Trail: Heritage Forest (plus a variety of QB trails and multi-purpose pathways)
Distance Walked: 9 km
Time Spent Walking: 2 hrs, 10 min
Trail Rating: Easy
Today we had planned to hike Grandon Creek Trail. We were excited to revisit this pathway as we have not been on it for quite a while. It is listed as one of “Four Must-Do Qualicum Beach Hikes.” Sadly, we were greeted by this sign upon arrival.
Not easily deterred, we left our car where it was and headed toward another of the ‘Must-Do’ hikes. We walked a variety of unnamed paths. This gave us a chance to ask a few locals along the way about trail names, or other casual questions. While many said that the paths we travelled were, in fact, unnamed, we did get a variety of individual perspectives and a fair bit of local politics. Regular walkers can be very passionate about their paths!
This Giant Douglas fir is estimated to be 700-800 years old. It is 57 m tall and 2.3 m in diameter.
Finally, we reached our destination. The 50-acred Heritage Forest protects remnant pockets of old-growth coastal Douglas firs and Sitka spruce, as well as a variety of other rare and endangered trees, plants and wildlife. In 1996, local resident, Anne Klees, was walking along St. Andrews Road when she spotted a mislaid map showing detailed plans for this land to be subdivided into 110 building lots. From Anne’s initial efforts, the Brown Property Preservation Society (BPPS) was formed and eventually led to this area being protected by a Conservation Covenant (Source).
When I began these hikes and write-ups, I hadn’t intentionally been looking for the theme of what difference individual women have made to our current local forests. I have been finding this theme everywhere. (i.e. Gertrude Moore, Widow W. J Westwood, Elizabeth Rath and now Anne Klees.)
Today when I looped through Heritage Forest, I thought of these words from Desmund Tutu, and silently thanked Anne.
“The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.”