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John Guilford's Hikes

Heart Lake, Ladysmith, B.C. on 2017-04-19

Date: 2017-04-19

Location: Heart Lake, Ladysmith, B.C.

People: (including myself): Pam

			Alt.	Miles
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. 


[ PIX1 ] Map of route. 

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Last updated on: Fri Jun 9 16:50:57 PDT 2017