Sunday, March 22, 2009
Buntzen Lake walk to North Beach March 22, 2009
Today taking advantage of a nice and fairly warm spring day I head out to the Tri-Cities area and to Buntzen Lake for some hiking - as I did a bike ride yesterday I like to alternate my workouts when possible.
Buntzen Lake while not a regional park mostly because of the fact that it is a water storage reservoir for BC Hydro and thus is maintained by them - has a great selection of easy, medium and more difficult hikes, bike and horse trails and a fenced off doggy beach which I swear must have had every dog in the area there today and on the trails as well.
The one thing that I hadn't expected was that two of the three parking lots were still closed because of SNOW and the area around the trailhead still had some snow cover.
The plan was to hike about 4km along the east side of the trail to the North Beach picnic area and suspension bridge and then return by the Powerhouse Road for a total distance of around 8KM.
The Buntzen Lake trail is a well maintained gravel trail that alternates between lakeside and hillside and that has all of the creeks named in alpha order - you don't get a lot of views until you get to a viewpoint about 1/3 of the way along. It took me a little over an hour to reach the beach and suspension bridge.
Before the suspension bridge was put in you had to continue another KM or so and cross by the powerhouse to access the trail network on the west side of the Lake.
One of the nice things about this trail is that there are numerous other ones branching up and climbing to Eagle Ridge or up and over into Belcarra Regional Park and Sasamat Lake.
I take a short break at the beach and yes cross the suspension bridge and then turn around and follow the road back to the main parking area - the first lot was full and people where parking in the closed lots - there wasn't a lot of snow just some stuff that has been around for two month and is hard and compacted.
There were also a few trees down on the Lakeside trail but most had been bucked and were off by the side - also because of the warmer weather many of the creeks where cascading down the trail and road so that added an extra dimension to today's trip.
After a late lunch I headed home with a stop at the new Walmart in Vancouver for a few grocery items and then collapsed onto the sofa - tired from the walk - didn't have the best of my shoes on today either.