|Destination||McKenzie and Douglas Lakes|
|Date||26 Sept 2018, Wednesday|
|Trip Coordinator||Norris Weimer|
|Contact Infoemail@example.com or 3710. Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.|
|Description||McKenzie and Douglas Lakes in Strathcona Park are approached from logging roads off of the road to Mt. Washington. The 6 km drive each way is rougher than the hiking. The hike is quite short (about 6 km return) and goes through forest and meadows to two lakes. This isn’t Helen Mackenzie Lake and this area is not busy. We can hike further or add other destinations, if this goes quickly.|
|Meeting Place||We will take the 8:00 Quadra ferry. Rides to be arranged in advance.|
|Departure Time||Drivers need to be early enough to get on the ferry|
|Costs||Share gas and ferry costs|
|Trip limits||Vehicles willing to drive the logging road may limit the number of participants|
|Dogs?||Would need to be on a leash at all times|
|Notes:||Bring lunch and appropriate clothing for altitude of 900 m.|
Five hikers and Rosco the dog enjoyed a three-hour hike in the Heriot Ridge area. A smoky haze from BC wildfires partially blocked the sun but was not as thick as the previous few days. Beginning at the Hopespring trailhead, we hiked up to the height of land and down the west side of the ridge, turning south on Gowlland trail. We sampled a few blackberries along the way, before turning east on the Homewood Bluff trail. On top of Homewood Bluff we stopped for a snack but the view to the west was lacking due to the smoke. Descending the east side of the bluff, we connected with Homewood’s High Bluff trail. This trail is partially overgrown, due to lack of use by the Homewood groups. However, the wolves use this route since wolf scat was observed perched on a log across the trail. After reaching the height of land, a side trip took us up to High Bluff were we enjoyed another rest stop but could barely see Campbell River to the west. From here we hiked north along Heriot Ridge on an unmarked route, stopping to say hello to a grand old Douglas fir tree tucked away in the bluffs. Along the way we stepped over the skeleton of an unfortunate deer not far from the intersection with Hopespring trail. From here we returned to the vehicles. Temperatures remained cool and pleasant throughout the hike due to the haze. 5.3 km.
(click on photos to enlarge)
Our group of five and a puppy hiked the short trail to see the Surge Narrows rapids at a 9.4 knot flood current. The day was very clear and extremely hot — 33° C in Campbell River. The turbulence was impressive and it was also interesting to watch the few boats that went through the rapids without waiting for slack water. We walked beyond the first viewpoint, following the unmaintained route, to the next bay and returned to the vehicles. 4.7 km; 3½ hours.
Most of the group then drove back to Mine Lake for a swim. It was lovely, but we had to stay in the water to stay cool.
Thanks to Les for the photos
(click on photos to enlarge)
The original plan was to hike to Woss Lookout in the morning to beat the extreme summer heat. But, unexpectedly, when we drove north on Highway 19, it was overcast and quite cool, so we continued on to the Little Huson Caves first. These karst features in Quatsino limestone are very beautifully sculpted into complex shapes with the Atluk Creek running through it. We took the short walk to the northern viewpoint first and explored the big opening in the natural bridge over the River “Cave”. The trail also leads to the south opening of the bridge with even more opportunity to see the sculpted limestone. With the low water and dry weather there are lots of possibilities for exploring. We also visited the Bridge Cave before walking to Little Huson Lake.
We then drove south to the rough logging road leading to the Woss Lookout trailhead. Once the skies cleared at noon, it was already hot. We walked up the upper logging road switchbacks and then took the trail through the forest up to the summit. This is a short, steep hike with lots of rope available for assistance. There were wonderful blueberries and purple huckleberries on the way up. At the summit we enjoyed the excellent restoration of the lookout tower, a very refreshing afternoon breeze, and fantastic view in nearly 360°. The historical photos from 1948 are very interesting. The location of the tower was great as a fire lookout, but also for views. The conical hill is a focus for five valleys. For the hike: 4.4 km; 2¾ hours; 376 m elevation gain; 35% incline in the steep section.
Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos, which were updated on August 25th.
(click on photos to view larger)
Six people met at the Village Bay Lake ramp at 8:30 and were on the water by 9 a.m. to beat some of the heat. Now that the temperature is reaching 30 degrees it is just too hot late afternoon to have a comfortable paddle. It was a beautiful clear day though with a slight breeze. We paddled up the right side of the lake going into each bay. It is amazing how many houses have been renovated on the lake in the last few years. There are also some new ones. Many are quite unique and some even have ladder trolleys to move goods up to the house. From Village Bay Lake the group paddled through the shallow creek to Mine Lake. There were a couple of blue herons in the reeds that were not bothered by our passing. The water level is quite low and a boat with motor would have a hard time not hitting sticks or the bottom in some areas. We then proceeded to the big sand beach at the entrance to Main Lake for lunch. There were a few tents pitched there but plenty of room for our group.
We took the same path back, but went down the opposite side of Village Bay Lake. There are many nice houses and cottages on that side as well. In total we traveled 11.4 km and were gone 3.5 hours.
(click on photos to view larger)
Change of start time! Stay in touch with the coordinator.
|Destination||Village Bay, Mine & Main Lakes|
|Date||23 July 2018, Monday|
|Trip Coordinator||Les Hand|
|Contact Info||2029 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Description||This will be an easy and protected paddle.The object will be to circumnavigate Village Bay Lake and explore the shoreline. We will go through the creek and have lunch at the sandy beach at Main Lake. 3-4 hours approx.|
|Meeting Place||Village Bay Lake boat ramp|
|Departure Time||meet at 8:30
|Notes:||Paddlers must have all equipment as outlined in Paddling Guidelines and please sign up at least one day before the trip.|
Change of date, start time and contact information!
|Destination||Woss Lookout and Little Huson Caves, Vancouver Island|
|Description||The recently restored Woss Lookout, about 1.5 hrs north of Campbell River, is accessed by a short but steep, rope-assisted, hike, about 4 km round trip. Even at a moderate pace, allowing for the steepness, this hike will not take all day. So for a more relaxing afternoon, we will then drive north and west to the LIttle Huson Caves, on the Zeballos Road, to explore this little known regional park. These caves are perfect for those who prefer to admire caves from the outside only, as they are shallow caves with wide entrances.
www.vancouverislandnorth.ca (Things to do, Caving) for more information on the Caves.
|Meeting Place||QCove Ferry Terminal; we will organize carpooling before trip|
||Woss Lookout – Difficult; LIttle Huson Caves – Easy|
|Costs||Ferry and gas contribution when carpooling|
|Notes:||A long day is expected. Some may want to stay in Campbell River for dinner to avoid ferry lineups. Must bring lunch, snacks, water. Good hiking boots recommended for the Woss Lookout hike; suggest that poles, if used, be of the foldable type for the rope sections. Flashlights may be useful to look into the caves. Trip cancelled if steady rain. Must phone or email the trip coordinator by 9 pm Wednesday, July 25 to join this hike.|