Strathcona Provincial Park
|Bedwell Lake Trail|
Paradise Meadows from Mt Washington may be the most well known access to the park but largely overlooked is the Buttle Lake Corridor, snaking from Campbell River toward Gold River, this access route offers a much broader spectrum of trails and of course the route follows its namesake Buttle Lake which in itself is worth exploring.
If you are the adventurous sort and like to challenge yourself with a serious mountain climb you can start with Crest Mountain, or Kings Peak at 6900 feet and graduate through to Big Interior Mountain or perhaps the Golden Hinde, the highest peak on the Island, or if you are just a casual hiker and want to see some rather spectacular scenery perhaps a day trip through the corridor exploring the smaller trails would be more to your liking. Trails like Lupin Falls, Lady Falls, Karst Creek (this one is very cool because there are disappearing rivers), or the famous Myra Falls both the upper and lower trails, then go back to Buttle Lake for a picnic on the beach in any number of locations.
For the more intrepid hiker-explorer there is the Elk River trail, this one is a full day, or Bedwell Lake, both have limited elevation gain and require good hiking boots, with the payoff being an adventure that will bring you back to the corridor again and again.
You could explore Strathcona Park for the rest of your life, it doesn't cost to use it and all of the trails are well marked, although I noticed this weekend there could be more maintenance done, as we live in such a precipitous area that damage is easily done. Then, at the end of your day, head to Gold River for a fantastic burger at the Ridge, with my climbing partners this has become a bit of a tradition. A beer and a burger at the end of the day.
The Hut at Buttle Lake is run by volunteers of the Strathcona Wilderness Institute and can provide you with any information that you need on the trails. Or take a look at www.GoCampbellRiver.com, scroll down to Outdoor Activities and click on Hiking Trails and you will see the multitudes of options available.
|Elk River Trail from Elkhorn|
Strathcona Buttle Lake Information Hut - Summer Hours
Friday: 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm,
Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm,
Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Holiday weekends & Mondays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
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Some interesting facts about Strathcona Provincial Park:
- It is the OLDEST Provincial Park in BC and the largest
- Della Falls is located within this park at 440m it is considered the highest waterfall in Canada
- This area is the traditional territory of the Mowachaht and Muchalaht people of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation