Sunday, June 05, 2016

Big Cedar Trail

Big Cedar Trail, along Mt. Fromme in Lynn Valley, took us 4 hrs 47 minutes including lunch break at the falls (which are stunning). Terrain is not too steep, but a real mix of inclines and descents, tangled roots, mud, running creeks, rocks, decaying skid roads, fallen logs to climb over/under, maintained boardwalks, and some flat spots. Hiking shoes are definitely required. We were able to cross the many rocky creeks without completely soaking our feet, but I would not want to try this after a big rain, or early spring without waterproof hiking boots. Prepare to get a bit dirty. I also took a couple of spills in the second half, once on the slippery rock near the falls, and again on some loose soil/gravel. The trip back was harder than getting there, as resolve, energy, and focus began to dwindle. But at the end, we still felt good and my leg muscles were not destroyed like they were on Sea to Sky. We also used trekking poles, which I think were helpful.

Trail erosion near the falls is severe in one spot. I can't imagine the falls being accessible in the future unless they build up the trail again, or reroute it somehow higher up.

Overall verdict: highly recommended, challenging enough to make it a decent workout, beautiful scenery, get there very early to avoid humans. Concentration and proper footwear a must. There are many opportunities to trip or twist an ankle. We didn't see any bears, but a couple of hikers had bells on. Which reminded me that I had forgot my whistle!

Lynn Valley was a busy logging area a century ago, and evidence of this remains. The Big Cedar is 600+ years old, and the only old growth tree left in the area (I believe due to it being too wide for their saws). Huge stumps marked with springboard notches give an idea of what used to be.

The old skid roads are also still there, as well as some completely dilapidated boardwalks. Imagine cutting all those logs, just to lay them down so you can drag more logs over them!

Lynn Valley Lumber Co. hauling logs on a skid road, 1910

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