Seven hikers and Kona (the dog) enjoyed a four-hour hike on this loop with a side hike up Eileen’s Bluff. The weather was sunny, high of 26°C, with a slight NW breeze which was welcome on the open ridge bluffs. Starting at the Thompson trailhead, we hiked to the first viewpoint, stopping to admire the views to the east and north, and proceeded on a route north down the open ridge, dropped off the ridge at the big moss-covered maple tree and continued on a deer route through the forest to the old B&B trail. After a short distance on this trail, we headed north on a little used trail, at one point crossing a steep gully spanned by a very large old log. At the end of this trail, a rough route climbs west up the open ridge of Eileen’s Bluff to a steep drop-off at the top, overlooking part of John Marlowe’s woodlot. Here we stopped by a small pond for a snack in the shade and admired the view east across the islands to the mainland mountains. Retracing our steps to the B&B trail, we proceeded south up the trail through the cool forest along the stream gully. Along the way the group admired a couple of decaying alder logs lined with pearly-white oyster mushrooms. At the T-junction with Thompson Trail, we proceeded south to the second viewpoint turnoff and followed this trail up to the top of the ridge for our lunch break, with more spectacular views east. Instead of retracing our steps, we followed a sketchy route east and north down the ridge to intersect Thompson Trail near the first viewpoint intersection. From there, it was only a few minutes down the trail to the vehicles on Thompson Road. On the way we watched an ambitious brown-striped garter snake attempting to swallow a full-sized slug. 5.3 km; 3½ hours.
Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos