It was an interesting hike. First of all, the weather was really great and , after a chilly start at the parking lot, most extra layers were soon removed. The trailhead is in a parking lot just across highway 1A from the Francis Cooke landfill site 3.2 km west of the Highway 1X junction. Before starting the actual hike, we had to walk alongside the landfill fence for about 1.5 kilometres before starting the actual loop. This trailhead location was new to everyone on the trip, so we depended heavily on maps and GPS readings to find and follow the trail. Four persons had GPS with maps and although we all agreed on where we were at any given time, everyone had different maps. While some maps showed that we were actually standing on a trail, others wouldn’t even show the trail.
I was looking for a replacement of the iPhone app that I have been using for many years, and for today I chose to try the “All Trails” app, because it already had the route for the Great Moraine trail on it. ( from which I derived the estimated length and elevation gain for the signup sheet). This turned out to be a mistake, because the person who created the All Trails route was either lost or very careless in defining the route. At times this route was over a kilometer from the nearest actual trail!
One creek too far
After an unintended creek crossing, following this route was abandoned and those with GPS’s collaborated on route finding.
Lunch at the "Golf Course"
Tea Break at Crescent Lake
Great Moraine Trail
Given these issues, we actually followed the intended route (mostly) and arrived back at the cars about 3:30. The All Trails stats were 11.7 km and 269 meters elevation. The other app I was testing (Gaia) gave 14.2 km and 191 meters elevation. The biggest outlier on the measured stats (from Bill) were 16 km and 600 meters elevation.
This is a nice early/late season trail, but I would recommend waiting another month or so in the spring in order to see lots of flowers in the meadows and birds in the many lakes.
Thanks to Brieta, Madeleine (photos), Darlene (photos) , Ursula, Marietta, Mohsen, Peter, David, and Bill. Brian C/S