Friday, December 07, 2007

Winter on the Sunshine Coast Trail

The Sunshine Coast Trail (SCT) runs from Sarah Point near Lund all the way to Saltary Bay, spanning the entire length of the northern Sunshine Coast. You can enter and exit at several points along the way. On a recent trip, we started our hike at the northern Wilde Road entrance to the Appleton Creek Trail. This section isn't actually part of the SCT, but links with it in about a kilometre.

I forgot my cap, so I wore my quad helmet to keep my head dry, but it looked pretty stupid. After leaving the road, we hiked down to a small stream and one of the bridges built by the BOMB Squad (Bloody Old Men's Brigade). We all owe them a huge debt of gratitute. THANK YOU!! Then we climbed up through the hills along the quiet forest trail until the trail finally dropped down to Appleton Creek.

We stopped for a rest at the picnic area before reversing course to return to our quads. It was a good decision. From the picnic area, it is a 2.2 km hike along the Appleton Canyon Trail to its junction farther down Wilde Road. From there it would have been another 2 km (all uphill) to the waiting bikes. On our next hike, we plan to pre-position one quad at the lower trailhead. Then we enjoy the full hike, but have a ride uphill to our starting point.

There are several websites where you can get hiking information:
Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society
Sunshine Coast Trail by PRPAWS
Sunshine Coast Trail by Victoria Club Tread
Sunshine Coast Trail by The Sunshine Coast BC
Sunshine Coast Trail by
Current Trail Conditions Blog

The best information can be found in a book written by Eagle Walz (the trail's founder) called The Sunshine Coast Trail. He also has written a new book called Along the Edge of the Salish Sea about other Powell River trails. You can get both books at Powell River Tourism in the Crossroads Shopping Centre or online.

To get to many of the SCT trailheads you need to use forest or logging roads. Extreme care needs to be taken because of active logging. The Western Forest Products 24/7 Hotline is a good resource at 604-485-3132.

Up the Winter Trail has lots of stories about winter hiking, quadding and snowshoeing. Are you looking for a Christmas present for someone who likes the outdoors? Head over to Coles, Breakwater Books or Marine Traders and get them a copy. Then ask them to take you on a hike along the Sunshine Coast Trail. -- Margy

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