Homesite Creek

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.

Homesite Creek 376Homesite Creek 368There 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.

Homesite Creek 369

Homesite Creek 371There 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 377Homesite 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.

Homesite Creek 379Even if you are only up for a short hike, follow the southern loop as far as the waterfalls.

Homesite Creek 380I 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.



Langdale Falls – Jan 26, 2011

Today was absolutely beautiful with sunny skies that demanded I go outside. We’ve had a bit of rain and gray the past few days, so the sun is always refreshing.

I decided to hike on Mt. Elphinstone again. Lucky for me, I ran into my good friend Tony at the trailhead. He was excited to have a hiking buddy, and I was looking forward to what he would teach me about the forest. So we headed in for my first (of I’m sure will be many) trip to Langdale Falls.

I’ve seen the sign before, but had been told there were some steep sections on the way. Follow the pink and blue trail symbols and they lead you right to the waterfall.

This is a very good time of year to visit. We have had 200mm of rain this month and temps are warm this week so there is snowmelt feeding the streams as well. It is about a 40 minute hike in to the falls. Not too hard, but there are some good climbs and some narrow paths where you really don’t want to fall.

The waterfall is impressive. You can hear it well before you arrive. It must be at least a 50m drop. Tony says it is a great place for a swim & shower in the summer. Great to cool off after a day’s hike.

The forest on Mt Elphinstone is amazing. Tony taught me to identify a Douglas fir, a red cedar, and a hemlock. Having grown up in the prairies, I don’t know my west coast trees. He also pointed out salmonberry and different kinds of ferns. The ecosystem is amazing and I hope to learn much more on many more walks through the forest. All this within 2km of my house.