situated between Gunflint and Hague Lakes on Cortes Island.  Along with great views, there is fine old growth, interesting geology and history, and a good variety of trails.  We hope to include a bit of everything in the day’s hike.  We will return on the 1:50 or 3:50 ferry.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay ferry terminal to Cortes.  Drivers will need to be early enough to be on the ferry.
Departure Time 9:05 ferry
Difficulty
A few steep places, but mostly reasonable walking on good trails.
Costs Ferry costs;  If you wish to car pool, please make those arrangements privately and in advance, as the Club does not facilitate carpooling during the pandemic.
Trip limits Eight
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.

Multi-day Kayaking – Sutil Channel – 10-15 Aug 2020

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Sutil Channel/Cortes Island/Marina Island
Date 10 to 14 or 15 August 2020; Monday to Friday or Saturday
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell
Contact Info mitchelldarcy51@gmail.com; 250 923 5540
Description Departing from Open Bay toward Carrington Bay on Cortes Island (likely 2 nights) then to Shark Spit, Marina Island (likely 2 nights), with a possible 5th night. Itinerary subject to change depending on participants’ interests and weather conditions. Up to 25 km per day in possibly adverse conditions. Possibilities for hiking as well as day paddles.
Meeting Place End of Valdes Road, Open Bay
Departure Time 9:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. launch
Difficulty
Moderate to challenging
Cost none
Trip limits 6
Dogs? no
Notes: All participants must observe club paddling guidelines including demonstrated ability (through Club safety sessions) to perform assisted, and preferably, self-rescue. If you have not previously paddled with the coordinator on a multi-day trip, please contact her to discussion your experience and equipment.  Pandemic protocols will be observed.

Last date for registration – August 4.

Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island- 4-8 May 2020

Activity Multi-day Hiking
Destination Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm
Date 4-8 May 2020, Monday to Friday
Trip Coordinator Janis McLean
Contact Info 250.285.3614; please contact the coordinator well in advance of the trip
Description This is our annual trip to Cortes Island, based at Linnaea Farm in an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse on the edge of Gunflint Lake. We are planning to hike many of the trails: Easter Bluff, K’was Park, Hanks Beech Forest Park, Green Mountain, Whaletown Commons, Manson’s Lagoon, Smelt Bay, Carrington, etc. A schedule of trails will be developed and presented daily. There may be one or more optional hikes in silence, giving us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature without the distraction of conversation. Each person is responsible for their breakfasts and lunches; dinner teams will be organized in advance. Please visit: http://www.linnaeafarm.org for information about the farm.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up
Departure Time 9:05 am sailing. Vehicles must be in line-up by 8 a.m. This is a busy trades ferry. Car-pooling will be organized in advance.
Difficulty Easy to Moderate.
Cost $35/person/night. Bring your own sleeping bag and towel. Plus ferry costs and shared fuel. Bring your ferry card (and driver’s licence if you want the senior’s rate).
Trip limits Limit of 10 people, if four people are willing to double up in two of the bedrooms. Lakeview Room is reserved for the coordinator.
Dogs? No. Dogs are not allowed on the farm.
Notes: Payment to Club Treasurer Julie Mellanby by April 15, 2020. Members will need to renew their membership for 2020-21. Please advise of any special dietary needs. Other activities include swimming and canoeing/kayaking (bring your own boats and equipment) on Gunflint and Hague Lakes. As in other years, this trip is popular and will fill up quickly.

Trip Report – Silent Carrington Bay & Grandmother’s Grove – 9 Dec 2019

Such a lovely three ladies silent hike at Carrington Bay, Cortes Island. We began with a meditation under the ancient maple tree at the entrance to the trail and then we began our silent hike. Stopping and truly seeing the old giants, visualizing the homestead, the care, hardwork and attention given to homesteading. Listening to the waterfall, the woodpeckers drilling away and later hearing the sound of the lagoon. We walked onto Grandmother’s Grove and ate our lunch near the water, lots of ducks on the lagoon. Those ancient trees towering above us, a lovely place to sit and we felt welcomed. Returning eventually to the trail and slowly making our way back. We ended our hike with a beautiful meditation. There is such a powerful eloquence in silence. A wonderful day.

Margot

Thanks to Sandra for the photos

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Hiking in Silence – Carrington Bay & Grandmother’s Grove – 5 Dec 2019

Trip Report – Carrington Bay & Grandmothers’ Grove – 2 Dec 2019

We tried, unsuccessfully, to change the date of this hike for better weather, but we ended up with a cold, grey, drizzly day.  Our group of 13 hiked along the old logging road stopping at the Borden homestead .  We continued on to Carrington Bay and the tidal lagoon, and crossed the narrow channel on the bridge as the very high tide was rushing in with a standing wave.  We wandered through the camping area and on to the peninsula with the swim rock.  The lagoon had ice on it and was incredibly silent.  We had a bone chilling lunch break on logs in the forest before we continued on to Grandmothers’ Grove, a beautiful old growth stand of spruce and cedar, in the James Creek drainage.  We followed the trail and logging roads back in a loop and made brisk time up the hill to the vehicles to catch the earlier ferry and stay warm. 8.5 km; 3 hours.

Debbie

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Hiking – Carrington Bay & Grandmothers’ Grove – 2 Dec 2019