Vancouver Island Trails Information Society
Vancouver Island Trails Information Society

Book 2 (South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands), 8th edition (2000)

Book 2 (South-Central Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands), 8th edition (2000)


There have been changes in  access to many traditional hiking areas due to recent changes in provincial forest land tenure rules.  Forest companies owning  private lands (mostly resulting from the old E & N Railway Land Grant) no longer have to allow free access and some have locked gates due to vandalism and garbage dumping.  These companies build the access roads and should not be subjected to this sort of expensive abuse.  Personal contact between organized hiking groups and Forest Company foresters and other officials may be one way to gain continued access.  It is regretted that there are those individuals who persist in abusing private lands thereby preventing access to normal, responsible individuals who only want to enjoy the outdoors.  Please assist by reporting licence numbers etc. of transgressors.

Page 52, Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain is now accessible again via a new trail (some reports say it's not as nice a hike as before): On Marble Bay Rd drive into Woodland Shores development and immediately you'll see a hiking trail on the right, but with limited parking, so it's best to drive on and park in one of the large parking lots.  From the parking lot you'll see trail signs and if you want to hike to the top of the mountain you will take an access trail that leads to the start of the "Summit Trail".  Summit Trail is a new easy switchback trail that takes you through the clearcut up to the 500 m level where the trail ends but you can continue along the logging road to the end of the logged off area.  From there look up on the left for flagging indicating the old original trail that takes you up to the top of the ridge, past the communications shell and down to the end of the ridge.  The old steep  trail down (or up) to the Marine Park is still there but you cannot complete the circuit back along the shore (old Beaver Trail) as you will run into private property.  Time up to the end of the ridge and back including lunch is 4.5 to 5 hours. (Provided by Mary Hof, August 2010)

Page 52, Bald Mountain, Lake Cowichan and Beaver Walk

"Beaver Walk in bad shape. Recent logging above trail has caused major rock slides and blowdowns over trail in many places. Also be aware of road blasting leftovers. I made it from the scout camp to the marine campsite but it sure was a struggle. Not a recommended trail. There is no signage informing hikers of the dangers ahead."  (From Mike Blake, July 28, 2005)

Page 82, Westwood Lake Park and other leaflets

The "Way to Go" series of leaflets for the Nanaimo area has been discontinued. A new leaflet:  "Linley Valley - Guide and Trail Map" is available from the Nanaimo Land Trust. 

Page 130, Top Bridge Park

Fundraising continues toward construction of two bridges over the Englishman River.

The 48 m cable suspension bridge over Haslam Creek, part of the Trans Canada Trail in the Regional District of Nanaimo, was officially opened on May 10, 2003.

Page 137, Mt. Arrowsmith

The following update is provided by Peter Rothermel. He has also kindly provided his phone number should further information be needed.  

"The logging company in the area is now called Island Timberlands, the private lands division of Brascan.

The old ski hill sign where you turn off the Alberni Highway onto the logging road has been removed.

The logging companies have been constantly changing the road and spur names & numbers. For example what was for years known as Loon Main is now reffered to as the "Connector" and has recently seen a huge cut operation along the roadway. Cameron Main and Pass Main have remained the same names, but all the spurs off of Pass Main have been re-numbered.  The first spur, P10 is now 02; the second spur has been road activated and is called 15; the third spur is 22; and the fourth (the Judges Route) is now 27... etc. Since these spurs get number changes with each new logging company, I would recommend to just describe the spurs as something like,  "on Pass Main, the fourth right hand spur, at just over 0.3 km is the Judges Route"  and forget about using spur numbers.

Island Timberlands is logging ever higher on Arrowsmith's flanks and it seems that we have saved the Judges Route from the axe, for now, but other routes may get major changes.

All the rest of the spurs have had name changes. The Saddle Route is 73; the upper ski hill road P40 is now 82; and the lower ski area road P60 is now 101. I am planning on signing all the most popular routes, Judges, Saddle and Rosseau, along Pass Main, with small vandal proof signs, set high enough to be out of harms way.

(Note additional information provided by Barb Baker, April 2010: Island Timberlands have named all of their roads in all harvesting areas to reflect the distances from the last junction I.e. Pass 20 is 2km from the junction with Cameron Main;  Pass 101 is 10.1 km from Cameron; Cameron Main 157 would be 15.7 km from the main shop(km 0). This is a system  to facilitate search or rescue if needed.  Also check the Island Timberlands website.)

Over the past two summers, the defunct ski hill has had a major clean up. All the lift towers and concrete footings have been removed and it is being allowed to turn back into a natural state.

Other recommended changes in the text: Under Information Sources you might note that the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC and the Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada have a web site for Mt. Arrowsmith, As well, we have developed an information brochure for the Arrowsmith Massif that may be found at the Valhalla stores, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Raincoast Adventures Sports and Robinsons.  You are welcome to list my name and phone number as a contact. Peter Rothermel 250- 752- 2529."  (posted on July 19, 2007)

Page 146, Gibson/Klitsa Plateau via Sproat Lake's south side

The following update comes from Quagger at and concerns access to the Gibson/Klitsa Plateau via Sproat Lake's south side. See HikingTrails II (8th Edition), Trip 61.


To access this remote trailhead, take Highway 4 from Port Alberni to the Rest Area, west of Sproat Lake. Stay on the highway and cross the Taylor River bridge. Make an immediate left turn onto South Taylor Main and travel east 4.6 km to Branch 552E, close to a blocked bridge over the Taylor River. Turn right (south) and follow Branch 552E to its end.

Branch 552E used to be an overgrown spur road but has been improved recently to facilitate construction of a Micro Hydro Dam project. The road has been cleared to within 200 m of the trailhead. From the end of the road improvements, watch for new flagging and hike the remaining 200 m to the Gibson/Klitsa trailhead.  (From Richard Blier, December 2008)

Vancouver Island Trails Information Society