Trip Report – Santana Mine – 29 May 2023

Nine of us, including two guests, drove out to Bold Point, the start of the old Santana Mine Road.  Gabe and Karen generously offered for us to park on and cross their property to the trailhead.  The old road needed a bit of brush cutting and sawing, but we were very grateful to Alex and Ellen for their flagging and chainsawing.  We did a bit more work on it and it’s not too bad now.  After climbing the final rise below the mine, we had a snack at the viewpoint toward Vancouver Island and admired the Western tanager singing loudly in the tree in front of us.  We continued up the tailing slope and explored the mine with it’s colourful entrance, old rail tracks, and a few crickets.  There were no spiders this time.  

After we returned to the cars, doing a bit more trail work along the way, we drove to the old Bold Point trestle, where the Union Steamship used to dock.  The planking is seriously deteriorating, but it’s a beautiful vista onto Hoskyn Channel.

Thanks for all the community support for our hike out to the mine.  The mine trail was 3.3 km; 2¼ hours.


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Hiking – Santana Mine – 29 May 2023


Trip Report – Morton Lake Provincial Park – 23-25 May 2023

Tuesday:  There were seven of us on this camping, kayaking and hiking trip, with flexible arrival and departure times.  Les went out early and stayed Monday night at Morton Lake Provincial Park.  The rest of us arrived on Tuesday morning and set up our campsites right away.  After a picnic lunch at the Mohun Lake boat launch in the sun, we launched and paddled south into Mohun Lake with a light northwest breeze following us and fabulous views of Strathcona Park ahead.  We checked out two campsites on the way and then got out at the Pacific Yew Rec Site to stretch our legs before heading back.  The Lake and campgrounds were very quiet and we only saw two canoes all day.  The water levels were high everywhere, sometimes making it tricky to get ashore.  After returning to the Provincial Park, most of us took a short walk along Morton Lake to a rocky outcropping along the shore where people had made many, many cairns.  We enjoyed a great happy hour at Les’ campsite with much too much yummy food, before a restful evening at our campsites.

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Wednesday: We were on the water shortly after 9:30 on a clear day with a light northwest breeze.  We headed north through the old trestles into Goose Lake, with the Menzies Massif high above the Lake.  We made leisurely progress checking out the campsites on the shore and getting out at G6 and G7 for closer inspection.  We continued north to Seagull Bay and hauled out there.  After lunch on the dock, most of us walked the portage trail connecting to Twin Lakes.   The forest walk was lovely with dappled light in a good forest and the trail often following a creek.  There was a guided group of students at the north end with four canoes, just about to launch.  We returned to the boats and headed south, enjoying the many islands and islets, before turning into the lagoon to explore.  We paddled the very shallow waters over to the campsite at Loon Bay, which had a great location and set-up.  We headed back to the campsite and again had great appies at Stephen and Carrie’s campsite before another quiet evening.

Thursday: Terry had to head home and Les departed at check-out time.  The remaining five of us first walked the loop trail north of the campground leading to Andrew Lake and then back.  Next, we walked the old railroad line out to the trestles at the narrows between Mohun and Goose Lakes.  There were flowers and lake views along the way.  We went a bit further through the forest to open shore by an islet, with a spectacular view of Mohun and the mountains beyond it.  After returning to the campground, Bonnie, Norris and Debbie departed, with Stephen and Carrie remaining another night. They explored Morton Lake by kayak and poked into Mohun Creek.

Friday:  Stephen and Carrie took a trail south of Morton Lake to a lovely lake perhaps named Oglarama, if you can believe the sign on the tree.

This is a beautiful area book-ended by Menzies on the north and Strathcona Park on the south.  This was the perfect time to visit with excellent weather and very few people on the Lakes and in the campsites.


Thanks to Carrie, Bonnie and Norris for the photos

Multi-day kayaking and camping – Morton Lake Provincial Park – 23-25 May 2023

Hiking – Heron Point and Mt. Sweat – 14 June 2023

Activity Hiking
Destination Heron Pt and Mt. Sweat loop
Date 14 June, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info or 3710  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description This is a short hike starting on Kolker Main. We will briefly follow a logging road, a short connector and a mossy bluff to Heron Point for great views of Hyacinthe Bay and the Chinese Mtn area.  From there we will take a cairned route through forest trails and rocky bluffs to Mt. Sweat. We descend to Kolker Main through open, forested slope and return to the vehicles on the logging road.  This is a view hike and will not be done in poor weather.  About 4 km; 2½ hours.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot.  We will drive out in a group.
Departure Time 10:00 or earlier if it’s hot
Mostly easy, but some interesting places on Mt. Sweat.
Costs None
Trip limits 10
Dogs? No, some of this will be on private property.
Notes: Some of this trip is on private property and we thank Heather Kellerhals for allowing our visit to Chauntaluf Farm.  Bring gear appropriate for the weather and trail conditions, as well as lunch.

Trip Report – Maud Island and Petroglyphs – 18 May 2023

Five paddlers put in at Whalebone Cove and set off by 0900 on glassy seas, with bright sunshine, and warming temperatures. A beautiful summer day in the spring! And finally, after many attempts to undertake this trip, we were doing it.

Working with and against the ebbing current we made our way northward, close to shore and observing the life below. An hour’s paddling brought us to the fish farm near Maud Island and then we decided that our early lunch stop would be at the entrance to the saltwater lagoon which was at this point not navigable.

We then headed for “Kawston”, the ancient village site and its petroglyphs at the mouth of Morte Creek just east of Maud Island. Locating the flat-topped large rock with the quartz line was easy and on it was a fairly obvious petroglyph as indicated in Inglis’s little guide book. Over the next 45 minutes or so we searched for further examples and came up empty handed. However the many canoe pull outs were quite evident as we walked across the top of the beach.

As we paddled back, southward, with an increasingly strong flood current, we stayed close to shore and were passed by a solitary cetacean (porpoise?), spotted an otter, and a sea lion. We rode the fast current for several minutes, got pushed around by boils and whirlpools, and then cruised back into Whalebone Cove. 6½ hours and 17 km covered.

A fabulous outing!!


Thanks to Vic and Tak for the photos

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Kayaking – Maud Island and Petroglyphs – 18 May 2023

Trip Report – Gowlland Harbour – 10 May 2023

Ten kayakers met at Gowlland Harbour resort for our spring wildflower paddle. It was a beautiful sunny summer day with only light wind. Gowlland Harbour Resort was very gracious and allowed us to launch from their beautiful Resort. Les had hurt his shoulder earlier in the week, so was not able to join the group on the water. He showed up to help everyone get launched, but Debbie shepherded the group on the water.

After launching we paddled over to Vigilant Island, where about half the group went ashore to explore the wildflowers. There were Sea Blush, Monkeyflowers, Death Camas, tiny Blue Eyed Marys, and Chocolate Lilies, so it was a great show. From there we crossed the channel to Steep Island and chatted with the couple on the three-masted sailboat before crossing the Gowlland Harbour entrance. We skirted the outside of May Island and got a glimpse of the submerged wreck, which was less than a metre under the water. We headed east across North Gowlland Harbour checking out the old stone house and glimpsing large anemones around the islets. The cliffs along the Quadra shore were a perfect rock garden in places, with sedum and Monkeyflowers on dripping walls. We dipped into the bay and chatted with Jill and Vibeke before paddling east around the islets in Gowlland Harbour where the Harbour Seals were basking on the rocks in the sun. Passing by two large sailboats at anchor, we continued on by Fawn, Stag and Doe Islands with the Sea Blush coming out and the Canadian Geese nesting.  As we landed at Les’ place, there were Geese with goslings making their way along the shore.

Les fixed appetizers for the group. We had Nan bread with cheese, ham and turkey, as well as rice crackers with cream cheese and crab, a mixed vegetable platter and cookies.  After that the group paddle back to Gowlland Resort. Les met them there to load up.  (11.2 km; 5 hours with all breaks)

Les and Debbie

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Kayaking – Gowlland Harbour – 10 May 2023

Hiking – Santana Mine – 29 May 2023

Change of start time to 9:00.

Activity Hiking
Destination Santana Mine
Date 29 May 2023, Monday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info or 3710. Please contact the coordinator by Saturday night.
Description We will hike to the historic Santana Mine from the Bold Point area.  The access routes are not maintained and range from old logging roads to trails up to the mine.  This outing combines a walk through a good forest and a mine with a horizontal shaft. The history of the mine is quite interesting.  Here is a link to the claim information:
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store
Departure Time 9:00 10:00
Costs None
Trip limits 10
Notes: Bring a flashlight.  Bring gear for the weather and lunch.

Multi-day Kayaking, Camping – Main Lake Prov Park- 6-8 June 2023

Activity Multi-day kayaking, camping and hiking
Destination Main Lake Provincial Park
Date 6-8 June 2023, Tuesday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info; 250-285-2111; text 250-287-0459
Description We will set up camp at Main Lake and spend three days exploring by hiking and paddling. Destinations can vary with the group’s interests.
Meeting Place Mine Lake boat launch
Departure Time On the water at 1030 hr.
Difficulty Easy to moderate if windy
Trip limits 8
Dogs? No.
Notes: This multi-day trip is relatively easy on a local lake, but requires good paddling and camping gear. Bring footwear suitable for hiking (easy).

Ask coordinator about joining for just 1 or 2 days if you have a schedule conflict.

Trip Report – Carrington Bay & Grandmothers’ Grove – 1 May 2023

Eight of us were very happy to return to this hike on Cortes after a long break.  The weather was perfect for hiking and the trails were in very good condition although there were the usual large puddles on the logging road.  We enjoyed the excellent forest along the old road down to Carrington Bay, stopping briefly at the old Borden homestead.  We were impressed by the new aluminum bridge across the outlet from the lagoon. In a few years this crossing went from a slippery log, to the wooden bridge to this metal bridge.  There was some good variety of intertidal creatures to view at the lagoon exit before we made our way over to the granite rock on the lagoon for lunch.  It was wonderfully warm and quiet as we enjoyed lunch and the water birds.  We continued around the lagoon on a trail through the mossy Children’s Forest to the Grandmothers’ Grove.  The old trees and James Creek were very beautiful and serene.  We followed the trail until it joined the logging road ascending the hill back to the vehicles.  We hurried a bit at the end and were able to return on the earlier ferry.  9.2 km; 3½ hours.


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Hiking – Carrington Bay & Grandmothers’ Grove – 1 May 2023

Kayaking – Gowlland Harbour – 10 May 2023

Activity Kayaking
Destination Gowlland Harbour
Date: 10 May 2023, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 250-285-2029 or
Description We will paddle around all of Gowlland Harbour, checking out the many small islands and the wonderful spring flowers. This will possibly take about four hours. Course will depend on weather. Be sure and sign up one day early so that I may contact you if things change. May stop at my house for appys and beverages.
Meeting Place 823 Gowlland Harbour Road
Departure Time 9:30 (unload and prepare at 9:00)
Costs None
Trip limits 10
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring your kayak and all necessary safety equipment as per transport Canada safety rules. Bring a lunch and spray skirt as it might be needed. Only two vehicles can unload at the beach at one time, so please be on time. Gowlland Harbour resort has kindly granted us permission to use their boat launch for this trip. This is not a public access. Many thanks to Gowland Harbour Resort.

Trip Report – Elk Falls Loop – 24 Apr 2023

Five of us hiked the loop from the logging bridge on the Campbell River up to Moose Falls and back. This is an excellent hike with many points of interest along the way, but it is particularly special in the spring with the wildflowers in bloom. We parked on the north side and followed the path upstream.  The timing was perfect and there were pink and white fawn lilies, trillium, and wild bleeding heart all along the way.

We admired the Canyon View and continued up to the Millennium Trail.  We took an unmarked side path to a lovely mossy bluff with an excellent view of Elk Falls and stopped for elevenses.   We continued by some big old growth Douglas fir trees to the Elk Falls viewing platform and suspension bridge.  There was not much water in the falls, but it is always beautiful

We took the gradually ascending Old Growth trail followed by the very steep descent to the rocky viewpoint for Moose Falls and the Dolphin Pool, where we stopped for lunch.  We returned along the river, passing more old growth trees and Deer Falls.  We crossed at Station View, with its totem poles and interpretive information about the generating station, and continued on the south bank, with more wildflowers, back to the vehicles. The weather was perfect for this hike and it was a great way to end the “winter” schedule.  (11.8 km; 4½ hours)


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Hiking – Elk Falls Loop – 24 Apr 2023