Multi-day Hiking – Linnaea Farm, Cortes – 14-17 May 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Cortes Island
Date 14-17 May 2018, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info  Commitment for this trip needs to be made by March 31.
Description Planning four days of hiking on beautiful Cortes Island, staying at Linnaea Farm House. This is an eight bedroom rustic farmhouse, on the edge of Gunflint Lake at the gateway to many of the hiking trails on Cortes. This is an active farm & was once the residence of the farmers who ran ‘Lakeview Dairy’, the last raw milk in B.C.
Many beautiful trails on Cortes, Green Mountain, Easter Bluff, K’Was Park, Sisken Forest Park, Carrington Trails etc. The schedule of trails will be developed presented daily with your input. This year we want to spend another whole day in K’Was Park. Pot-luck dinners will be organized, using the farmhouse kitchen. Please check:
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up
Departure Time 9:05 am sailing.  Be early because this is a busy sailing
Difficulty Easy to Moderate.
Cost Ferry costs plus shared fuel.  $35/night if you bring your own sleeping bag or linen; $50/night if Linnaea supplies the linens.
Trip limits Eight bedrooms.  Must love hiking.
Dogs? No. Dogs are not allowed on the farm.
Notes: We will car-pool where possible. Everyone is responsible for own breakfast & lunch. Dinner teams to be organized.
We usually give a donation to ‘The Children’s Forest’, this is an educational program plus protecting the forest for Cortes Children. Entirely your choice & with thanks.
We will be returning on May 17th, probably 1:50 p.m ferry.

Trip Report – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

Day 1: Nine members left Quadra on a clear and sun-filled day, however, when we reached Courtenay we hit snow. On arrival at Hornby Island, the snow was quite deep, we drove to our guesthouse at Tribune Bay on unploughed roads. Unfortunately, the power was off and the four bedroom guesthouse was freezing. We soon got a fire going after chopping wood and finding kindling. A quick snack and all out for a hike at Helliwell Provincial Park. This is one of the finest walks on Hornby, through old-growth Douglas fir forest and along weather sculpted sandstone cliffs, glorious views of the mainland, Texada Island and Lasqueti. Another treat for us was watching listening to the sea lions, eagles etc….all waiting for the herring. It was such a lovely day and we soaked up the beauty of this trail. Returned to the guesthouse and all decided to keep our coats on, although it had warmed up a little. Dinner Team 1 soon got cooking in the kitchen before the darkness fell, the smells from the kitchen were divine. We ate a delicious meal in candle light, most still wearing our warm coats. After dinner we shared some of our favourite books and travel stories. The fire was kept going all night to keep us warm. Power back on at 11:30 p.m. but not the heat.

Day 2: A wonderful sunrise. After breakfast we met Joanne (our Hornby Island trail guide) and she took us onto the Mount Geoffrey Forest Trails. There are countless trails and we were pleased to have a wonderful guide to follow. We broke trail in the deep snow climbing quite steeply and eventually picked the Cliff Trail to hike along the bluff overlooking Denman Island. We also had spectacular views of snow-covered mountains on Vancouver Island. Worked our way back down and returned to the guesthouse for lunch. The afternoon trail that we chose was to explore Big Tribune Bay. It was low tide and we could walk out along the beach, scramble over rugged sandstone boulders and investigate the beautiful formations. Joanne was invited for appies and dinner. Dinner Team 2 prepared a fantastic dinner. Joanne shared many stories of Hornby and we learned a lot about the island and its residents. All to bed. It was starting to get warmer inside……yeah!

Day 3: The morning was overcast with light snow falling with sun in the afternoon. After breakfast, we headed to Shingle Spit near the ferry dock. This picturesque, mainly forested trail is sandwiched between a spectacular conglomerate rock face on one side and bluffs overlooking the water on the other. We walked to Ford’s Cove and all enjoyed looking at the boats before walking back. We stopped for a delicious lunch at the Community Hall, many residents come each Tuesday to enjoy the food and company. It was lovely to talk with the locals, most soon knew that Quadra people were visiting the island. The afternoon hike took us to Heron Rocks. We hiked down to the rocks that gave us spectacular sandstone formations and tidal pools. Best of all was watching and listening to the sea lions plus all the various waterfowl and numerous eagles, all waiting for their annual herring feast on Hornby. Dinner Team 3 prepared another delicious meal. After dinner some played a new game and others read/chatted.

Day 4: Light snow fell most of the day. After breakfast we drove to the Bench Trail, part of the Mt Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park. The trail climbed steeply in places, but not difficult. Passing many arbutus, several large fir and a number of maple. The trail took us to the edge of the bluff with a couple of viewpoints, although unable to see far due to the light snow falling. This was a pretty trail enjoyed by all. On returning to the guesthouse some stopped at the Co-op store, what a lovely treat. Socks, scarves etc. were purchased, we all agreed the downstairs area of the store was like stepping back in time, plus the display of all the magnificent quilts created by the Islanders. Lunch back at the guesthouse and then some members went out to either Big Tribune Bay/Little Tribune Bay/Ford Cove and Heron Rocks. Dinner Team 4 prepared another delicious meal, followed by the sharing of stories along with lots of laughs around the table.

Day 5: A beautiful sunny day. Everyone up pretty early. Some of us actually ate quiche/chocolate cake for breakfast from the previous night’s dinner. Everyone packed and into our cars by 9 a.m. A final hike at Helliwell Park. We decided to turn left at the junction, giving us different view points. Walking through beautiful open forest containing enormous old-growth fir, cedar, large maple and alder. On emerging from the forest we found ourselves at the edge of the water. We were again entertained by the barking of the sea lions and waterfowl. We continued walking along the edge of the spectacular cliffs, fantastic views and many, many eagles. Creatures still waiting for the huge herring feast that happens in early March. We took our time because hikes come no better than this one. Caught the noon ferry to Denman Island, some continued onto the ferry and others hiked at Boyle Point Provincial Park. Took a short trail to Eagle Point and walked to the viewpoint of Chrome Island Light Station. The island was originally named Yellow Island because of its light colour. Chrome Island’s main claim to fame was a spectacular shipwreck, which took place during a gale on Dec 16th, 1900. Back on the road and caught the ferry to Vancouver Island, catching the 3:30 p.m ferry for home. What made this trip so enjoyable was the beautiful hikes on a lovely island, magnificent wildlife, delicious dinners and most of all a group of wonderful people. In every walk with nature, one receives far more than they seek.


The bird and mammal list follows the photos

(click on photos to view larger)

Thanks to Norris, Stephen and Diana for the photos

Bird List

Common Loon Bald Eagle
Horned Grebe Black Osytercatcher
Pelagic Cormorant Black Turnstone
Double-crested Cormorant Mew Gull
Great Blue Heron Glaucous-winged Gull
Canada Goose Marbled Murrelet
Mallard Northern Flicker
American Wigeon Downy Woodpecker
Harlequin Duck Pileated Woodpecker
Surf Scoter Northwestern Crow
White-winged Scoter Common Raven
Common Goldeneye Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Barrow Goldeneye Pacific Wren
Bufflehead American Robin
Common Merganser Varied Thrush
Red-breasted Merganser Song Sparrow
Red-tailed Hawk Red-winged Blackbird

Mammal List

Steller Sea Lion River Otter
Californai Sea Lion Deer Mouse
Harbour Seal Mink
Black-tailed Deer

Multi-day Hiking – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

Multi-day Hiking – Hornby Island – 18-22 Feb 2018

 This trip is full.  You may contact the coordinator to waitlist.

Activity Multi-day hiking
Destination Hornby Island
Date 18-22 Feb 2018, Sunday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info; please contact the coordinator as soon as possible.
Description A multi-day trip on Hornby Island. We have secured a lovely beach house right on Tribune Bay. Magnificent views/walks on the beach & beyond, set on 17 acres, close to Hornby Co-op Store. The house can sleep 8 individuals, with two per bedroom.  It may be possible for some people to stay less than the four nights, but to be most affordable, priority will be to have the bedrooms full each night.  If fully booked the cost per night will be approximately $50/person, but may be less.
Trails on Hornby: Mount Geoffrey Nature Park, Helliwell Provincial Park, Mount Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park, Tribune Bay Provincial Park …..also lots of new bike trails. We will be hiking approx. 4-6h per day.
Margot will organize car-pooling & dinner preparation teams. Each is responsible for their breakfast & lunch.
For accommodation info:
For a map of Hornby Island trails:,-124.6418233,14z
Difficulty Easy/moderate
Dogs No
Trip Limits 8
Costs Accommodation, ferry costs, fuel
Notes Please contact Margot a.s.a.p.
I will research trails on Hornby, ferry schedules to Hornby Island.
Further info to follow to individuals on booking.
Smiles, Margot

Trip Report – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-23 August 2017

We had not done this hike before, so it was all new to us. We hiked up the trail to Arnica Lake from the trailhead at the Nystar Mine. The trail is probably the best constructed trail in Strathcona Park, with an excellent grade (100 m per km) up a very steep slope through a beautiful open understory forest, and many, many switchbacks. We barely noticed the solar eclipse in the forest. There are some lovely old growth trees and some waterfalls along the way. It was a hot day and the total elevation gain to the campsite is 850 metres, so it is a bit of work. (9 km; 5 hours) The Lake and the surrounding meadows are fabulous, although most of the wildflowers were past their prime. The parking lot had about 25 cars in it and there were lots of people on the trail, but we were the only ones in the campground the first night. Just after 7:00 pm, as it got very quiet, a helicopter landed on the lake shore and a SAR guy emerged to ask us if we had seen a lone hiker, reported overdue. We said that he had hiked through about an hour before, so hopefully that turned out well. The stars overnight were fabulous.

The next day dawned sunny, but summer clouds came in by noon. We had planned to hike to Mt. Phillips and expected to find a faint path leading to a cairned route. Even with a GPS track, it was obviously going to be a bushwhack and there was a black bear sitting where we wanted to go. So we opted for Plan B, which was to go up the other Phillips Ridge route which heads toward the Golden Hinde. This is an incredibly popular destination this summer and has lots of hikers. The route winds up through forest and meadow until it emerges on the rocky alpine ridge with great views in all directions. There are many lovely lakes along the way. Progress is a bit slow with some steep, loose gravel sections. Further on there are significant descents to multiple lakes as one nears the Golden Hinde. We went up along Phillips Ridge to 1600 metres before turning around and returning to camp at Arnica Lake. (14.8 km; 8 hours).

It rained quite hard at 8:00 the next morning, and we had breakfast and broke camp in light rain. We hiked back down the hill in increasingly sunny conditions. (8.9 km; 3 ¾)  This is a beautiful area and would be worth an extended trip.


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Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-4 Aug 2017

Trip Report – Savary Island – 7-9 Aug 2017

We took advantage of Cyndy’s generous offer to visit Savary Island. Getting there can be a challenge, but there are many ways to do it. We came by boat and anchored off Indian Point at the west end of the island. On Tuesday we walked along the beach taking advantage of a very low tide in the middle of the day. The heat of the day was reduced by the smoky haze clouding the coastal skies from inland BC fires. Savary is famous for its sandy beaches and shallow shoreline. Starting at Indian Point, we walked east appreciating the interesting intertidal life. We stopped at the spring, the mermaid rock, admired the burrowing anemone, sand dollars, crabs, snails and shells. After lunch on the beach, we crossed the island on trails in the undeveloped central lands. We passed by the disused airstrip and continued on to the south shore with sand dunes and high bluffs. We met Jen, whose family has had property on Savary since 1930. We made a side trip to the spirit tree before continuing along the shore where some families were enjoying the beach. After checking out an antique store, we returned to Indian Point on the Sunset Trail. Cyndy’s local knowledge made a huge difference in exploring Savary. 16.6 km; 6½ hours.


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Multi-day trip – Savary Island – 7-9 August 2017

Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21 – 24 August 2017

 This trip may be postponed due to heat, visibility, air quality as well as forest fire danger.

Activity Backpacking
Destination Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge
Date 21 – 24 August 2017, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info or 3710.  Please contact the trip coordinator by August 14th.
Description Either three or four days hiking and camping in Strathcona Park. Backpack from the Phillips Ridge trailhead up on a gradual trail with many switchbacks to Arnica Lake to camp (about 12 km; 845m elevation gain).  Day trip(s) up Phillips Ridge for views.
Meeting Place Ferry terminal to Campbell River
Departure Time 07:05 ferry
Difficulty Strenuous
Costs Shared fuel and ferry costs, $10/person/night for back country camping
Trip limits Three tents maximum
Dogs?  no
Notes: The first day will be very long with the ferry, the drive and a long up-hill day. It’s possible that we could camp at Ralph River the night before.

Multi-day Kayaking – Nuchatlitz Prov Park – 20-28 Aug 2017

 This trip has been cancelled.

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Nuchatlitz Provincial Park
Date 20-28 August 2017
Trip Coordinator Kathryn Manry
Contact Info 2103 or Please contact the coordinator by July 1.
Description We will take a water taxi in both directions between Zeballos and Nuchatlitz Prov Park. We will spend nine days paddling and camping as conditions permit. Likely destinations are Catala Island, islets in the provincial park, and Mary Basin
Meeting Place Zeballos
Departure Time TBA
Expect some challenging conditions: fog and wind are likely
Costs Transportation and one night in Zeballos
Trip limits Participants on this trip need to have been on a previous multi-day kayak trip with the Outdoor Club. Good paddling skills and good equipment are essential. Space is limited by the water taxi and by accommodation in Zeballos.
Dogs? no