It’s kind of cold now (kind of! That 500 feet of elevation really makes a difference) but in the summer I went on quite a few walks outside the village. Lucky for you, all the pictures in this post were taken when it was still warm and sunny out, so you get to visit the trails in nice weather, while I have to wait for spring to roll around again to see them this way.
One place Step goes a lot is Kendal Adventure Trails, which are walking and biking trails on a tract of second growth clear cuts behind house town, and also the location of the old #5 Mine site. We walked there from the lane where most of our blackberries were picked, and there’s a wee little bridge you can cross and a tree with a bag full of colour maps of the trails. Well, isn’t that nice? The trails are very hilly and scrubby and sometimes you come across a forest sculpture, or a bench, or maybe some “Canadian Graffiti“. Only one time did I see another person, who was walking her dog, and once when Step walked by himself he saw a bear! I was a little surprised but after that happened there were bear sightings everywhere, and late one night we saw 2 young bear cubs right on Maryport and 2nd Avenue, which is basically in the heart of the village, so I advise me to put the lid on the garbage can, oh yes! We also found a large pile of bear scat right in our driveway, but I digress, and can only segue back into the focus of this post by saying the fear of meeting a bear should not discourage you from going for a beautiful walk around the trails of Cumberland.
I rode my bike to the Historic Chinatown site one day and walked alone in the Cumberland Community Forest, which is old-growth forest. I had been there before but I left the area of familiarity and decided to walk along a trail which I thought might take me back to Comox Lake Road, because it followed the then-dried-up Perseverance Creek, but after a bit it kind of veered off and just kept going and going and going. I was glad I had a water bottle! I knew I could get back by back-tracking the way I came, but by then it was really far so instead I decided to see if Google Maps could help me. It could, or at least it thought it could, except that it kept telling me to make a right onto DHMC Trail but really on my right was the wall of a cliff. (Don’t let your GPS talk you into driving your car into a lake, Michael). I started having to go onto different trails and I don’t have a stellar sense of direction so I was putting markers like piles of rocks or sticks in stacks in case I had to back-track after all. Then it turned out I don’t know east from west but fortunately I had a pre-downloaded compass app on my phone and I eventually came out to an old logging road which I followed for quite some bit and finally emerged on Comox Lake Road about 4 kilometres from where my bike was parked. I decided to hitchhike back to my bike but no car came the whole way so I ended up walking. I met a woman on the road, also carrying a water bottle, who asked me if I saw the bear. I said, no, but I’m ready to!
Probably without my smart phone that would have been a more panicky walk, but as it stood it was very nice and I got a long, tiring workout. I thought I would be sore the next day but wasn’t.
There are many more walking trails around these parts, and I expect to discover more of them which is why this post is labeled “(1)”. It’s lucky for us, too, since walking to the village from our house takes only 8 minutes and to bike takes 3, so we really need the exercise. Knock on woods I will meet the bear and then I can get a nice run in!