John Guilford's Hikes
Heart Lake, Ladysmith, B.C. on 2017-04-19
Location: Heart Lake, Ladysmith, B.C.
People: (including myself): Pam
Trailhead: 2:45 300 0
Stone Stairs: 3:05 400 1
Overlook: 3:30 950 1.5
Heart Lake: 3:45 1200 2
Logging Road: 4:00 1250 2.3
Holland Creek: 4:45 400 4.5
Stone Stairs: 5:00 400 5
Trailhead: 5:20 300 6
This trails starts at the same trailhead as the Stocking Lake trail.
From the trailhead at Davis Rd intersect Battie Dr in Ladysmith,
ascend the hill to the trail that runs along the power lines.
Head right (west) along the trail, keeping to the left when it leaves
the power lines and heads into the trees (though you still parallel
the power lines).
In a mile you reach the "real" trailhead (marked by a sign) and the
"Stone Staircase". When I heard about the Stone Staircase, I was picturing
something grand out of Tolkien. The truth is that the stairs
are less then impressive, not steep at all, and they don't extend
all that far. They make a great landmark, though.
Though the stairs aren't steep, the trail rapidly becomes so. There
are some token switchbacks to try to ease the grade, but they don't
moderate it much. This is the short, steep way to Heart Lake.
Near the top, the trail passes by a rock outcropping that offers some
stunning views down into the bay and the peninsula beyond. With my
telephoto lens, I could even make out the Lodge at Yellowpoint.
At this point take heart, you are almost at the top. Another fifteen
minutes brings you to Heart Lake.
We didn't want to descend the steep
terrain we just climbed, so we took the longer, more gradual loop
on our return. The trail circles the lake on the right before passing
the lake by and running into a logging road and some clear cuts.
Turn right and follow the road (marked by signs) for about a mile before
the route leaves the road, enters trees, and begins descending. This
route, though longer, is easier on the knees, especially for the descent.
Near the bottom of the slope, you run into the upper stretch of
Holland Creek. Further on, the trail splits with the left fork leading
to the upper end of the Holland Creek trail, and the right fork leading
back to the Stone Staircase (and our trail head).
Once on the flat, we made better time and returned to the trailhead quickly.
Map of route.
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Last updated on: Fri Jun 9 16:50:57 PDT 2017