At the end of June, Lynda and I climbed the steep 2500 ft ascent of the RDN’s Arrowsmith Trail to the viewpoint. One of the main attractions for us is the variety of plant life to be seen, some of which is hard to find elsewhere. Examples include plants such as Pinedrops, Bronze Bells, Scouler’s Harebell, etc.
This historic trail starts across the Alberni Highway from the east end of Cameron Lake and roughly follows the route of McBey Creek. The trail was built by the CPR in 1912 for the benefit of their guests at the Cameron Lake Resort. It rises through private forest lands which are currently only open to hikers at weekends due to logging activities.
The trail eventually leaves McBey Creek and enters an old-growth area, where there is little understorey except for mosses. The outlook from the viewpoint is quite impressive, once you have caught your breath. It includes the east end of Cameron Lake, Wesley Ridge on the north side of the lake, Denman and Hornby Islands to the north and the plain around Parksville to the east.
Although we have climbed this trail many times, this may have been the last time for us. Age does none of us any favours and it was quite a struggle for my 75-year-old body.
I have included several photos taken on the trail for the benefit of those who might not be able to do this kind of thing for themselves. All images were taken hand-held with my Fujifilm X20. No carrying a tripod on this trip!
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