If you’ve followed the exploits of the hiking world in southwestern British Columbia, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Hanes Valley Trail. It’s without question one of the signature hikes of the North Shore Mountains, taking you on a rugged journey through some of the most scenic and challenging terrain the region has to offer.Continue reading Hanes Valley 101: What You need to know!
At the dawn of the twentieth century, old growth forests in the North Shore Mountains were taken for granted. So many massive trees still stood tall and strong then that it was believed their supply was nearly infinite. In today’s era, sadly, we know better. The few ancient specimens that persevere are invaluable to our heritage and ecology! Continue reading Saving the North Shore’s Big Cedar, a Call to Action
It comes as a surprise to most of the people who know me well, but truthfully, it wasn’t until late in 2003 that I first discovered the existence of the Hydraulic Creek Trail. Continue reading Hiking the Hydraulic Creek Trail
The Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls is aptly named. Roughly two and half kilometres from the trailhead, the track leads intrepid hikers to an ancient Western Red Cedar that’s over six hundred and fifty years old! Ironically, however, those who reach it have often unknowingly walked right by an equally formidable specimen. Continue reading The Westside Cedar
It sits in silence, even unobtrusively, in a clearing in the Wickenden Creek valley. That in itself is quite a feat, because this ancient Western Red Cedar measures in at 4.85 metres in diameter, which is just a shade under sixteen feet wide! The Wickenden Creek Giant is one of the most impressive cedars I’ve seen on British Columbia’s mainland, and the fact that it still stands today is a miracle in itself! Continue reading The Wickenden Creek Giant
It conjures up the grandest of images, like, say, the sturdiest of stone castles standing high on a bluff above the crashing waves of the North Sea, seemingly indestructible. While that may be fun to imagine, how many among you would have thought the name actually referred to a tree? Set deep within the forests of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, Norvan’s Castle is, by volume, the fourth largest Western Hemlock on the planet. Its nine and a half foot diameter at breast height also makes it the widest one on record! The three trees that are of larger volume are all found south of the border on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.
“I think we’ve got something here!” I turned abruptly, just in time to see Chris clambering swiftly up the steep gully we were crossing. From my vantage point, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew he was absolutely serious. I followed along, and as he disappeared from sight into the brush, suddenly his source of excitement became obvious. There, on the south bank of the gully, was one of the most impressive Western Red Cedars I have seen, before or since! Continue reading The Kennewick Cedar
It was early December of 2005 when Chris and I set out on the Cedar Trail, trekking toward Kennedy Falls in North Vancouver’s Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. The route, at that time, was a relatively rough track that very few people bothered to hike, but it was a favourite of mine Continue reading The Hurley Cedar
Late in May of 2007, Chris and I decided it was high time to explore the Wickenden Creek Valley above the 400 m elevation. While we were uncertain as to what route to forge, we ended up figuring we’d just fly by the seat of our pants and just choose a random direction Continue reading Living on the Edge: The Forgotten Forest, Part Four
In a cool, quiet, forest glade in the North Shore Mountains sits a most venerable tree. Surrounded by a healthy stand of Pacific Silver Fir, this Western Red Cedar makes a daunting first impression. As you approach it from the south, the first thing you notice is the gaping wedge that has been cut from the trunk that almost resembles a mouth, of sorts. The many burls and aged trunk bely its centuries of growth, and its top thrives brilliantly, likely well into a seventh century of growth Continue reading The Story of The Survivor