It was a warm summer’s day in mid July, as Greg and I trekked our way up a steeply rugged road in the remote reaches of the Alberni Valley. Earlier in the summer, we had been discussing the forests of Vancouver Island, when he had presented me with an idea. Was I interested in exploring one the most idyllic and impressive Yellow Cedar groves he had ever seen? The answer, naturally, was an emphatic “Yes!”
Earlier this year, a concerned citizen happened to photograph a loaded logging truck on Vancouver Island’s Highway 19 near Nanaimo. On its sturdy deck was a sizeable log , somewhat less than three metres in diameter. The photo swiftly went viral, and that log ended up raising quite a furor in British Columbia, where many people are currently rallying to protect ancient forests. Truthfully though, you might be surprised or even unaware that countless trees of similar size are routinely cut down here in this province.Continue reading Protecting Ancient Trees in British Columbia
When the topic of Seymour Valley’s big trees comes up, as it often does in my world, one of the first places I recommend visiting is the Old Growth Trail. Set deep in the heart of the valley near the Seymour Dam, and surrounded by the North Shore Mountains, it has a magic you won’t find anywhere else!
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
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.
It had taken us the better part of two years to sort out our move to Vancouver Island, but having finally done that, I wanted to climb a mountain here! Recently I’d joined a local hiking group called Island Mountain Ramblers
, and while checking out the trips they had planned, I discovered one I had to join! Gemini Mountain, deep within the Nanaimo River Valley, sounded like a place I needed to see Continue reading Gemini Mountain, Welcome to The Island
When discussion turns to the great remaining stands of ancient Western Red Cedar, most people are referring to the trees found on the western coasts of British Columbia and Washington. Even among those interested in hunting down those fast disappearing giants, precious little attention is paid to the few surviving rainforests of British Columbia’s interior Continue reading Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park and Protected Area
If you happen to be out for a nice summer bike ride in the Seymour Valley this year, keep an eye out for a marker at just past the 6 km mark on the Seymour Valley Trailway. As you head north it will be on your left, on the uphill side. Just a minute or two off the road is the massive stump of an ancient Western Red Cedar, on what is called the See More Stumps Trail Continue reading Tree of the Week: The See More Stump