And so in the last half dozen years, we've had to negotiate reroutes for some sections of the trail. Naturally, it's meant more work, time and expense, but in the process we have gained final resting places for segments of the SCT, gained certainty for this increasingly popular recreation and tourism resource. Some of these reroutes have turned out very nicely indeed. Some sections have been relocated out onto rocky outcroppings that have provided natural vistas,
and opportunities to try our hand at a variety of ways of making the trail safe and enjoyable, as here at the Stairway to Heaven in cutblock ST-245.
That's not to say we want to rebuild 180 km of the Sunshine Coast Trail. But we can see that sometimes it can be an agreeable resolution. It is work that absorbs significant amounts of time and resources.
Some reroutes, as in the case of the Deer Creek Reroute, a kilometre farther uphill from the Stairway, have benefited from the establishment of stand-level Wildlife Tree Retention Areas (WTRAs), or by being placed in riparian zones, such as the headwaters of this pretty little creek that now protects and enhances the integrity and viability of this part of the Sunshine Coast Trail.
We want certainty, and with that the ability to do long-range planning.
Not only has this recreation/tourism facility given Powell River's residents and visitors opportunities to reach extraordinarily beautiful places via a world-class hiking trail (like Tin Hat above after a blizzard), but it has also aided the biodiversity and wildlife of this region. Seven huts now grace the length of the trail and a few more will be built this year and next.
The creek runs crystal clear.
To welcome hikers we have built a bench from native materials found on site.
Here Lyn is driving in the last spike of the skookum three-seater
that overlooks the falls.
Then he studies the fish-stream above the new bench.
Of course we have also attached markers and signage so that users can feel confident they are on the right trail and are traveling in the right direction.
Here are two slabs ripped from a single downed cedar that had fallen years ago, but did not rot because much of it came to rest in the air. One continuous 18-foot cut provides the stringers for the uppermost bridge of the reroute.
Dipper gives them the stamp of approval.
First, Terry attaches the turfer (a type of come-along) to a tree on one side of the drainage and the stringers on the other. Then, while Ron keeps the cable clear and free, he starts ratcheting home the stringers with Don and Dipper guiding them.
One more mighty heave and both slabs are lined up almost side by side.
A little more ratcheting and lifting into place...
Meanwhile, Ron cuts two more sills to keep the wee bridge high and dry while Don steadies it safely.
The little bridge looks good and one last offending obstruction is being pummeled into submission.
The crossing meets with Double Ron's approval.
On yet another trailday outing Don and Terry seek shelter from the steady rain after having grubbed for a couple of hours. They will enjoy a somewhat dry lunch, before getting back to grubbing the new trail.
Are you in?
Are you in shape?
It's a good time to start now.
Here three happy hikers approaching the finish line last year. Yeah, they are ready for some refreshments.
To get to the Stairway to Heaven and the Deer Creek reroutes of the Sunshine Coast Trail drive to Lang Bay store south of Powell River on Highway 101, and turn uphill on Dixon Road which is paved for the first mile. Just after the pavement ends near the last house (Last Chance Store) Dixon Road will rise and pass the gravel pits that are on either side. A hundred metres beyond the crest of Dixon Road pull over tight on the right for adequate parking space along the busy road.
A wooden sign indicates SCT North on the upper (left) side of the road, and a couple of red diamond markers indicate where you have to enter the trailhead. About a 20 minute hike will take you through an older reroute (ST-245) to a crossing of another logging road, Goat Main at Mile 4.
From there it's a short climb up to the Stairway to Heaven and on from there another 20 minutes to the start of the reroute. All in all it could take about an hour from Dixon Road to the end of Deer Creek reroute where it emerges onto Old Hastings Road. For now this is your turn around point because logging and road building (ST-235) is still carrying on above here well into April.
Western Forest Products can work out passage with trekkers (long distance through-hikers) as long as they are aware you wish to pass through on a given day. Contact WFP (604-485-3100) to make these safety arrangements.
Otherwise, for daytrips do turn around here at Old Hastings Road and rest a bit at the creek, look around, have a snack, keep hydrated and then head back downhill to the car. We hope you enjoyed your hike.
Terry and Don came back this week and started crafting the boards and sleepers for the new picnic table they are building. Another trailday and we'll be eating smokies by the side of Deer Creek.
Well here's another Trailday outing with Andy and Terry. We've fastened together the logs with iron rebar and ripped the cedar planks. They are making sure the planks sit nice and snug on the sleepers.
Did somebody say time for lunch?
One sure gets hungry out here.
There were a fair number of danger trees in the vicinity of the picnic table that is obscured here by the split and stacked wood.