Trip Report – Ripple Rock Trail – 17 April 2019

Four of us were lucky to have a dry day between monsoon-like rains.  Everywhere we went there were signs of spring.  We started out from the trailhead on the wide trail down to a creek edged with big Sitka spruce and pink fawn lilies.  The trail narrows as it approaches Menzies Bay and then undulates through lovely, open-understory forest and bluffs with views of the Bay and Vancouver Island.  In between the array of spring flowers, we admired some great old-growth Douglas fir trees.  The wooden bridges and stairs were often in need of maintenance, and the trail is quite busy by our standards.  We climbed the big stairs to the overlook of Seymour Narrows and stopped there for lunch. It wasn’t a really big current, but we watched the flood increase before heading back the way we had come.  We were accompanied much of the way by a cheerful, high-energy dog, who we finally convinced to follow another group back to its owner.  9 km; 4 hours.


Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – Ripple Rock Trail – 17 April 2019


Trip Report – Cowichan Valley – 7-11 Apr 2019

None of the 10 of us had spent much time in Cowichan Valley so this trip was exploratory. The weather was marginal, but we were lucky enough to never get wet. Some in the group had injuries, so not everyone was able to participate in the outings. We could see the evidence of the hugely destructive storm that hit the area in December 2018, but every trail we hiked had been well maintained. Spring was blooming out all over and the wildflowers were excellent.
Sunday – We met at the Duncan Market around noon before continuing to the vacation rental on Shawnigan Lake, where most of us were staying.  After settling in, we went for a hike at Cobble Hill mountain.  We hiked a loop (Squirrel, Frog, Buck, and Turtle) up to the summit ridge with great views in nearly all directions.  It was a good introduction to the area with views of the Saanich Peninsula, Cowichan Bay, Mt. Tzouhalem, and the agricultural land in the Valley. 5.4 km; 2¼ hours. Back at the house, we had a great meal, celebrated a birthday, and sang to the accompaniment of guitars.

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Monday – The weather was less promising as we set out from the rather obscure trailhead to Fern Grotto. We started on an old logging road that segued to a quite new trail through open forest with lots of maples, moss, and ferns. We reached the impressive Kinsol Trestle and had lunch before hiking out and back on the Jack Fleetwood trail. The Koksilah River and the fawn lilies were lovely. The group preferred to hike back to the house along the Cowichan Valley Trail, rather than retrace our route to the vehicles. We narrowly escaped heavy rain, returning to the vacation rental just in time. 14.7 km; 4¾ hours. We had another wonderful meal followed by games and reading.

Tuesday – We had a sunny day for our bike trip on the Cowichan Valley Trail/Great Trail from Glenora to the end of the trail toward Cowichan Lake and back. Les opted to hike the Cowichan River Footpath nearby. Those who didn’t own bikes rented e-bikes, which was entertaining and easy. We later learned that this is the roughest section of the Cowichan Valley Trail, so we spent more time looking where the tire was headed than at the scenery. The forest was lovely and open, with creeks, wetlands (even a turtle) and, of course, trestles and the Cowichan River. 46.0 km; 5¼ hours. We had yet another great dinner and more music.

Wednesday – The weather improved through the day. We hiked at Mt. Tzouhalem starting at the Kaspa parking lot and following the view trails at the edge of the escarpment. The meadows of shooting star wildflowers were a treat, as were the views of the Cowichan Valley. We stopped for lunch near the cross and then continued along the cliffs to the edge of the reserve before following logging roads, with a view of Salt Spring Island and Samson Narrows, back to the car. This area is a complex web of unmarked paths, and it’s good to go with a map, GPS or app to avoid getting lost. 9.9 km; 4¼ hours.  Although rather late in the day, a few people opted to continue on to the Koksilah Ancient Forest Reserve. After a bit of trouble finding the trailhead, the blue flagging got us to the grove of fine old trees along the river. We would have liked to have spent more time there. 4.3 km; 1 hour. For our last night, we went out to dinner at the Village Chippery, which was very popular with locals and very good.

Thursday – The dark skies only produced drizzle on the hike near Cedar, taking the Cable Bay Trail to Joan Point and Dodd Narrows. This is a popular trail with locals. It’s wide and smooth and trends down to the ocean. The trail along the coast is lovely with great views of the sandstone shoreline typical of the southern Gulf Islands. The spring flowers were excellent with lots of fawn lilies. The current was not running strongly in Dodd Narrows, but the low tide provided inter-tidal viewing. 6.5 km; 1¾ hours.


Multi-day Hiking – Cowichan Valley – 7-11 Apr 2019

Hiking – Ripple Rock Trail – 17 April 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Ripple Rock Trail
Date 17 April 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator about car pooling by Monday night
Description 8 km round trip hike on Ripple Rock Trail, 16 km north of Campbell River.  This is a classic hike through lovely mature forest, along bluffs and up stairs to the overlook of Seymour Narrows. It’s the other bookend to the Maud Island trail.  Approximate time 4 hours.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 am ferry.  If you are driving, come early for this busy ferry.
Moderate, with some steep sections
Costs Ferry fare
Trip limits None
Dogs? Dogs must not run through the group
Notes: Bring lunch.


Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 20 Mar 2019

This was our last scheduled trip to Mt. Washington for the season.  On this first day of spring, the weather was very warm, up to 14°C on the hill.  Five of us snowshoed under absolutely clear skies and the snow was better than expected considering the heat.  Terry lead us up the Great Big View trail and on to Finger Glades, with wonderful views of the Vancouver Island mountains.  We stopped for lunch near the high point of the trail before making our way back down to the vehicles.  184m elevation gain;  5.6 km; about 3½ hours.  


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Snow – Mt. Washington – 20 Mar 2019

Snow – Mt Washington – 20 March 2019

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 20 March 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info or 3710; please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description  We are expecting warm, spring conditions.  We will find a route that works for the group.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools need to be arranged in advance.
Departure Time We can take the 9:00 or 10:00 ferry depending on what the group wants.  Drivers should be in line early.
Costs Ferry and shared fuel.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington.
Dogs? No


Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 25 Feb 2019

For our third trip to Mt. Washington area in less than two weeks, seven of us went x-country skiing at the nordic area.   We had yet another day of beautiful weather and snow.  We broke into three groups, with two people skiing the Lake Trail, three skiing out through Paradise Meadows to Far East, and two skiing through the Meadows to Jack Rabbit.  Linda was getting her ski legs back after many years and she was amazing. Five of us had lunch on the balcony at Raven Lodge.  After lunch, one of the five had a “Merry Monday” (mocha and Baileys), two skied out Jutland and back, and two skied out Jutland and up Legacy View before turning back.  The longest day was 20.7 km; about 5 hours.  


Thanks to Norris and Stephen for the photos

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 25 Feb 2019

Hiking – Snowden Demonstration Forest – 10 April 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Snowden Forest, Campbell River
Date 10 April 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie Van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329;
Description For those not going on the multi-day Cowichan Valley trip; a ramble/hike through Snowden Forest in Campbell River to explore the trails to the southwest of Riley Lake. We will take the 9 am ferry over and plan on returning on the 2:30 ferry at the latest. Bring lunch. We can arrange carpooling as needed. .
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 am ferry departure
easy to moderate
Costs ferry
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be under control at all times; this is a popular mountain biking area.