This winter I spent a few hours exploring the Scout Valley Loop Trail . After I put the post up, one of my blog followers, Ray, sent me a message advising me I should check out Copeland Forest sometime when I had a free day. Well, last Sunday, that free day came, so off I went to explore Copeland Forest.
It was a lovely winter/almost spring day.
The temperature at Copeland forest when I arrived around 8:30am was -4 with the high for the day expected to go up to 6 degrees. I was pretty excited about that.
I spent quite a bit of time driving around looking for the entrances. I had originally wanted to start at P4, but just after P3 the plowing of the road ended and altough I have an SUV and really great winter tires, I didn’t want to take the risk of getting stuck and going through all the associated issues with that and opted to look for a different starting point.
I found the sign above and parked on the side of the road but couldn’t quite figure out where I was on the map I’d printed off and brung with me.
After walking for about 5 minutes I lost the trail and didn’t see any markers and the trail didn’t look like an of the ones on the map I’d had so to avoid another issue and getting lost, I went back to the car and drove to find another place to start.
Eventually I found the main parking lot which is directly across from a lumber mill. As I drove by the first time, I was looking at the lumber mill and totally missed the parking lot but found on the return and pulled in to park and start there. Now that I knew where to look, I found it quite easily. LOL. Guess I should’ve read my notes first?
From the parking lot I was at, I could go left or to the right, I chose to the right and started on my way.
I was using my new UST compass I received in my gear drop and was loving it. Last night, I mapped out the route I wanted to take and even though the trails were marked here, I wanted to follow along and test my skills in somewhere that I most likely wouldn’t get lost.
It was a beautiful day out and was getting warmer by the hour. Most of the trails were snow covered…. which actually meant ice covered as with the warm weather and then the cold, the snow had melted and then froze leaving a hard shell on top. It was good as I wasn’t sinking into the snow, but it wasn’t the best for walking on as it was extremely slippery.
I heard moving water and almost missed a small path that went down to it. I almost slid down the hill on my bum because it was really steep and very slippery.
It was cool watching the ice trying to hold on, but looked like it was fighting a loosing battle.
I went back up the hill and continued on the trail, crossing some cool train tracks. There is something about them I love, they take you somewhere, but because I don’t know where, it makes it mysterious to me somehow?
As you can see by the photo above, the ice issue was continuing through a lot of the trail thus far. It looks a bit like slush in the photo, but it is actually very hard, slippery ice.
It was worth being careful walking to be here though, it was very pretty here and I was enjoying my visit a great deal!
I took quite a few videos on this trip as I am working on adding more adventures weekly to my youtube channel. There were alot of trees in the park that looked like the one above and they were perfect for holding my camera for me. Thanks cool trees!
Some parts of the trail were right along the edge of steep hills and as it was so slippery, I opted to walk off the trail a few feet to ensure I didn’t go for a ride down the hill accidentally.
A few areas as above still have solid ice instead of water, but others later on, I found were more water than ice. I guess it just depending on how the sun was hitting each spot?
I almost went into the creek crossing this board, as it was covered in ice and very slippery. Glad my Keens have so much tread on them. They saved me quite a few times on this hike.
So far I had not seen any people, which I was happy about. I had come early in the morning as I enjoy having the trails to myself.
As the sun rose higher in the sky, the temperatures warmed up.
This also started to melt the snow/ice on the top of the trail and make things wet.
One of the trails I took, led me to a ski trail, I believe used by Horseshoe Valley. They had put signs with different numbers up than what was on my map, but thankfully, still left the Copeland Forest trail signs so I could figure out where I was most of the time.
I was surprised to see mushrooms out, but I guess these hardy ones are here all year. Somehow they still reminded me of spring! It’s neat how different things look with the snow.
After almost 4 hours hiking in the park, I looped back around to finish where I’d started.
I would’ve liked to stay a bit longer, but the trails started getting noticeably busy and with the warmer temperatures, it was becoming more difficult to walk. I’d actually preferred the -5 walk over the now +4 walk.
I was surprised that when I returned to the parking lot that had 2 cars in it when I arrived, was now full with about 25 cars. I love that the warmer weather gets people outside, but I was glad I had come early and avoided the crowds and was now ready to continue with my day, having a beautiful adventure under my belt.
I hope you enjoyed my hike in Copeland Forest and it inspires you to get outside and do some hiking somewhere soon!
If you would like to see the video on this post, check it out here!
If you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi, please leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as I am able to.