How good is this… a walk in solitude through a beautiful forest and a chance to do some photography – sounds like the perfect outing for me!! Hidden Grove is just five minutes from Coracle Cove and I’ve been spending a lot of time there lately.
A series of wonderful trails has been created over the past few years and recently, one most worthy of mention. A widened trail with a good smooth base makes it perfect for the wheels of your choice – a wheel chair or a child’s stroller - providing increased access to a broader spectrum of users.
There’s a cultural history component to the trail system as well. Shortly after entering the trails you’ll notice several trees which have undergone bark stripping. The shíshálh Nation have settled the area for several millennia and continue to harvest the bark of the cedar tree to make traditional baskets, regalia and clothing. The bark is relatively thin and grows back quickly.
The history of Hidden Grove is also one of survival… survival from natural fires of several centuries ago, which left charred bark up to a foot thick on the largest Douglas firs. More recently, the area was scheduled for logging but the local community rallied together and Hidden Grove has been saved again.
Today these precious 125 acres have been set aside solely for recreation and less than 5 minutes away from Coracle Cove, they provide our guests a nearby opportunity for both solitude and a re-connection with nature.
The main trail rises gently, passing rocky outcrops and mossy plateaus and brings you to the Ancient Grove, a concentrated group of tall, stately firs like this one, which is marked on the map as the Lonely Giant.
The extensive trail system loops through some interesting micro-climates and vegetation. I followed the Red Trail a little further and the change in vegetation was dramatic with a profusion of low growing ferns and moss covered tree trunks.
The network of trails is well marked with signs like this at each intersection, and it’s impossible to lose one’s way. Today, it seemed as if I had the trails completely to myself, with the exception of a lone Swainson’s Thrush who kept me company with its plaintif, flute-like song.
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