In case you missed it, we've introduced our challenge to you for 2014-- 52 Weeks of Trails. Each week we'll blog about a trail (hike, bike, snowshoe, and paddle!) and we hope you enjoy and share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and/or Instagram using #52weeksoftrails. Happy Trails!
Week #13- Homesite Creek
This week's trail blog comes courtesy of guest blogger Arcturus Retreat B&B. The owners are avid hikers and explorers of the Sunshine Coast and have a great blog featuring a number of trails and activities. Thanks for the wonderful guest blog!
Today was a perfect day for exploring. The rain seemed to be holding off and I had 4 hours and no obligations. I decided to visit a new area where I had never hiked before...Homesite Creek near Secret Cove.
There are actually two separate hiking areas along Homesite Creek. The first area I tried was the Homesite Creek Campground. Shiny new highway signs recently installed make it easy to find. Leaving Highway 101 takes you to a gravel forestry road. Not far in, you find the entrance to the Suncoaster Trail...a 37km trail stretching all the way to Egmont Road. I'm saving that for another day. Follow the forestry road about 2km and you come to the next sign. You can park here along the road, or drive another .5 km and reach the campsite entrance.
The area is hiking only and relatively easy in that there is limited elevation change. There is some very uneven ground and a few fallen trees to climb over.
There is no signage along the trail except at the entrance, but I figured anything that looked this inviting was worth a try. Sure enough, about 5-10 minutes into the forest I came upon an amazing giant. Clearly bigger than everything around it. This is when I wish I had a hiking partner so there would be a person in the photo to show just how big this tree was. It would have taken 4 people with outstretched arms to encircle it.
The area felt like a flat river bed, but clearly this tree has been there for a very long time. Soon I came to a creek and a small waterfall. A week of 20C temperatures have greatly increased spring snow melt and 30mm of overnight rain had the creek running high. Follow the creek and you'll come to the campground area. It looked like a nice spot for a summer day. Each campsite was level, surrounded by trees, and complete with picnic table. All convenient to the trail, but enough space to not feel crowded. The entire hike roundtrip was about 45 minutes. I suspect there were trails on the other side of the creek, but I couldn't find a safe place to cross the cold rushing water.
With available time and energy, I decided to stop at the Homesite Creek Park on the other side of Highway 101.
Homesite Creek Park is basically right across the highway from the Homesite Creek Falls 400m sign above. There is a small parking area right along the highway and these signs mark the entrance. This area is very well marked with signage and maps. There are two trail loops to try, one on either side of the creek. It doesn't show on the map, but I managed to cross from one to the other above the largest waterfall. This takes a bit of climbing, so wouldn't be an option for everyone. If you stay on the main trails, it is fairly easy hiking. Only small elevation changes and a wide path in some areas. I tried the southern loop, so I'll have to come back and try the northern loop another day. Other than the two loops, you can also connect down to Brooks Road which I assume takes you near Smuggler Cove. Good to know there is plenty of adventure waiting for another opportunity.
Even if you are only up for a short hike, follow the southern loop as far as the waterfalls. I thought this would be a fantastic summer spot. It is shallow enough to wade in for a cold waterfall shower, though I wonder if there would be as much water flowing in the dry season. Perfectly placed next to the waterfall is a commemorative bench welcoming you to sit and watch for a while.
All in all, a very good day in the forest with more area exploration opportunities for another day.
· Direction to trailhead: Follow Hwy 101 to the Halfmoon Bay area north of Sechelt. About 3km past the north end of Redrooffs Rd. The trailhead (not to be confused with the road to the campgrounds) is on the lower (southwest) side of the road and is somewhat hard to spot. There is a large gravel pullout for parking. Look for the white trailhead sign.
· Trail Map
· Geocaches: there are multiple geocaches on the trail. If geocaching is new for you, it's a real-world treasure hunt, so don't miss out on the fun!
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Check out the falls frozen this winter: