Trip Report – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018

Eight hikers arrived on beautiful Cortes, drove to Whaletown. Wandered around this sweet village, the floating dentist, the little post office, the tiny library and the church. Sculpin Potter opened his studio for viewing and some selected a few pieces. We even met the Sea Caption who was attacked by a bear last year in the Great Bear Rain Forest, he told us his story. He was busy painting bear paw prints on his boat. We then drove to Linnaea Farm and selected our bedrooms, all happily roomed. Ate lunch and then off for our first hike to Easter Bluff. It was an extremely hot day and thank goodness we were in the woods. What a delight to reach the summit, with its views of Cortes Bay, looking down on Linnaea Farm fields and beyond, incredible views. All found a little shade to sit and cool down. Returned to the farm and a number of members jumped in the lake.
We noticed a very tall fir clothed in wisteria on the shoreline, so beautiful. Dinner Team # 1 cooked a delicious meal, everyone sitting around the large table sharing stories and getting to know each other. We all ate so much, we decided to take a walk to see a close-up of the wisteria tree. Bed time.
Day 2: Another hot and sunny day. Up early, everyone ate a good breakfast, lunch packed and off to K’was Park Trail Network. Janis was our fantastic guide. This network of trails varies in difficulty and moderate climbs. Rugged in some places, magnificent old growth with trails that lead around the two lakes of Hague and Gunflint. Found wonderful places to stop, reflect, eat lunch, and just rest from the heat. Some of us climbed to the high manzanita covered bluffs, up and down the ladder, certainly well worth the climb. We always find this park magical. One could spend days in this park, we still need to walk the ‘Secret Trail’, next time for sure. Returned to the farm and several jumped in the lake or took out the canoe. Dinner Team # 2 cooked another delicious dinner, many laughs and stories happened around the table. We all helped with clean-up, giving us the time to travel to Smelt Bay to watch the sunset. Wandered along the beach, families were on the beach enjoying the warm night, even a trumpet player. A wonderful display of the sunset over Marina Island. Back to the farm and all filled with beauty.
Day 3: Yet another gorgeous day. Cyndy was our guide on this day. First stop, a walk through the woods to Hanks Beach. It was truly wonderful sitting on the magnificent rocks overlooking Twin Islands. We then drove to Manson’s Lagoon, low tide at this time giving us the opportunity to walk out and explore the beach pools and the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows and pinks. We enjoyed having lunch on the top taking in the serenity of the lagoon. Off to walk the trail through the woods to Mansons Landing, stopping at the Community Co-op for a treat and to say ‘hello’ to the old turkey in the community gardens. A trip to Cortes Museum and all enjoyed the exhibit of ‘Refuge Cove’. Walked to Cortes School, terrific gardens created by staff and students. We then walked the trail, again created and mapped by the students of Cortes School. A beautiful trail that led us back to Mansons Lagoon. We stopped and marvelled at the newly carved totem pole overlooking Mansons Bay. Returned to Linnaea, of course a number jumped in the lake to cool down. Dinner Team # 3 prepared a delicious dinner, enjoyed by all. After dinner we then drove to Hollyhock to wander the garden and the beach area. A lovely treat to end our day.
Day # 4: Members up early, clean-up began in the farmhouse. Everyone pitched in and soon the house was sparkling clean. After breakfast, food and gear packed, said our ‘goodbye’s’ to the farm and off to Carrington Bay. A beautiful hike through the woods down to the bay. Stories and dancing performed on the stage and enjoyed by all. Explored the magnificent lagoon, lots of starfish and sea cucumbers. Such a beautiful camping area. Took the trail to ‘Grandmother’s Grove’, feeling the energy and beauty it gives. The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society has been formed to purchase these forestlands and to hold them in trust for the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity. Members managed to connect with the 1:50 p.m ferry for home.
We all gave input regarding our Cortes Trip, communicating how much we all enjoyed these days on Cortes, the trails, the laughs, the stories, the sharing and giving, the delicious food and of course staying at Linnaea Farm is always a delight. Many thanks to our guides, the drivers, our stretching exercise teacher, and for the donation collected for ‘The Children’s Forest’. A terrific group of members at Margot thanks you all for your positive support.


Thanks to Jan for the photos, with more to come

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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 14-17 May 2018


Trip Report – Mine Lake Bluff – 9 May 2018

Seven hikers parked at the trail-head and headed along side of Mine Lake to Camp Homewood’s summer site. This trail can be covered in water in places but was dry for us. After going through the site you take the left trail that heads up to the bluff. The trail is steep through the trees but some steps have been dug out to make it a little better. The tough part is when you come to the rocks. It had rained the night before so the first climb was slick. Luck was with us though and the next section was in the sun and wind so it was dry. This is definitely a hike that should be done when dry as it involves some scrambling on all fours. When we reached the top the view was certainly worth the effort.

We ate lunch here and descended down the back side. The walk down is easier and below an impressive cliff. When we returned to the lake three brave souls went for a dip. They said it was cold but refreshing. 5 km; 3 ½ hours.

Les and Julie

Thanks to Les for the photos

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Hiking – Mine Lake Bluff – 9 May 2018

Multi-day Kayaking – Cortes Island, Shark Spit – 25-28 June 2018

Activity Multi-day Kayaking
Destination Cortes Island, Shark Spit
Date 25-28 June 2018: three nights, four days, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info 250-285-2393.  Please contact the coordinator by June 1st.
Description We will take the first ferry to Cortes, this can be a very busy ferry, please arrive at 8 am. We will launch kayaks in Whaletown Bay and paddle to Shark Spit, to set-up camp. This is such a beautiful camping area in the woods with many lovely sites. Weather conditions will determine our kayaking routes. Choices would be: Carrington Bay returning with a paddle in Coulter Bay; kayak around Marina at low tide, just gorgeous; Manson’s Landing, Smelt Bay and around Sutil Point. Dare we ‘do’ Gorge Harbour, all exciting. I am sure we will hear the wolves at Shark Spit either morning/evening and may even see them……lets hope.
Paddlers will bring their own breakfast, lunch, water and camping equipment. . Margot will put together ‘dinner teams’. Do not forget treats.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up (8:00 am)
Departure Time 9:05 am ferry
Moderate to difficult
Costs Ferry cost
Trip limits Eight kayakers.  Let’s try to car-pool.
Dogs? no
Notes: Must have kayak rescue skills, sea kayak and all kayak safety equipment.
The paddle could be moderate or difficult depending on the weather conditions and the wind can soon pick-up, we must be prepared for this happening. The beauty is astounding and hopefully we will see lots of wildlife.

Trip Report – The Campbell River Loop – 25 Apr 2018

Eight of us hiked the loop from the logging bridge on the Campbell River up to Moose Falls and back. This is always a beautiful walk, but it is particularly special in the spring with the wildflowers in bloom. We crossed the bridge and walked along the excellent trail on the north side of the river.  As the path follows side branches on the Campbell River, the trail was bordered by a profusion of pink fawn lilies, trillium, and wild bleeding heart.

We admired the Canyon View and continued up to the Millennium Trail.  We took an unmarked side path, recommended by Cyndy, to a lovely mossy bluff with an excellent view of Elk Falls.   We walked on through some big old growth Douglas fir trees to the Elk Falls viewing platform and suspensions bridge.  The views were particularly impressive because of the amount of water coming down the river.

We took the gradually ascending Old Growth trail and then the very steep descent to the rocky viewpoint for Moose Falls and the Dolphin Pool, where we stopped for lunch. The weather was beautiful and sunny, with a very warm afternoon. We returned along the river, passing more old growth trees, Deer Falls and another spectacular viewpoint for Elk Falls.  We crossed at Station View, which was quite hot and industrial, and continued on the south bank, with more wildflowers, back to the vehicles. 12.9 km; 5 hours.


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Hiking – The Campbell River River Loop – 25 Apr 2018

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 23 May 2018

Activity Natural History – Caving
Destination Sayward area caves
Date 23 May 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Cyndy Chidley
Contact Info Cyndy Chidley: 250-285-3575
Bill West-Sells: 1-778-860-3131
Description Introductory caving (with some challenges) on north Vancouver Island.  Challenges include bridging, climbing, stretching, wriggling, not to mention small, dark places.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry or possibly the 8:00 to Campbell River
Difficulty Depends on the group
Costs Ferry and shared gas
Trip limits 12
Wear rubber boots or wool sock with runners that you don’t mind getting wet, but you will have cold feet. Bring coveralls, a helmet that you are able to fit with head light and a head light, if you can get one.  Bill has some extras that he will bring.  Flexible gloves, if you have them. A change of shoes and socks. A lunch and water.  If you have a  walkie-talkie or VHF radio, please bring it with charged batteries.

Hiking – Mine Lake Bluff – 9 May 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Mine Lake Bluff
Date 9 May 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Julie Mellanby
Contact Info phone 3978.  Please contact the coordinator in advance.
Description We will park near the Mine Lake boat access and walk to Camp Homewood.  From there the route ascends the bluff to the north of Mine Lake with great views.  The trail going up the bluff can feel a bit exposed.  This is a hike, not a climb, but do have good footwear and be careful.  The trail down is a regular trail and it loops back underneath the bluffs to the start of the steep bit.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Tru Value parking lot for car pooling
Departure Time TBD
Difficulty Moderate, for very steep section
Costs none
Trip limits none
Notes: Bring lunch.

Trip Report – Stramberg Old Growth – 18 April 2018

We had a perfect hiking day for this walk through varied forest to see some of Quadra’s biggest old growth trees.  The first part of the hike skirts Vic’s Marsh through open forest and passes meadows with fruit tree, nettles, Vic’s barn-like house and old fencing.  We stopped briefly at the bluff overlooking the open water part of the marsh to enjoy the view and watch huge numbers of geese heading north.  The next section follows a narrow, flagged trail which undulates, often along a creek or below bluffs and heads into Main Lake Provincial Park.  After the T-junction with the logging road, the right turn leads more or less north with a gradual grade and wide allowance, though very wet at this time of year.  The trees are plastered with lichen and moss making it an enchanted forest.  After crossing a small creek, the trail ascends to the glade with old growth Douglas fir and cedar.  But there are big trees along the whole walk.

The flagging is in good condition, and the trail is not too bad except for the fallen trees which you have to climb under or over or go around, and long sections of sword fern where you never see the ground or your feet.   12.1 km round trip, 5⅓ hours.


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Hike – Stramberg Old Growth Grove – 18 April 2018