Trip Report – Breton Islands Spring Equinox Paddle – 20 Mar 2020

Six paddlers gathered (mindful of our interpersonal distance) at the Len Road access on a sunny, calm, 2° morning to start the season with our first paddle outing of the year. After refreshing each other on some basic paddle trip guidelines, a gear and flotation check, and COVID-19 protocols/discussion, we put in at 9:00 on a favourable tide and headed across Hyacinthe Bay. We cruised the shoreline through Open Bay, rounded the “Red Chair Point” and on into Moulds Bay. After a brief beach stop, we continued northeast through Shellalligan Pass into Hoskyn Channel to enjoy the view up the channel towards snow-capped Doogie Dowler and other mountains of the BC mainland. Turning south we paddled down the island chain on even calmer seas until we rounded the southern tip of Breton Island and our lunch stop destination on the cobble/gravel beach. After a leisurely, 90-minute lunch in the sun (physically distanced) we put in once again and headed west to Turtle Island and on to the take out, completing the circuit at about 3:00 pm. Although we saw no cetaceans or sea lions, and few harbour seals, we did enjoy the company of a large variety of sea birds, many of which were in breeding plumage. The trip coordinator will attempt to recall the identified birds and includes a list below.  15.0 km; 4 hour paddle without the lunch break

Varying numbers of: Common Mergansers, Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Loons (Common in transition to breeding plumage), Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Glaucous winged gulls, Canada geese, Surf scoters.

Vic

click to enlarge the photos

Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays to Breton Islands – 20 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Ten hikers enjoyed a three-hour hike on a series of biking trails south of Walcan Road. Beginning at the Reed Lake pullout on Walcan Road, we headed south on Straight-As-A-Dime. This is a winding uphill trail with intermittent sections of logging roads which are beginning to grow in. After a short time on Navel and Silk Stockings Trails, the group turned east onto Backdoor Trail which winds its way over an extensive rock bluff plateau covered with vibrant green moss and pine forest. We stopped at a warm sunny spot to have lunch and enjoy the rays. Continuing east to the junction of Cash Only, and through the Rose Garden, we took Dick’s Ride north to the Yellow Mud Trail. Here we found a few pink salmonberry buds about to burst open. It was a pleasant walk along Wood Duck Lake, created by the extensive beaver dam at the east end of the lake. There were ring-necked ducks and bufflehead on the lake. We continued northwest on Yellow Mud Trail through mature hemlock and Douglas fir forest and along McKercher Creek to arrive back at the vehicles. The weather was sunny with a cold north wind blowing. This loop should not be attempted without being familiar with the biking trail system and having a specialized bike trail map, since the trail names have worn off the flagging at main intersections and the trail system is extensive. 8.0 km; 3½ hours

Janis

Hiking – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Ten of us explored the Deepwater Main and Creek area to a variety of destinations.  We first stopped at the old rail trestle.  Only the posts remain, but some are impressively tall and it’s a reminder of Quadra’s history.  We continued along the logging road and were surprised by the amount of snow on the road.  We probably should have been expecting  it, but the cloud on the Mt. Seymour Ridge had been so low we hadn’t noticed.  We hiked up the old logging road to the Benn Mine, which was covered in enough snow to completely change the landscape.  The sample cores and even the old car were not visible.  After taking care around the open pits, we scrambled down to view the tunnel shaft.  2.5 km; 150m elevation; 1¼ hours.

We returned to the vehicles and continued further on the active logging road covered in some patches of snow.  We hiked down the old logging road following Deepwater Creek.  The creek was as beautiful as we have ever seen it, with plenty of water flowing and deep greens in the valley.  The route is somewhat eroded, but the frequent winter deadfall had all been chain sawed, making our progress very easy. 

We had not visited the old fish hatchery since it had been sold and rehabilitated by private owners.  The area is much improved.  We are very grateful that the new owners are permitting “leave-no-trace” visitors.  It’s very generous of them.  We stopped on the shore for lunch in the sun, with great views all around of Deepwater Bay, Discovery Passage and the mouth of Deepwater Creek.  It was a lovely and varied hike.  4.8 km, 235 m elevation; 2 hours.

– Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Hiking – Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd – 8 Apr 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd
Date 8 April, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator in advance.
Description This is a flagged route from the Surge Narrows road, following old logging roads and paths through mature forest to the east end of Main Lake.  The route is not far (about 7.0 km round trip), but quite slow due to rough conditions.  Expect wet sections and significant climbing over deadfall.  If the group wants more of a walk, we can continue on to Yeatman Bay, which would be about 10 km round trip.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Tru Value parking lot
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty Moderate due to the rough trail conditions.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch.

Hiking – Eagle Crag – 25 Mar 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Eagle Crag
Date 25 Mar 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info 285-3710 or norris.weimer@ualberta.ca; please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip
Description This hike begins on the south side of South Chinese Mountain.  It then follows a flagged route to a climbing wall.  The route goes around and up to the top of the climbing area.  This involves some big steps and minor scrambling. The effort is rewarded with great views.  About 3 hours.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store for car pooling
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Moderate.  This is a short hike (5km) mostly without a maintained trail and one very steep section which may feel exposed.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring lunch.  We will not do this trip in poor weather.

 

Hiking in Silence – Hopespring-Thompson Trail Loop – 14 Apr 2020

Activity Hiking in silence
Destination Hopespring-Thompson Trail Loop
Date 14 Apr 2020, Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Sandra Burns
Contact Info sandraburns.ca@gmail.com or 3977.
Please, no phone calls after 8 pm.
Description On this silent walk, we will go down to the Old Growth section and do a loop, as long as the weather is a bit dry, coming back along Heriot Ridge, and planning to have lunch in the sun, on the ridge! We will then return to the vehicles, back down to the Hopespring trailhead.  About 3 hours.
Meeting Place Hopespring trailhead. Please note that there is limited parking here.
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty Moderate
Costs
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Notes: Please bring a pole for any slippery spots.

Trip Report – Drew Creek and Harbour – 26 Feb 2020

Nine of us took a stroll around the new Drew Creek loop on the We Wai Kai reserve starting at the stream renovation done by the Salmon Enhancement Society, then on to the new foot bridge put in by John Barclay and other volunteers.  We continued through the campground, which is quiet in February, and on to the memorial and beachwood shack at Paddy’s Lagoon.  There were lots of interesting things to explore along the way.  We walked back along the shore and stopped to admire Alex Witcombe’s driftwood Sasquatch sculpture. 

Five of the group continued into Rebecca Spit Marine Park, stopped for a snack and walked the trail to the end of the Spit.  It was a cold, dark day with a bit of southeast breeze, but the rain held off.  11.1 km, 3½ hours.

– Norris

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Drew Creek and Harbour – 26 Feb 2020