Monday, March 23, 2009

Rice Lake

After being couped-up in the house for several days we decided today to take an easy walk out to Rice Lake. I hadn't been well over the weekend so didn't want anything too strenuous but were keen to get some fresh air and some sunshine.

Rice Lake is situated about 20mins walk from the top of Lynn Valley Road. It's easy to access, relatively flat walking and not being a large lake is only about an hour or so to walk around. We had not been there previously as it is situated in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, the large part of which does not allow dogs on the trails.

Snap of a snowy peak on the way down Dempsey Road.

We decided to lengthen the walk slightly by parking in Lynn Headwaters and connecting through to the Rice Lake trail from there and returning in a big loop along the Varley Trail. We weren't clock watching but I think the whole walk still took under 2 hours.
The road into Lynn Headwaters

We have lost the snow on the ground at home now but there's still plenty in Lynn Headwaters.

We parked the car at Lynn Headwaters, walked through the picnic area and across river, turning right to then follow the river bed south. We then reached the entrance to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR).

The LSCR is actually huge, about 18,000 hectares which is almost 450,000 acres or 70 square miles. However only about one third is open to the public with the remainder protected environmental areas.
This map shows the public area of the park. The yellow dot in the lower left-hand side represents where we are stood taking the photo, you can see Rice Lake to the right of this. We will walk south-west along the Lynn Headwaters Connector marked in red and then up and around the lake. You can see that this is just scratching the surface of this huge park, with many miles of hiking trails.

Reaching the lake we discover that despite being 9 degrees and sunny it is still completely frozen and snow covered !

Another view across the lake

This is very much part of BC's coastal rainforest

Although the lake was snow covered the trails were mostly clear

This is a view looking up the start of the Seymour Valley Trailway, which is a 11km fully paved trail leading through the valley, roughly parallel with the Seymour River. Being paved it is obviously very easy to hike, but also allows access for wheelchair users, bikes, rollerbladers etc. What more quintessentially BC afternoon than rollerblading through rugged doubt with a non-fat latte in one hand !

Here are a few more views of Rice Lake as we walked around it

Dappled sunlight through the trees

Finally a view looking the full length up the lake, before heading back down to the Varley Trail towards the parking lot.

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