Sunday, October 21, 2007

Powell River Lakes Loop by Quad

This time of year you need to take full advantage of sunny (even partly cloudy) days. When we start a quad ride from town, we have to get up early and take our boat down the lake. Our destination -- the airport hanger where we store our quads on a tandem trailer.

We head south of Powell River on Highway 101. It’s hard to believe, but this is the northern extension of the same highway that passed our former home in California. A left turn at Dixon Road takes us off the pavement and onto Goat Lake Main. The main is a busy logging road on weekdays and has plenty of potholes, but is safe to travel with our large trailer in tow on weekends and holidays.

We like to park at Tin Hat Junction where there's a large turnout and map signboard. Today we are taking what I call the Lakes Loop. We offload our quads and continue north on the main to intercept Spring Lake Main branching off to the left. This junction is well marked with signs pointing to Lewis Lake and Tin Hat Mountain.

Logging in the area has created new roads through cut blocks. Following the most traveled sections we came to another sign at the entrance to the Lewis Lake Campground. We were surprised to find a large camper topped by a canoe towing an enclosed quad trailer. He must really trust his rig to bring it so far back into the bush, but what a way to see the country.

We had our lunch at the lake and Wayne tried a few casts from the wobbly dock.

After leaving Lewis Lake, we took the narrow trail down to Spring Lake. This lake is small and shallow, but there’s a beautiful view between the trees that shade the hand-built picnic area. The last part of the trail had a steep spot. This is exactly why I got my Yamaha Kodiak 450 with 4-wheel drive, but did I remember to turn it on? NO!

After a little tipsy-turvy spell, I came to a stop facing a tree. I engaged my 4X4, backed easily onto the trail, and the rest of the way down.

Back on Spring Lake Main we turned onto Giavanni (Giavanno on some maps) Main. From its lofty track we could look down on the head of Haslam Lake (Powell River’s water supply) and then Giavanni Lake. This part of the ride was very familiar to me. We popped out into the remains of Fiddlehead Farm (only a few apple trees now) and then onto Rainbow Main, skirting the southern edge of Powell and Goat Lakes. It's been a few years since there has been active logging along this section and the steep sides have grow over with alders and brush. That was good for me and my fear of heights ("Quad Acrophobia" in Up the Main).

At the junction of Goat Lake Main, we headed back south towards the truck. But first we made a short stop at the picnic area at the north end of Windsor Lake and then the Powell River Canoe Route portage at the north end of Dodd Lake. Time (and sunlight) was running out, so we made a dash down the main past Ireland and Nanton Lakes without stopping. Our trusty truck and trailer were waiting to receive us and take us past our final lake of the day, Lois Lake.

That was our Lakes Loop day trip. There are so many choices for short, long, easy and hard rides right at our doorstep. Want to read about more of them? ATV adventures in and around Powell River, BC, are the focus of the books Up the Main and Farther Up the Main. You can go to to get more information.

Also, stop by Tourism Powell River to purchase the new Powell River recreation map.

Do you ride a quad or bike? What are some of your favorite places to get away, relax and see the backcountry? -- Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy