Ten hikers attended the two short hikes. The weather was pleasant for early February, with cloud cover, mild temperatures and no rain. We walked south along the forestry road near the bottom of the big hill on Village Bay Lakes Road (opposite the Open Bay Main turnoff). After substantial snow the week before, the road still had a couple of inches of soft snow, but not deep enough to make walking difficult. After a half hour or so (and passing several clearcuts on the uphill side of the road), we took a trail into the woods towards Open Bay Creek, and followed this undulating trail through mossy open second growth Douglas fir and hemlock forest north along Open Bay Creek (upstream). This beautiful stream sustains salmon spawning in the fall, when chum and coho migrate up from Open Bay.
The second hike began on Open Bay Main which proceeds northwest from Village Bay Lakes Road, downhill from the large gravel pit. After a hundred meters are so, we turned west into the forest and proceeded at a steady uphill climb through lovely open Douglas fir and hemlock forest. The first part of this trail has been heavily eroded after the heavy winter rains, having been improperly constructed with no switchbacks or proper water management. We avoided the slippery-looking rough bridges by easily dipping down into the creek swales. Partway up this hill, we came across ‘Road Right-of-Way’ flagging tape, indicating that this area will be bisected by a forestry road and is slated for logging, presumably in the near future. We popped out onto a narrow logging road and could see Granite Bay Road a little further west uphill. A ten-minute walk south along the road took us to a good place for lunch, with old moss-covered logs to sit on. A short distance further, near the junction of this road and Granite Bay Road, our next trail headed downhill through the same forest, but closer to Crikey Creek which is situated in a deep gully. We came across forestry cruise plots used for timber volume estimates, another indication of imminent logging. The downhill trail ended on Open Bay Main just a short distance to the south of our uphill trail. Total time was three hours, from assembly at the Heriot Bay Store parking lot and back again.
Hiking – Open Bay and Crikey Creeks – 12 Feb 2020