We have continued our habit of hiking a different route each day. This week’s trails included incredibly diverse paths, some that we visited for the first time, and others that were old, familiar friends. Our adventures led to new information, new learning and new reasons to be grateful.
Day 41: It’s a short drive for us to catch the ten-minute ferry to Denman Island. There, numerous trails await. We chose to spend our time at Boyle Point Park and catch a glimpse of Chrome Island (first photo above). We found out later that the lookout bench (which we sat on) is frequently used for more than just viewing. Oh my!
Day 42: On Trailpeak.com, we read about the ‘Coombs Family Trail.’ We thought that we would give it a try, but we accidentally discovered the Virginia-Sun King Road Trail instead. This was a tranquil path that was surrounded by lush, mature trees intersecting with French Creek. This would make an excellent family trail and/or off-leash dog-walking route.
Day 43: We did a short four-kilometre loop from the trailhead directly across the highway from Deez Bar & Grill in Qualicum Beach (see feature photo). From there, we crossed Grandon Creek and circled around to Seaside Nature Park. This recreation area contains numerous interpretive signs and gives special recognition to local hero, Faye Smith Rosenblatt.
Faye Smith Rosenblatt was a long time Central Vancouver Island resident. Trained as a classical pianist, she travelled the world but continued to return to her home and the outdoors that she loved. At the age of fifty-six, Faye became concerned about the pollution in a nearby creek. This unease sent her in a brand new direction that she passionately embraced during her remaining twenty-three years. During that time, Faye became the driving force on more than seventy local projects focussed on watershed health and salmon-habitat improvements. She became a fearless environmental advocate known for her humbleness and grace, as well as her gentle, persistent and persuasive nature. Faye is an excellent example of another ordinary woman who has left behind an extraordinary legacy.
Day 44: The seven-kilometre Oyster Bay to Salmon Point hike in Campbell River (which somehow was nine-kilometres for us) has long been on our list to complete. Previously, this was known as a ‘Pub-to-Pub’ hike. Sadly, there was not one operating bar or restaurant in sight. Soft drinks and munchies are available at the Salmon Point Campground. Yay, that’s not quite the same. But the trail was absolutely stunning!
Day 45: Known by locals as ‘Mt. Zoo,’ Mount Tzouhalem is one of the largest municipal forests in North America. It boasts over five-thousand hectares of forestland — eighteen hectares of which form an ecological reserve. One of the cliffsides bears a large metal cross that was originally wooden but needed to be repeatedly replaced. The hike to the Cross Summit can be done as a five-kilometre out and back, or a seven+ kilometre loop–which we did. If you don’t mind some up and down, this hike rewards your every step with remarkable views of Saltspring Islands, the Coastal Mountains of the Lower Mainland and Mount Baker in Washington State.
Day 46: Notch Hill can be hiked in a short three-kilometre loop. As usual, Richard, our trail navigator, snuck in an extra loop…or two. The partly steep climb to the top offers stunning views of Mount Arrowsmith, Nanoose Harbour and South Nanaimo. This trail also boasts a rare Garry Oak meadow and Arbutus forest ecosystem. What else could you ask for on a Monday morning?
Because it has to happen someday, and because we will be travelling shortly, we have decided to conclude our hiking challenge on Day 52. Actually, we had decided to end it on Day 50, but we wanted to include this coming weekend when we will have both full days available. As we have only scratched the surface of possible hikes in our area, we will continue to hike new-to-us trails often. This will give us the chance to mix up our hiking with familiar and unfamiliar routes.
We are now off to today’s trail. I will add it to next week’s post.
Many of you have commented about my recent switch to the Guttenberg Editor. That turned out to be like many of the unknown trails that I have recently faced. Sometimes our greatest fear is fear itself.
See you next week!