Sunday, 10 August 2014

Norvan Falls

Pretty easy hike out to the falls - 14K return and about 200 meters of elevation gain - on a well maintained trail. So good in fact that you could cruise your Lamborghini up and down the first couple of kilometers on the gravel packed surface with no fear of bottoming out. An experienced mountain biker could easily make the next two kilometers rumbling over a few roots and cobbles; although, on this day there was a bike locked up to a tree shortly into the section from someone less than enthusiastic for a bumpy ride. From that point out to the falls the trail has roots and rocks plus a log bridge to navigate with walkways over some swampy areas. It is both a well worn path and well marked. Nice to see a signpost marking the trail off to Coliseum Mountain which was not there a few years ago. Worth wandering over to the suspension bridge for the photo opportunities before the last 200 meters up to the falls.

On a beautiful, warm sunny day (truth be told you don't get to see much sun) it is surprising to see only a half dozen other hikers past the debris chute. While the traffic is noticeably heavier on the first couple of beautifully manicured kilometers, far less people are willing to venture along the rougher sections.Got me to thinking about the amount of money spent on trail maintenance for a small number users. While there are trails with heavy usage e.g. Mount Seymour, Joffre Lakes, Squamish Chief, canyon trails at Golden Ears, most have very limited visitors. Reasonable to understand why those trails receive the lion's share of the funding while the others tend to narrow in with overgrowth, get blocked by dead-fall and have washed out bridges. Many in the outdoor community bemoan the lack of funding for their favorite outdoor areas but fail to appreciate the lopsided expense on a per capita basis. If you venture into the wilds, besides being experienced with maps, compasses, GPS and having  healthy respect for bears, you should not mind whacking through some overgrowth and doing a little trail finding.Not every path requires a city park makeover. Otherwise, enjoy the trip around the well maintained seawall in Stanley Park.

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