Category Archives: Hiking Trails

Hiking, Backpacking, Trekking Trails and guides worldwide! The following list is of hiking areas around Canada and throughout the world. Have a hiking trail in mind? If you are looking for a hiking trail, type the name of the Trail into the search box at the top right above and search. The hiking trails that have been written on by TracksAndTrails Authors are not on the map yet. If you are interested in helping add them so visitors can view the trail head on the camping map, please let me know via the contact page.

Summit Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Machame is the route of choice amongst most climbers because it provides spectacular views and a variety of habitats.

All trekking equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. (some personal gear is required-see below) Machame route accommodations are tents only. The Machame route (also referred to as the “Whiskey route”) is more suitable for the adventurous hiker, rewarding him/her with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route.

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route Duration: 6 Days. (for 5 and 7 day variations see below)
Total hiking distance: About 100 km.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Machame Gate (1490m) – Machame camp (2980m).

Hiking time: 7 hours.
Distance: About 18 km’s.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Your day starts with checking your personal climbing gears, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. Kilimanjaro outfitter will provide Lunch box and mineral bottled water. You will depart to Machame gate by Car. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.
Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the guide will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite..

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 2: Machame camp (2980m) – Shira camp (3840m).

Hiking time: 6 hours .
Distance: About 9 km’s.
Habitat: Moorland.
You wake early at Machame camp and after breakfast you trek an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Day 3: Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m).

Hiking time: 7 hours .
Distance: About 15 km’s.
Habitat: Semi desert.
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely, the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 4: Barranco camp (3950m) – Barafu camp (4550m).
Hiking time: 7 hours.

Distance: About 13 km’s.

Habitat: Alpine desert .
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very attractive sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.
The last water point on the route is the Karranga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well.

Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m).

Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak.

7/8 hours to descend to Mweka.
Distance: About 7 km’s ascent – 23 km’s descent.
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.
You will rise around 24h and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 6: Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m).

Hiking time: 3 hours.
Distance: About 15 km’s .
Habitat: Forest
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!

Trip Variations

The Machame Route climb should be done in a minimum of six days (five nights) on the mountain. However, it is most often tackled over seven days (six nights), for a better altitude acclimatization schedule.

5 Day – The Machame route can also be completed in 5 days. On day 3 on the itinerary above, you go directly to Kibo with an overnight at the Arrow Glacier camp, with your final summating attempt on day 4.

7 Day – If you have more time, you can add one more day (7 days climbing Kilimanjaro) this extra day is used for acclimatization to and maximize chance to reach summit.

Personal Gear
Climbing Kilimanjaro you must have some Personal Mountain gear: Please ask us and we will send you a list of what personal gear you need. The Company provides MountainTents, Tables, Chairs, and all the Food and Water you need.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Additional Services
Costs of additional services:
Bottled oxygen, only for rescue/emergency use $30
Extra acclimatization day $180
Extra hotel night, per room $60
Mount Meru climb (3 nights/4 days), per person $625

NOTE: After Kilimanjaro trekking, you can extend your vacation holiday with Wildlife safari tour, adventure safaris, cultural tourism and beach holidays in Tanzania.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Mount Kilimanjaro Guided Trips and Tours

Silver Star Mountain Wildflowers Are In Full Bloom!

The multi-coloured mountain wildflower show is decorating the top of Silver Star Mountain.

“We had a slow start to the summer, it even snowed in July!,” exclaimed Roseanne Van Ee, Silver Star’s Mountain Naturalist and Tour Guide, “Now, all the recent heat and sunshine has the flowers popping out all together for a spectacular show”.

Sub-alpine rhododendrons

Sub-alpine rhododendrons - photo used with permission from OutdoorDiscoveries.com

Van Ee goes on to describe, “Usually the yellow/red Columbines and orange Columbia Tiger Lilies bloom before the red Indian Paintbrush, white Valerian, blue Lupine and yellow Arnica mix, followed by the various purple Asters and Pearly Everlasting bunches, but they’re all out now!”

columbia lily cr

Columbia Lily Cr - photo used with permission by OutdoorDiscoveries.com

The best way to experience not only the wildflowers, but also a bit of mountain history, ecology and geology, is to join an afternoon Mountain Wildflower Tour where hikers are guided on a downhill stroll through the best wildflower meadows,  to the remains of the Silver Queen mine and cabin and to the most spectacular valley and Columbia mountain viewpoints.

This year, Van Ee is giving tips and hints to improve your digital photos.  “I’ve always been a photo buff and enjoy helping others get the most from their automatic cameras.  Tour participants are really happy to learn a few tricks that create way better photos to impress their family and friends.”

Lupine

Lupine - photo used with permission from OutdoorDiscoveries.com

The tour starts with a chairlift ride to the top.  Monday to Thursdays the group walks down to the Comet chair, but on Friday and Saturday the village chairlift allows for a shorter walk. Participants enjoy a lemonade and cookie picnic at the end.

Leave the valley heat for a refreshing mountain stroll.  Pictures and tour descriptions are found atwww.OutdoorDiscoveries.com or phone the Summer Ticket Office at 250-558-6010.

Northover Ridge in Kananaskis

I found interesting information on Northover Ridge from a couple of websites. I am hoping to complete the backpacking trip sometime and am adding Northover Ridge information as I find it.  View part one of this Best Hike in Canada series.

Here is the best free description about the Northover Ridge Backpacking trip. http://snow.prohosting.com/bennettw/hikes/northover_ridge/northover_ridge.htm

The following two images are from the above url.

Mount Northover

From http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=d33b6763-45d8-4609-953f-3aa200fa8c9d we have this excerpt:

This Regular cache is located at the Northern extent to Northover ridge on the Defender Mountain Mount Northover Col.

On bivouac.com:
Club group dayhikes the Northover Ridge route, finishing two hours after sunset.

When the guidebooks use words like “operatic vistas,” “affords an ecstatic sense of exploration,” and “sustained high-elevation route” (Copeland and Copeland), or “magnificent” and “best . . . trip in K-country” (Daffern) along with “thrill ride,” “alarmingly steep,” “shoulder-width and outer space airy,” (Copeland and Copeland), “scree slopes poised above cliffs,” “tightrope of scree and shattered rock,” “slopes plunging over 1200 m,” and “vertigo-inducing” (Daffern), you know you want to go there, but you’re not sure you should. Northover Ridge is for experienced and self-confident hikers…

Here is a quote from one of the guided trip itineraries at the Canadian Rockies Hiking website.

“Day 2: Kananaskis Lakes – Three Isle Lake
We will pick you up after breakfast, deal with last minute gear issues and food packing then drive to the trailhead (1hour) along the spectacular Smith-Dorrien highway to the south of Canmore. The trail leads us first around the Upper Kananaskis Lake then into the forests following the Kananaskis River. After reaching the Forks, we continue to hike up the Three Isle headwall to camp for the night at Three Isle Lake (2175m.). Distance 10km. Elevation gain 300m.

On Northover Ridge

Day 3: Day hike to Northover Ridge
We are never far from treeline now and the scenery begins to expand exponentially as we rapidly gain height above the Lake carrying only light packs. From Northover Ridge (2800m.) and west into the Royal Group and beyond. Distance 10km. Elevation gain 600m, loss 600m.

Day 4: Three Isle – Turbine Canyon
Today is pass crossing day and the most challenging we face! After breakfast we make our way to the Continental Divide at South Kananaskis Pass (2306m) and cross into British Columbia. Passing Beatty Lake we contour into Leroy Creek on rough trails to re-cross the continental divide at North Kananaskis Pass (2368m) where we can stop to enjoy the views surrounding Maude Lake. Another 2km and we arrive at Turbine Canyon. Distance 14.2km. Elevation gain 730m., loss 650m.

Day 5: Turbine Canyon – Forks Campground
Turbine Canyon Camp (2200m) sits on a bench near treeline above the confluence of Maude Brook and the Upper Kananaskis River, it is named after the impressive and narrow canyon just downstream from the campsite. The views are tremendous and it’s also a great place to do a side trip. After a leisurely morning spent exploring this fascinating area we hike across the meadows to Lawson Lake and then it’s all downhill as we descend to the Upper Kananaskis River valley bottom and Forks campground. Distance 7.8km. Elevation loss 400m.”

Northover Ridge pictures here.

Mount Northover is located on the border of Alberta and British Columbia on the Continental Divide. It was named in 1917 after Northover, Lieutenant A.W.[1][2]

Mount Northover located at 50°34′57″N115°00′58″W

Here is an excerpt from http://waputik.tripod.com/gdt_meadow.htm#NOR

At an elevation of 2,591 m (8,500′) on the Continental Divide, the unnamed col provides a clear view of the next objective, the col (grid ref. 242054) just west of the summit of Mt. Northover. The trail is well-defined, but even when it is snow-covered, the route is obvious. Northover col (2,804 m (9,200′) is the start of the highest maintained hiking trail in the Canadian Rockies, and for the next 2.5 km the route is right on the divide. To begin, head left from the col and scramble up a short scree slope to find the first cairn on the ridge. The ridge is comfortably wide at the beginning, but it gradually narrows as you approach the high point. The drop-off to the Palliser valley is quite precipitous, but I wouldn’t rate any part of the route as exposed. However, there are one or two points where one must be cautious; it would be easy to lose one’s footing due to the strong winds that often sweep the ridge.

The high point, at 2,845 m (9,332′), offers spectacular views in all directions, especially of the Royal Group, Mt. Joffre, Three Isle Lake and Mt. Sir Douglas. This picture from the guide was taken from near the summit, looking back to Mt. Northover (centre-left skyline) and the glaciated north face of Mt. Joffre (right skyline). There are some excellent pictures of the Northover Ridge trip onBennett Wong’s site.

Here is another Northover Ridge intinerary and very good warnings etc from a calgary backpacking club:
Northover Ridge is described as the best hike in Kananaskis! The trip will be just over 32 km (20 mi) long with an elevation gain of ~1180 m (3871 ft). This trip will be technically difficult and extremely strenuous – NOT FOR BEGINNERS!!! There have been fatalities on this route and I don’t want to add to the statistics. Be sure to read the COMPLETE event description CAREFULLY before signing up. I would also urge you to look at Illustrated Hikes of the Canadian Rockies to see if this event is appropriate for your ability and fitness level.
Read the full itinerary here:http://www.calgaryoutdoorclub.com/events/details.asp?eventid=10376

Mt.Tabayoc-Junior Pulag + 4 Lakes

Cordillera is so much blessed with beautiful mountains. They are not only beautiful in our eyes but they are also very beautiful to trek. It has the 2 highest mountains here in Luzon and both of them are very satisfying to climb. Mt Tabayoc is located in Kabayan Benguet, near Pulag. If you are a lake lover or if you love to swim, then you are lucky. Here, you will see not only 1 or 2 lakes, but 4 lakes.

Mt.Tabayoc via Ballay is a three day hike but the first day will be very easy because you can camp in Lake Tabeo, and there you can do whatever you like, swim, go socialize with your teammates etc. Lake Tabeo is located 2206 ft above sea level so expect the temperature to be cold in here. You will enter a thick rainforest before reaching Lake Tabeo, it was a good thing that I was wearing a pants or I would have a lot of cuts. You will reach the summit in day 2 but you won’t get to see the sunrise because it’s a 3 hour assault to the summit.

Upon your descent, you can explore the three other lakes which are all very pristine. I can say that Ambulalakao is the best of them because it is the cleanest lake that I have seen so far. Once we were back in Ballay, I noticed that the hill was much like the grassland in Mt. Pulag. I discovered from my teammates that it was called Junior Pulag by most hikers because of this feature. If you reach Ballay near sunset, then you can stay over a local house there. They will charge just a small fee and our immersion with them was fun. Or, you can also camp at Lake Tabeo like in Day 1.

Mt.Palali

I haven’t hiked outside Cordillera that much but there are a lot of awesome mountains out the region too. The nearest mountain to Cordillera is in Nueva Vizcaya and it is slowly becoming a climbing destination by enthusiasts. You can go there without a guide if you know something about trail following because the trail is becoming more obvious because of the increasing number of hikers. You should be in good condition when hiking because this trail will be difficult if it is your first time to engage in such activity.

While hiking to the summit, you will find yourself in a beautiful forest that looks like the forest that you will encounter in Mt.Pulag when taking the Akiki Trail. There are a lot of bird species in this area that is why the government declared it as a protected area. After 2-3 hours of hiking, you will find a water station where you can rest. You will encounter quite a few water stations while going up so you don’t need to fill up your water jugs every time that you see one. It will take you approximately five hours to reach “Haring Bato” or “King Rock”. This is the view deck of Mt.Palali and here you will see several of the mountains of Cordillera and also Nueva Vizcaya and nearby provinces. It is a magnificent view and you will appreciate more of the mountain here in this area. You can set up your camp in the near grassland or you can continue hiking for one hour to reach the summit of the mountain.

There are a lot of flowers in this mountain area so please do not litter while in the trail. I am sure that you will have a beautiful hike in this area so in return, you should take care of its surroundings.

Mt. Sto Tomas Kennon Road-Green Valley Traverse

Mt. Sto Tomas is Baguio’s highest peak with a height of 2256. If you are at the summit of the mountain, you can get a view of Baguio City and also a sneak peek of La Union and Lingayen Gulf of South China Sea. It is Baguio’s most hiked mountain, alongside Mt.Cabuyao, because of its accessibility and there are different trails to reach its summit. Most hikers would ride a jeep to Green Valley and then hike all the way up. But I think the best trail is by traversing Kennon Road. As a mountaineer, this was my first climb and it was not that easy or that hard.We started our hike at the Hydro where there was a hanging bridge. We hiked for 3 hours before we reach the campsite and there we took our dinner and socials before resting for the night. We continued hiking in the morning for about 2 hours before we reached the summit. As the famous mountaineer blogger here in the Philippines said: “The best time to be at Mt. Sto Tomas is morning because clouds obscure the views in the afternoon, even misleading some hikers because of the poor visibility”. Maybe this was the reason why our team leader chose the morning to climb to the peak.

There is a water station half way your trek that is why you don’t need to worry about running out of water. After climbing the mountain, we started our descent which was an easy one because the road was paved. There was no need to walk in a single file anymore. There was this trail though, that we called “shortcut to hell” because this trail was steep, but it decreased our trekking time by half. After the shortcut, we walked on the road once again until we reached Green valley and there we waited for a Jeep that will take us to the town.

Mt. Severide Trek in the Monashee Alpine

Fall Season = Hiking Season! While I was working Saturday and enjoying the local regional parks on Sunday, Jesse and crew were out bagging Alpine Peaks. Below are Mount Severide pictures and pictures from the hike up. Jesse doesn’t use a GPS, he downloaded and studied all the map sheets from Google and took them with him. Good thing, a french hiking crew who were otherwise quite prepared for the backcountry, did not have proper maps to get the correct information to Twin Lakes, lucky for them Jesse had been there several years ago so told them how to get there and gave him the printed map sheets as well (he was on his way back)!

Jesse’s trip report on another Monashee trip has a link to the Trail Head map and a track on Google maps of some of the area.

Mt Amuyao-Day 2

Our Day 2 started around 5am because we wanted to see the sunrise in the summit of Mt.Amuyao. The sunrise was very interesting to watch because you can literally see a vast ocean of clouds and you can see the sun rising above the clouds. It is very cold at the summit so you have to make sure that you bring jackets and socks, or even gloves. We have to wait until the weather suited us before we started our trek. Today was our descent from the mountain but I can say that it is harder than our ascent.

There were a lot of leeches and bees in the forest plus the roots were all slippery because of the moist. It is a very difficult descent but it if you appreciate the solitude in the forest, you will definitely love it. The trail was less obvious because but thanks to our guide we made it through the forest. We had our lunch at the river. The water in the river is very cold and also very refreshing, especially after the hard trek from the forest.

After our lunch, we started trekking again until we reached the Pat-yay community and we camped there. Pat-yay is very beautiful especially because of the rice terraces that can be viewed from there. The people there are also very accommodating; in fact, there is a house there which can be used as shelter by campers but we still used our tents. Day 2 was a short 7-hour hike. Short because the view is very beautiful and the river will wash away all your struggles for the day.

Mission Creek Regional Park GPS Track - South End

GPS Track for Mission Creek Regional Park is below. The track starts at the main parking lot off of Springfield Road and covers the south end of the park. Another post will cover the north end and all of its wonder soon. The following pictures and information are for folks who may be new and want to take the family out to Kelowna’s most incredible natural park. Also many old time residents of Kelowna are unaware of the many incredible natural wonders that exist in the park. I have taken a few amateur snapshots to help show what exists in this park and have shown them below and under that is the actual GPS track that you can download if you follow the embedded maplink. The park used a lot for races, GPS training, and geocaching enthusiasts. I parked right next to the Environmental Educational Center Okanagan.

Also right next to the EECO center is the new Mission Creek Regional Park Composting Education Garden.

Be sure to check out the EECO center! It is a “must see” as the displays are changed every three months and are phenomenal.
After checking out the Environmental Education Center, wander towards the Mission Creek Greenway (the greenway borders the North and West side regional park) check out the park info at the Gazebo and cross the main Mission Creek Bridge.

As soon as you cross the bridge you will be greeted with one of the most common areas to view the Salmon Spawing in September.

In the Gazebo, you will find tons of Salmon Spawning information and more. Here is a snapshot of one of the wildlife info bulletins. It tells of many of the wildlife viewing opportunities that aboud in the park.

After viewing the Mission Creek Regional Park info in the Gazebo on the East side of the main bridge, you will see the spawning area that runs along a great hiking trail complete with steps to higer ground, tumbling brooks, bridges, trail rails and lots of wildlife to view.

After meandering down past the fish spawning area, continue on until you see a trail large enough for a vehicle the heads up the hill to east and enjoy the squirrels as you make your way to the Hall Road Park entrance and the side trail to Evelyn’s Island.

The Hall Road entrance to Mission Creek Park as viewed from Hall Road in this photo.

Now as you double back into the park, veer south to Evelyn’s Island.
The photo above shows a viewing area or rest area just before you take the bridge to Evelyn’s Island. The log that is in the pond is usually full of Turtles: you can see the Turtle video I took of them.


Now all Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times when you are in this Regional District Park in Kelowna. I found this dog just sitting on the picnic table trying to figure out how to catch one of the many ducks. Now the sign, clearly says not to feed the waterfowl and I’m sure your not supposed to eat them either.


After exploring Evelyn Island, a real jewel of Mission Creek Park, I backtracked to the large trail then took a left to go and visit the Childrens Fishing Pond. And as I go, wouldn’t you know it, here is that pesky dog again, and off the leash! All dogs must be on leash.

After circling the Childrens Fishing Pond I meandered around the South end of park and checked out a couple of swamps and hidden foot bridges that are not very popular areas but can be very fun to visit.

And when you reach the old fence above, you know you are at the farthest south west corner of the park and almost back on the main trail that runs parallel to Mission Creek.

Finally as you make your way back to the main bridge, don’t forget to enjoy the creek as it tumbles over the fish ladders.

Mission Creek Regional Park GPS Track - North Section in Kelowna BC

Mission Creek Regional park in Kelowna has a number of Trail Heads and parking spots. Today, we parked at the Ziprick Road parking spot and Trailhead located right at the end of Ziprick Rd where it meets Springfield Rd.

We crossed the Cottonwoods Bridge and headed North East along a popular trail for joggers. The trail has a number of points of interest. My favourite part of this Mission Creek Trail is the way it ends. The trail ends at a spot where the East Kelowna Bench above drops Mission Creek below in a the form of a solid face of rock that will not permit you to go any further unless you cross the creek or climb straight up for 50 to 100 feet. In the summer, many kids opt for the creek and a good swim.

However, on this little hike, I did not get a chance to make it to the end, as you can see from the Mission Creek GPS track below. about half way to my destination, I glanced up towards the bench on our right and seen a black spot. After backing up two steps, I looked straight up to find myself looking directly into the eyes of a black bear as it looked straight at me.

Earlier I had told myself that if I see a bear on this hike, I will snap a photo. But as the thought went through my mind, my 10 month old Australian Shepherd was on my first thought as her nose was to the ground and she did not seem to be aware of the bear staring down at us, so I turned around called Sydney and hoped she would come straight to me before noticing the black bear and getting into a me-lee. She did come and we continued on our hike back to the Cottonwoods bridge and then up towards the bench to enjoy a cool crisp morning in Mission Creek Park. Below the GPS Track are a few shots of the trail that I took just to show folks a little more of a local park that they may have never seen previously.

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Part 7

Challenges

1. Operational funding for maintaining recreation sites and trails and the Spirit of 2010 Trail.

Free CampingDraft Treasury Board submissions have been prepared requesting an uplift to the 2011/12 base budget of:

• $4.0M to keep recreation sites and trails open, safe for public use and

protect the Province’s investment; and

• $0.450M to maintain and operate the Sprit of 2010 Trail

2. Trails Strategy for BC

A Cabinet decision to endorse the draft Trails Strategy for BC is necessary for the Province to apply a proactive, collaborative and multi-jurisdictional approach to planning, developing and managing a world-renowned trail network in British Columbia.

3. Workload Stress

Free CampingRecreation Sites and Trails staff identified stress due to excessive workload and limited resources as very high in the last three employee engagement surveys. Key areas are:

• Staff capacity to represent the interests of public recreation and participate in managing public recreation on Crown lands outside recreation sites and trails. For example, Callaghan Valley, Blue Mountain, Chilliwack, Tabor Mountain, Valemount/Blue River, Englishman Creek, Catamount Glacier, and Bear Creek.

• Staff capacity to process in a in a timely manner (land status clearance, referrals, including First Nations) the increasing number of recreation site and trail proposals submitted by user groups who have secured dollars from various funding sources and are ready to begin work immediately.

• Staff understanding of First Nations consultation requirements for managing recreation sites and trails as well as the capacity to fully engage with First Nations and establish relationships.

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Part 6

Trail Initiatives

1. Provincial Recreation Trails Strategy

Free Camping

Eagle Bay

The Tourism Action Plan called for the development of a Trails Program for British Columbia. A collaborative, multi-jurisdictional and stakeholder imitative lead by Recreation Sites and Trails has produced a draft Provincial Trails Strategy.

The Strategy lists 17 required actions to achieve a Provincial vision for a world class trail system. Minister Bennett, the Minister of Tourism Culture and Arts, at the time, announced the draft Trails Strategy for BC at the 2008 UBCM meeting in Penticton.

Community information sessions were held in 11 locations across the Province to solicit feedback on the draft Strategy. The Trails Strategy has been presented to and discussed with several of the Natural Resource Ministers prior to the most recent Cabinet realignment however government endorsement has not been confirmed.

Implementation of the strategy will occur in stages, based on resources available and will focus on:

• regional planning in high priority areas such as the Fraser Valley and Okanagan;

• trail inventory work;

• user survey to support marketing efforts; and

• support a Provincial Trail Advisory Committee.

2. Mountain Bike Trails

Free Camping

BIG OK Lake in the Cascades District

Procedures for authorizing and managing mountain bike trails on Crown land has been developed and is being tested at 8 pilot locations in the following Districts:

1. Central Cariboo

2. Chilliwack

3. Kamloops

4. Nadina/Skeena-Stikine

5. North Coast/QCI/Kalum

6. Prince George/Mackenzie

7. Rocky Mountain

8. Sea to Sky

3. Trails for Motorized Use

Motorized riding areas have been established at Bear Creek near Kelowna, Munroe Creek near Summerland and other locations to manage the increasing use in off-road motor cycling and ATV’ing. Recreation Sites and Trails also manages 79 trail areas for snowmobiling, all in partnership with local clubs.

4. Avalanche Safety

In 2010, the large number of avalanche related deaths involving snowmobile operators on Crown land over the past 2 years prompted significant media attention and recommendations from the Coroner’s office. As a result Avalanche Warning signs have been placed at all managed snowmobile trails. Recreation Sites and Trails in collaboration with GeoBC and the Canadian Avalanche Association have embarked on a 3 year program to complete terrain ssessments and avalanche risk ratings at the managed snowmobile areas. This information will enable Avaluator signage to be developed. The Avaluator sign combines the avalanche danger rating for the day and the terrain rating for the area to enable snowmobile user to identify the avalanche risk and make informed decisions concerning avalanche hazards in the area. Avaluator signs will be posted at 8 managed snow mobile areas prior to the 2010/11 snowmobile season.

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Part 5

Mountain Pine Beetle

Free CampingMore than 40 percent of the recreation sites and trails have been impacted by mountain pine beetle. Dead and dying trees on recreation sites and trails presents a significant public safety hazards due to potential tree failure and windfall. In 2008 and 2009, the Federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program provided $1.435 M over the 2 year period to assist with the removal of hazard trees and fuel accumulation from impacted 200 recreation sites and trails. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Community Development Trust, Job Opportunities

Program assisted in mitigating impact of mountain pine beetle at recreation sites and trails. The beetle infestation continues to spread and field reconnaissance indicates that additional long term treatments are required to address public safety issues at recreation sites and trails.

Marketing Recreation Sites and Trails

Free Camping

Idaho Lake

Recreation Sites are an important part of the Province’s tourism infrastructure and play a key role in government’s goal of doubling tourism revenue by 2015. Recreation Sites and Trails are critical to growing the domestic tourism sector.

A Market Development Plan for Recreation Sites was developed in 2008. The name “Recreation Sites and Trails BC” was officially branded by the Province’s Public Affairs Bureau. Marketing products such as a new website, upgrades to the interactive web map, Facebook, display material, maps, and rack cards were produced in 2009 with funding from the BC 150 Legacy Fund.

The interactive map on the Ministry website assists the public in locating recreation sites and determining the facilities at each site (e.g., number of campsites, boat launches and other facilities). Information on trails is expected to be added before May 2011.