Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Washout Trail in Powell River, BC

Wayne and I like “wimpy” quad rides when we go out all on our own. We call a short (time and distance) ride a wimpy ride. Even though we’ve had our quads for several years, we aren’t that familiar with the trails around Powell River. We’ve been cautious about heading out on our own, but we have two tools that give us more confidence. One is a great map book written by Dave from the Powell River ATV Club. It’s called the ATV Trail Guide that is available at local ATV stores.

The other item is a Garmin GPS. We went to visit George (Mr. GPS) at Marine Traders. He’s a Garmin expert and can help you find the right model for your needs. We purchased the topographical maps on a card and the City Navigator North America road maps on a CD. That way we got the software to save and manage routes and waypoints. Our Oregon 300 works with both Mac and PCs. Since we use Macs that was very important for us.

We parked our truck in town near Edgehill School at the top of Abbotsford Street. We never guessed how beautiful the trail through the forest from this non-descript parking spot would be. Tall evergreen trees provide lots of shade for the lush fern and salal ground cover. There are many interconnecting trails in the area, so we used both map and GPS to stay on course. Along the way there was active logging, so we were watchful for trucks once we got to the logging road section.

Where the Edgehill Trail System meets Duck Lake Forest Service Road (FSR), we entered the Washout Trail. It’s well marked with a cement sign. This trail follows an old railroad grade used by trains hauling timber for the Hasting Timber Company in the early 1900’s. High winds and forest fires in the 1920’s caused damage that can still be seen in the understory today. The trail is easy to moderate, with a few protruding roots to negotiate.

From the Washout Trail we took Fred’s Trail down to Hammil Lake. Again, it is well marked with a wooden sign attached to a tree, but you have to watch for it. Fred’s Trail is narrow in places with larger roots to negotiate, but it is still in the easy to moderate category. Just after we entered the trail, we came to a bridge constructed by ATV riders over a fish-bearing stream. This is an example of how riders in the area respect and help preserve the environment.

After our long, hot summer, there was no water left in the stream. We continued on Fred’s Trail to the Hammil Lake trail and followed it a short ways down to the lakeshore. The weather was cool and breezy, so we skipped a swim. Wayne tried a few casts while I had a pop and cookie break.

We decided to retrace our steps back to the Washout Trail. We turned right and followed the rest of the trail to its junction with Duck Lake FSR. A left turn took us to the Duck Lake Bridge. We stopped along the popular little lake for Wayne to try a few more casts. I guess today just wasn’t our day to catch any fish. Just a few klicks down Duck Lake FSR took us back to the Edgehill Tail System and our route back to the truck. Except for the short stretch on Duck Lake Road, the trails were all remote and beautiful. We are so lucky here in Powell River to have all of this literally right at our doorstep. -- Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy