XENIA LAKE TRAIL

Xenia Lake Trail: All aboard!
Xenia Lake Trail: All aboard!

We just recently came back from a camping trip.

Quite unique from any other we’ve attempted.

Our group consisted of 7 humans plus 3 dogs (yes including Buluxi).

Located on the most northern tip of Christina Lake, the camp site is boat access only, so we decided to take 2 canoes and a small aluminum boat (A.K.A ‘the tin tin’).

The two canoes we outfitted with a 1.5hp solar engine plus man powered by those sitting inside rowing with oars, and ‘the tin tin’  (loaded with the majority of supplies) was outfitted with a 3.5hp gasoline powered engine.

Along with Buluxi, Dion and I, decided to take a canoe with another guy and another couple of guys took the other canoe, with the remaining in, ‘the tin tin.’

Oh I should add that ‘the tin tin’ also had an open seam somewhere causing water to come in, without a pump.

Whoever went along in it had to bucket out water from the boat throughout the ride, regardless, the ‘tin tin’ made it over to the site before the canoes did.

After 2hrs of canoeing through calm, open lake water we reached our destination.  The site was secluded, and we had a beach front all to ourselves.

The camp sites are set up, each with a 20×20 cleared out space encircled by deciduous trees for privacy and rock assembled fire-pit.

Thank  goodness there was already a huge supply of fresh chopped cedar wood, which came in handy to keep us warm during the night, while also being the fuel to assist with cooking too.

Xenia Lake Trail: Memories in the making
Xenia Lake Trail: Memories in the making

Within 20minutes of our arrival it started to rain, so we all had to scramble to put our tents up and get our gear and supplies out of the wet.

After a successful set-up, we decided to reconstruct a massive fire-pit that looked much like a pile of rocks at first, but ended up being the nicest beach fire pit that’s ever warmed me.

With cedar burning bright flames into the star lit night sky, we all took in the sights and silence of complete wilderness, while feeling thankful, watching all the boats go back towards the marina at the other end of the lake.

Dinner was cooked and enjoyed at the fire.

Boomer, one of the other dogs who came along for the trip is mixed with wolf and husky, helped set the evening mood by bringing in the night with a howl (literally).

We all howled with him to let him know we were all in support :o) and even got howls back from somewhere on the lake.

Dion and I woke up early the next morning to the sun shining and a calm glassy lake.

Within 30minutes we began to see fishing boats come from the south end of the lake, ready for a day of fishing.

After a dip in the lake, and a big breakfast, we decided as a group to hike the more elusive Xenia Lake Trail.

We packed day-hiking supplies in our back packs, got the dogs ready and off we went.

Xenia Lake is nestled in higher elevation in the neighboring mountain scape, and we climbed and climbed along a single track trail.

For every 100m or so we ascended, the lake views and scenery below got wider providing amazing panoramic views.

We never did reach Xenia Lake due to time and the fact that we wanted to be back at camp before dark, but the trail certainly proved to be a cardio challenge and kept us huffing and sweating the whole way.

Xenia Lake Trail: Peekaboo views like no other
Xenia Lake Trail: Peekaboo views like no other

The dogs had a blast sniffing and running around together as a pack and for the first time in her life, Buluxi was actually hanging out with other dogs.

The day ended with a big feast of roasted chicken, ribs, Caesar salade, and bread.

Might I add, ribs from the open fire were the best ribs anyone had in a long time, char’d at the tips and along the edges, juicy on the inside with just a hint of seasoning, mmmmmmm.

That night Dion and I decided to stay up with our friend and my colleague from work Pierce, to manage the fire.

At around 11:30pm while everyone else had gone to their tents for the night, we three observed some very interesting aircraft activity in the sky hovering above the lake.

Two flying round orbs; one coming from over the eastern mountain scape of the lake made its way to the middle of the lake when another orb appeared out of nowhere.

They flew with each other for a couple minutes and then quickly separated, one continuing to the west mountain scape of the lake and the other heading quickly towards the south end of the lake.

As our fire slowly died out, the three of us watched from the beach warmed with excitement in awe of these fast flying, hovering aircraft dancing in the night sky, no motors to be heard.

None of us could figure out what we saw but we are certain that they were not airplanes or helicopters and remains a mystery.

From previous conversations with those that have lived in the Kootenay-Boundary Region their entire lives; there’s been a history of UFO sittings and it is a common phenomenon.

There have also been sighting of Sasquatch (a big fury creature that stands like a human but much, much bigger and fully furred).

We did not have any engagements with a Sasquatch but it sure would have been interesting.

The following day we all decided to take a trip across the way to another beach and where inland salmon can supposedly be found along with old growth western cedars.

I took Buluxi in one of the Canoes with Pierce and another guy while Dion sat comfortably on the ‘tin tin.’

We get halfway across to our destination, its within view the whole time, when all of a sudden the canoe that I am in tips over, leaving Pierce, Mark, Buluxi and I treading water in the middle of the lake.

Anxiousness quickly decends on me as I am not sure how well Buluxi can swim.

We all do not have life jackets on and Pierce is trying to keep the canoe from sinking to the bottom while keeping himself afloat while I manage the dog and myself.

Mark selfishly stands in the sinking boat trying to hold his knap sack up so that his phone doesn’t get wet.

The ‘tin tin’ comes to us and Dion couldn’t wait, he jumps into the water to swim over to Buluxi who through some miracle is swimming.

She eyes the shoreline and automatically swims towards it, Dion hardly able to catch up to her.

Another couple with a big boat came along and helped me out of the water as there’s no space for me on the tin tin.

Pierce attaches the canoe to this boat and the canoe is dragged to shore where it is emptied of water.

Buluxi and Dion make it to shore without any scrapes, but Buluxi is suffering from PTS from the whole event and won’t come near the water.

Once I get my composure together I decide to go out again on the Canoe but this time we leave Buluxi with one of the others behind.  We all make it to the other beach this time and it is so worth it.

The first things we see are the old growth western cedar trees.  We make a five-person human chain around the biggest one, successfully closing the loop :o).

Up a little ways we begin to see fish in the river alongside the trail.  All of a sudden a few fish end up being hundreds of fish.

The fish are a species of landlocked salmon, known as Kokanee Salmon and closely related to the bigger sea-bound, sockeye salmon.

This inland species is much smaller, from what we observed no bigger than 7 inches and boy were they spawning.

The river flow is no more than seven inches high and the boys including Dion end up going into the freezing cold river water hoping to catch a salmon.

They all do for giggles and bragging rights, and then let them go.

After a couple hours of frolicking along the trail and in the river we decide to head back to camp to ready ourselves for the trip home.

We fill ourselves with food, then janga pack our supplies back onto the ‘tin tin,’ and canoe.

Taking no chances, we hook up the canoe to the tin tin and tow it back.

After an evening hour-tow on the lake, we arrive back safely to the marina wishing that we didn’t have to go home.

 

Melissa Shim
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

WESTLAKE TRAIL – TNT

Westlake Trail: All for one and one for all!
Westlake Trail: All for one and one for all!

Blue skies above and the sun high in the sky, we couldn’t have picked a better day to hit the trail and explore this gem.

Westlake is a moderate to difficult hike depending on your skill level and aerobic   ability and the same rating if you were biking.

Today we chose to capture our video and photo footage by hiking this cedar lined terrain.

The trail starts out in a lush brush area that changed into a cedar forest surrounding a creek.

From there you begin a bit of a decent that brings you over some mossy, rocky and fairly uneven terrain leading you to a beautiful lookout point viewing both the south and north end of the lake.

There are a few sweet lookouts so be sure to bring your camera as the lake looks amazing from this vantage point, forcing you to remember how small you really are and the expanse in which we live.

Westlake Trail: Good hiking shoes are highly recommended for these steep sections
Westlake Trail: Good hiking shoes are highly recommended for these steep sections

Skipping down the path taking in the smell of earth and pure air, pausing to bask in the warmth of the sun as it kisses my face, I stop.

I look around at my new colleagues, pinch myself and wonder if this is real? I’m actually at work.

I better continue observing and taking mental note of my surroundings and any noteworthy details.

Upon nearing the end of the trail you start a bit of a switchback decent that passes from open fields to a cedar lined creek, which then ends on a logging road.

I can say when I got to the end of this trail I really didn’t want it to end. I guess it will be there for me tomorrow since it is in my backyard!

Westlake Trail: Nakade Lookout is a treasure to behold
Westlake Trail: Nakade Lookout is a treasure to behold

The trailhead is located at 6.5 km on Stewart Creek FSR. Stewart Creek is 3km west of the bridge in Christina Lake on Hwy 3 or 17.5 km east of the Granby Bridge on Hwy #3 in Grand Forks.

The trail end (where you may want to have another vehicle waiting) is located on a logging road at 1.5 km on Chase Road (north of Westlake Drive in Christina Lake). Enjoy!

 

Cherisa Patton
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

VERTICLE SMILE

Verticle Smile Trail: A great place to catch your breath and enjoy
Verticle Smile Trail: A great place to catch your breath and enjoy fresh mountain air.

Both the Verticle Smile and the Christina Crest Trail have the same Northern access points; they start at the summit of Mt. Saint Thomas.

After some research, I came to learn that Verticle Smile has an interesting history.

Formerly a championship downhill race course, it is now essentially used by dirt bikers to access high country roads.

Unfortunately, the trail has been decommissioned for downhill bike use due to excessive rutting and water erosion. I was determined to see for myself what had become of this famous trail.

Locating the Northern access point was the first challenge.

Active logging development on the Bonaza Creek FSR rendered the available, outdated access instructions useless, not to mention an updated spur of roads and off branches that will confuse any mortal man.

After a day of driving around the logging roads using good ol’ gut instinct we managed to locate what appeared to be the summit of Mt. Saint Thomas.

Verticle Smile Trail: Some signage along the windy way up
Verticle Smile Trail: Some signage along the windy way up

It was too late in the day to further investigate the peak so we decided to pack it in.

My fellow coworkers and I regrouped and decided to head out the next morning and review our GPS track file.

After viewing our track on a comprehensive topographical map including the location of our mountain, we saw that our former presumption of the location of Mt. Saint Thomas had been correct.

We set out for our second attempt to locate the trail head armed with a much better map-shape file in the GPS and with our existing general knowledge of the area.

Along for the ride this time was my hyperactive pup Scooby; franticly pacing around the back of the truck, clearly he was as excited to be in the high country as we were.

We got out of the truck after investigating an off branch to stretch and pee. Scooby shot out of the back of the truck like a race horse on steroids. In a matter of a few minutes he managed to pee on virtually every bush in a 3km radius.

While Scooby was busy with his tasks we tried to search for any sign of an old skid trail or trail leading to the summit of our mountain.

A hairy wood pecker was watching us with a curious eye while knocking away at a snag.

Verticle Smile Trail: Keep looking further out... and further... and further.
Verticle Smile Trail: Keep looking further out… and further… and further.

The precipitation from the last few days had us noticing the abundance of uncommon funguses popping up all over the place. Among some of the latter were Witches Butter and Orange peel.

Not knowing the exact location of the trail head, we decided to drive as close to the summit as we could get, park the car and hike the rest of the way to the summit.

We decided to follow the edge of a recently replanted cut block then continued heading towards the summit.

There were patches of snow present above 1800m.

As we neared the summit, we were elated to intersect the trail that would eventually lead us to the access points.

Looking out we could see endless mountain vistas veiled in rapidly changing weather.

Below us Highway 3 and the Paulson Bridge looked tiny.

Nearing the summit the trail was difficult to follow because it was hidden in quite a bit of snow, up to three feet deep in some areas.

Verticle Smile Trail: With a horizontal view
Verticle Smile Trail: With a horizontal view

We decided to turn around and back track down the trail to find the elusive access point.

When we finally reached the Bonaza FSR we had a good laugh at ourselves for we had passed the trailhead several times the previous day which is no surprise considering our outdated access instructions.

Despite being soaking wet and chilled to the bone we were a mighty happy group of people.

We look forward to our return once the snow had dissipated a bit more. It was an exhilarating experience being in the high country exposed to all elements.

Of course, when hiking in high country, make sure you take time to prepare yourself.

We saw signs of large animals including Grizzly Bear and the weather would change unexpectedly; one moment being very hot in direct sun and the next, frigid winds carrying hail and rain to chill your bones. Play safe.

 

Pierce LeClair
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

TRANS CANADA TRAIL – Santa Rosa to Cascade

TCT - Santa Rosa to Cascade: Follow this sign for bridges, waterfalls and a ghost town
TCT – Santa Rosa to Cascade: Follow this sign for bridges, waterfalls and a ghost town

A  popular trip for those wanting to encounter majestic waterfalls, an inspiring gorge, fascinating ghost-town history and expansive bridges all in one trail.

Starting our journey at the Santa Rosa Rd Parking lot, encounter three historical transportation routes.

The old Cascade Highway which connected HWY 3 to Rossland until 1962 , the Columbia & Western Rail Trail built in 1899  and the oldest, the Dewdney Trail from 1865.

From here travel south/west where the valley opens up below and follow the train grade along the scenic mountain side.

Around the corner is the Kettle River Bridge, the longest to cross this river at 505 feet, a mere fraction of what was once a majestic 1600 foot wooden trestle bridge from 1899 until 1912.

A great place to stop and take photos, enjoy the 360 degree view or venture down the stairs to the sandy beach below.

Continue along through the ghost of Cascade City, founded in 1896, and at one time boasting 14 hotels, numerous brothels and even a scandalous tobacco robbery!

After 2 major fires in 1899 and 1901 the city slowly declined, but not before leaving a colorful mark on Christina Lake history.

TCT - Santa Rosa to Cascade: Winding past the Dewdney Trail towards the Kettle River Canyon
TCT – Santa Rosa to Cascade: Winding past the Dewdney Trail towards the Kettle River Canyon

Further up and just a few minutes off of the Trans Canada Trail is the stunning Cascade Falls making its grand entrance from the Cascade Gorge.

Originally known as Coyote Canyon, this area was an important fishing ground to the Sinixt, Sanpoil, Okanagan and other first nation tribes.

Multiple vantage points provide great (and dangerous) views of the powerful falls.

For thousands of years the  river waters have carved smooth the granite walls catching small rocks along the way making hundreds of potholes, also referred to as ‘kettles’, leaving some to suggest the origin of the Kettle River’s name.

So powerful and enticing are these waters that a hydro-electric dam and power station were built in 1898, providing the much needed electrical needs of the booming mining and lumber industries.

It closed operations in 1910, and was dismantled in 1922. A few artifacts of the history can be found including an impressive 450 foot tunnel, remains of the penstock gates and the powerhouse foundation.

TCT - Santa Rosa to Cascade: The stunning 505ft Kettle River Bridge
TCT – Santa Rosa to Cascade: The stunning 505ft Kettle River Bridge

Ending our adventure we find ourselves atop a second bridge, this one spanning the Cascade Gorge, providing many more photo opportunities. A popular summer spot for locals, this stunning cut is a reminder of the power of nature.

While the Santa Rosa to Cascade part of the Trans Canada Trail can easily be hiked in a part of a day – the adventures throughout and off the trail can take DAYS to explore.

So go out and walk, hike or bike in the footsteps of pioneers from centuries gone by, who’s dreams built the city, railway, roads, trails, bridges, dam and power-plant.

See the beauty of what attracted them to this unique area and discover that it’s exactly what brought you here as well.

 

Kim Kinakin
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

SPOONER CREEK TRAIL

Spooner Creek Trail: You gotta start somewhere
Spooner Creek Trail: You gotta start somewhere

The Spooner Creek Trail is a hidden gem for avid mountain bikers riddled with jumps, tricks and downhill riding.

A beginner rider will definitely find the trail a good challenge with opportunities to practice a variety of skills.

If you’re a hiker, this trail will definitely be a butt burner with lots of ups and downs along the way.

Set amongst secondary growth forests, trailers will feel like they are in a fairy tale forest with ample shade provided by the tree canopy.

To access the trail follow Hwy 3 West towards Grand Forks.  Just after the Hwy 395 turnoff, turn Right onto Stewart Creek Road and follow for 9km to the trailhead (Stewart Creek Access).

There is a small pull-out for parking off the side of the road.  The trail descends from here to the West Lake Drive Access where you can easily hike or bike back into town.

If you’re travelling too fast through this trail, you will miss Spooner Creek, which the trail is named after.

There are a few opportunities along the way providing small clearings to a creek shoreline, where you can access the water safely for a dip to cool off.

Spooner Creek Trail: Zipping along an awesome trail
Spooner Creek Trail: Zipping along an awesome trail

The landscape is engulfed by conifers, whose dried needles, with composting plant matter make up much of the trail substrate.

Be on alert and keep your eyes on the path as you wind and twist your way down, gnarly tree roots and jutting rocks sticking out of the ground could cause an accident.

Beautiful lake and town views can be observed at a number of stops along the way.

As a beginner ‘Christina Lake’ trail rider, the Spooner Creek Trail definitely proved to be challenging but at the same time allowed me to boost my confidence in basic riding skills and with the bike itself.

I found the switchbacks most difficult, with steep declines and sandy loom to loose rock under toe and tire.

Built to be banged around with larger wheels able to roll across roots and rocks effortlessly, my Kona mountain bike truly surprised me.

Once I made the commitment to ride, the bike lead me to wherever I pointed its nose and as long as I held the handle bars, kept my toes planted on my peddles and my but inches off my seat, I was good to go.

Spooner Creek Trail: What are you waiting for?
Spooner Creek Trail: What are you waiting for?

My two colleagues Pierce and Cavan kept me entertained while ripping through and completing many of the trail obstacles and jumps, while I stood getting it all on camera.

I’m proud to say that I made it down and out, with only one little bang-up that resulted in one added scrap on my right leg and a couple tears on both pant legs.

With built up confidence coupled with eagerness to get into better shape, I can’t wait to get back onto this trail and do some jumping around.

However you choose to complete the Spooner Creek Trail, get ready to sweat and have fun, you will not be disappointed with the physical challenges that it provides around every turn.

If you’re a bike rider who loves technical trails and air time, get ‘BUZZED’ and be thrilled on the Spooner Creek Trail.

 

Melissa Shim
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

MARY’S LOOKOUT TRAIL

Mary's Lookout Trail: Up, Up and Up to the top
Mary’s Lookout Trail: Up, Up and Up to the top

A new adventure every time

I have been coming up to Mary’s Lookout for years, and every time it is a new experience.

To access this beautiful trail, located in Gladstone Provincial Park, turn onto McRae Road, and begin your hike on Badgers Trail.

From Badgers Trail there are a number of turn offs which will bring you up to a stunning view.

Some marked more obviously with the small triangles against the trees, others from helpful hikers past who spared a tattered shirt on a branch to remind you of a forgotten route.

No matter which one you take, as long as you are going up, don’t worry, you are still on the right trail.

The changing seasons make it hard to pick a favorite time of year to go up to the lookout.

In the spring this trail is a breath of fresh air, with the smell of budding plants and recent rains rejuvenating your step.

Mary's Lookout Trail: Intriguing burnt tree along the way up
Mary’s Lookout Trail: Intriguing burnt tree along the way up

The summer heat will make you feel like you earned that view up top as you lay out your shirt to dry out the sweat on the heated rock slabs, conveniently located at the most impressive views.

If you go up now, I suggest you bring an apple as a snack, because I assure you, nothing has tasted better.

The crunching of the leaves and the changing colors in the fall give this trail a crisp feel.

The smell of the forest is now more calming, the hike no longer as exhausting as a few weeks before.

The small woodland creatures are hurriedly gathering as much as they can, and if you stay quiet, you may see a chipmunk with stuffed cheeks.

If you are a talker, you will get to hear an earful from annoyed squirrels.

In the winter this trail is still do-able, though now I would make sure to bring a friend.

Remember to wear high boots as sinking into the snow is easier to laugh at with dry feet.

Keep an eye out for tracks, from deer to bobcat (and if you see cougar tracks, maybe cut your day short).

Mary's Lookout Trail: A piece of history still hangs on a tree
Mary’s Lookout Trail: A piece of history still hangs on a tree

No matter what time of the year I make this trip, the view is absolutely stunning; from the peaceful quite calm waters in the winter, to the busy summer months where the lake is alive with activity.

With such a spectacular view, and just the right difficulty level, this is easily my favorite hike in the Boundary Region.

 

Meike Wege
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

GREEN TUNNEL TRAIL

Green Tunnel Trail: Close-up details of time gone by
Green Tunnel Trail: Close-up details of time gone by

Summer rain brings a peaceful sense of oneness when bike riding.  Feeling the moistness hit your exposed skin and smelling the renewed flora as they take in water for the first time in weeks.

This next adventure takes the Digital Trails Team to a place where Cedar trees abound, their scent obvious in the air as they lean inwards from either side of the trail.

Overhanging branches with green scale-like leaves towering above, providing shade and a little coverage from rain, an outline resembling that of a, ‘Green Tunnel’.

The day started out overcast with sunlight peeking through fogginess.

Pierce and I never gave the weather any second thoughts and assumed the sun would eventually show itself in all its summer glory.

We faced a number of challenges this day.

Green Tunnel Trail: Historic homestead ruins
Green Tunnel Trail: Historic homestead ruins

The first challenge was finding the actual trail head, stumped when we got to the first fork in the road after seeing a trail sign and no further mention of directions from the current trail map.

Without further signage we had to make an executive decision and choose which direction to go.

The first choice leads us in the wrong direction, giving us no option but to double-back and try the other fork so we lost a bit of time trying to navigate.

The next challenge almost in sync with the previous came with the climb to the summit amidst loose rock, sandy loam and poky roots.

We pushed ourselves to get to the summit that we both started to feel nauseated from the climb about half way up, but we pushed on and soon after those feeling were history.

By midday the rain had started to pour, leaving us, without much choice but to safely and securely hide away the camera so we didn’t obtain as many pictures as we had wanted.

Lucky thing the GPS unit is water proof, so we were able to get the full co-ordinates from start to finish.

Once we reached the summit we stopped for a quick lunch break and took in some scenery before pushing forward.

We were both thrilled beyond this point as it is downhill riding from there and it is after the summit when you notice how the trail got its name.

By this time the trail became a long descending mud puddle.

Gravel and small rocks loosened at the onset of bigger rain drops making it even more challenging to ride but worth every second down to the North access at Haaglund Road.

Green Tunnel Trail: Exploring off the trail
Green Tunnel Trail: Exploring off the trail

We observe the changing treed landscape, various small caves and even had a quick glimpse of a large animal moving through the trees.

We dismount our bikes for a closer look at any evidence that may have been left behind, only to find unidentifiable tracks left in the sandy loom.

Without full face helmets we had no cover from the up-splash of muddy water and debris being kicked up as we zoomed down.

I recall having to keep my mouth shut the whole ride down, my excitement only visual through my eyes and wide, closed mouth grin.

Soaking wet through to our socks, we race back to the Gateway, dripping wet as we enter the front doors.

We definitely resembled swamp monsters and we laughed at each other when we realized how mud covered we had become.

The rain brought a sense of renewal and connection to the environment.

Though it proved to provide challenges with the terrain, it was no challenge too big for Pierce and I to handle.

So don’t let the rain stop you from making an active choice to play outside.  Instead, embrace it and be one with it, find fun in and with mother -nature’s liquid gold.

 

Melissa Shim
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

DEWDNEY TRAIL – Lower

Dewdney Trail - Lower: Historically since 1865
Dewdney Trail – Lower: Historically since 1865

“Dude that was sick!” is usually what you’d be saying after ripping down the old, flowing, single-track Dewdney ‘donkey trail’.

Finding the two access points to the lower portions of the trail was not too difficult as the trail is well marked.

From Christina Lake drive up Santa Rosa Rd. to 7km, turn left on-to gravel road that crosses the pipe-line then continue up another 2km to the trail head.

If you wish to start farther up you can reach the higher access point by continuing up Santa Rosa Rd. to approximately 9km then turn left onto Dupee Rd.

Dewdney Trail - Lower: Big thrills for big wheels
Dewdney Trail – Lower: Big thrills for big wheels

Drive until you come upon the power-line crossing and you will see the sign “Dewdney” on your left.

There is a little uphill stint from here so for those with big bikes who prefer pure downhill enjoyment, cross under the hydro lines and then take an immediate left onto a long drive-way.

You can ride down the drive-way running adjacent to the hydro lines past the boulder inukshuk. Expect a small dirt road will which will merge back onto the trail.

This old historic trail is fast and flowy with some nice boosters and fun switchbacks.

Dewdney Trail - Lower: Historic views of the Kettle River
Dewdney Trail – Lower: Historic views of the Kettle River

The great log rides and jumps built by the Kettle River Mountain Bike Association is a great addition to an already fun trail.

Thanks guys! The trail crosses the Santa Rosa road about 2/3 of the way down then ends on the Trans Canada Trail above Christina Lake.

 

Pierce LeClair
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

DEER POINT TRAIL

Deer Point Trail: A tree bridge to the other side
Deer Point Trail: A tree bridge to the other side

To complete Deer Point on foot is a full day adventure, but one can still enjoy portions of the trail and still have fun.

Located in Gladstone Provincial Park, Deer Point is a great option for those wanting a good cardio workout.

Lots of slight ups and downs make for great interval training and with more than 10 km, there’s plenty of ground to cover.

Deer Point has a number of access points off East Lake Drive and connects to other trails like; Badger, Mary’s Lookout and Texas Creek.  There is also a campsite right off of the trail.

I was thrilled to connect with my newfound friend Cherisa and her new pup Baloo.  She had agreed to came along with us, the Digital Trails Team, to do some work on the Deer Point Trail.

We all appreciated her willingness to tag along and were thrilled that we found another great face to get footage of.

Deer Point Trail: And away we go!
Deer Point Trail: And away we go!

The focus of the day; test day to shoot video footage, obtain more photos and orientate ourselves with the area, all for content on the new Christina Lake Trails website.

Heading into the forest trail we embark on the task of getting video footage finding our first site for documentation.

About ten minutes in, we stumble upon a small clearing in the trees.  We cannot see what lays beyond so naturally our curiosity stirs up enough courage that we walk through this clearing.

We are welcomed by a peacefully flowing river and find a spot just along the shoreline, where the clarity of water allows you to see even the smallest aquatic creature.

We lasted a good hour in this spot trying to figure out camera angles, composition, lighting, action cues and all the rest.

Cherisa and I had a blast tip toeing over rocks, trying our best not to lose our footing, hoping not to get soaked, while Baloo ran around and between us, all the while listening for our cues to be actioned.

Shortly after this scene taping, we bump into an older gentleman who provides us with tips and some soft directions to a number of historical sites that we just could not miss.

Deer Point Trail: Massive trees at the 'wet' end of the lake
Deer Point Trail: Massive trees at the ‘wet’ end of the lake

Lucky thing the directions we received were precisely in the direction we needed to go.

I had an opportunity to witness an old homestead in all its tattered beauty, built by pine from an intricate interlocking of logs and cornering, wild flora growing in every which way surrounding the square frame and within the decaying centre that once held up a roof.

Not far from the homestead site we found a flat piece of long steel with rounded edging.  It was partially buried, sticking out of the ground.

We tried to dig it up hoping to identify it, but could not dig it out due to its immense size.  The piece remains a mystery.

We encountered blossoming fields with summer flowers, found a robin’s nest with eggs in an old apple tree.

We saw a pine grove where the ground beneath the trees was bare, lacking vegetation and the only sight of colour occurred in viewing the needles on the trees.

Packed with surprises both natural and historical, Deer Point proved to be a good trail to hone in on our work skills in video, photography and orientation.

Thanks to new found friends and team cooperation, the day was a success and the Christina Lake Digital Trails Team feels better acquainted with our video devices and we’re ready to take on the challenge of video documenting the family of trails, here at the lake.

 

Melissa Shim
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161

CHRISTINA CREST TRAIL

Christina Crest: And the journey starts here!
Christina Crest: And the journey starts here!

Km 0 to Km 41 – Journeying Christina’s Crest

The Christina Crest Trail is not for the faint of heart.

We’ve classified it as an expert track due to extreme accents and descents as well as varying substrate including loose shale proving to be a technical and entertaining ride.

Starting with sub-alpine forests and getting to alpine terrain at the peaks, where it is much colder, it is a physically challenging way up, but an insane and glorious fast pace down.

If you are mountain biking, schedule yourself at least 9 hours to get in and out in one day, otherwise camping is also an option.

Hikers be prepared to spend at least 2 over-nighters if you want to complete the full trail.

To access from the Gateway drive straight crossing over Hwy 3 onto Santa Rosa Rd, driving for approx. 24km.

The trail head will be on the left hand side, and is marked with a sign bearing the trail name.  There is parking directly across the street for about 5 cars.

With a temperature high of 14 degrees, overcast and misty, Pierce and I had to conquer not one but 5 peaks on this trip.

We covered a total of 3000 metres of elevation, riding up and down and up and down, splashing through puddles and big pools of water between the peaks.

Christina Crest: Time-out getting to the top
Christina Crest: Time-out getting to the top

The scenery at the summits were fog ridden and made it difficult to observe the mountainous views, but I could certainly get a sense of the vastness that lay mysteriously around us with the far reaching mist in the air.

There’s nothing worse for an active outdoors woman, than feeling beat by a mountain.

Upon ascending, there were two sections so steep that I just could not get up them.  I’d push one step forward to fall two steps back.

Dismounting is a must in these sections, leaving one to carrying both body and bike upwards while trying to dig your toes into loose substrate to get a top.

Thank goodness for strong colleagues.   I gave no breath of hesitation when Pierce humbly offered to take my bike up along with his own to the top of these sections.

I presume with a lighter bike I could’ve done it, but the loose ground beneath us just kept keeping me back.  Once we completed the peaks and had lunch it was time to make our way down.

There are supposedly two ways to bike down without having to back track.  We couldn’t find option (a) so we went with option (b).

We chose to exit via a secondary trail known as the Vertical Smile that was easy to find and comprising 22km, previously a world class dirt biking track, spitting us out onto Fife Road, then to Hwy 3.

Christina Crest: Views of the neighboring mountains
Christina Crest: Views of the neighboring mountains

The last hour of our ride was incredible with the sun setting in front of us, we rode back to the Gateway building for a total ride of 41 kilometres.

Due to the elevation and remoteness of this trail one has the opportunity to see bigger bodied wildlife.

We only saw two Pyrenees dogs which scared the living heck out of me on first point of engagement because the mist challenged my vision.

We then had the pleasure of seeing fresh Elk tracks and heard the growly call of a big feline, which I have to admit was eerily intriguing, at the same time a bit unnerving.

Pierce and I rode closer together after we heard that.

Gone are the days of lacking cardio strength and shouting f’bombs on the Gilpin Grasslands.

I’ve conquered my biggest fears in mountain biking Christina Lake’s trails, exiting the Christina Crest in one piece and riding safely back to the Gateway without a scratch or spill.

With increased riding confidence, an amazing colleague who endlessly pushed me to my physical bike riding limits, ending my summer with the longest and best mountain bike ride of my life.

Watch out Christina Lake, Melissa Shim from Ontario is here to ride for life.

 

Melissa Shim
Digital Trails Team 2014-2015
Christina Gateway CDA

 

Recreational Trail  – Use At Own Risk.
Pack it in – Pack it out!

For a detailed map:
www.christinalake.ca/trails

Christina Lake Welcome Centre,
1675 Highway 3, V0H 1E2
Phone:(250) 447-6161