Spirea Trail Topo Map

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If the mention of Golden Ears conjures up a picture of rugged trails to lofty summits, you will not be mistaken. The rampart of jagged peaks that catches the evening sun 50 km (30 miles) east of Vancouver does indeed provide some strenuous climbing for the adventurous hiker, and the northern reaches of the park are a mountain wilderness extending to the boundary of Garibaldi Provincial Park, between Squamish and Whistler. But the southern end of Golden Ears Park lies more sedately in the Alouette Valley, where less ambitious walkers can explore forest and creekside trails, such as the easy walk to Lower Falls, or the fascinating Spirea Nature Trail suggested here. The lake and its surrounding forests were for hundreds of years favourite fishing and hunting grounds of the Coast Salish Indians. Later, giant trees fell to the axe and saw in a ten-year railway-logging operation that ended abruptly in 1931, when fire swept through the valley. Reminders of both disturbances are evident today in the fire-blackened stumps and snags, remnants of the old railroads and pieces of rusting steel cable and machinery, all gradually being covered by the vigorous second growth of western hemlocks and cedars. Highlights: Forest and bog; Alouette Lake; sundew, Indian pipe, fungi, mosses; amphibians.

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Mar 2018