Summer Hikes Begin at Paradise Meadows

Strathcona Wilderness Institute Centre
The new Strathcona Wilderness Institute centre at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Summer will officially begin in July in Paradise Meadows, when the new Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre opens for the summer season.

The beautiful new building located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead, adjacent to the Raven Lodge, will be open weekends from July 3 to Sept. 12, 2010. The Centre will be staffed on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays (including July 5) from 9 am to 4 pm.

Trail to Hairtrigger Lake
Summer hiking on the trail to Hairtrigger Lake.

The Centre is operated by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI), a non-profit Society, which has organized a full schedule of summer programs for all ages and abilities.

Nature Walks will be about 2 hours for all ages, with a guest expert on a nature theme. Level 1 Hikes are 3-4 hours with a guide, for all ages. Level 2 Hikes are 4-8 hours with a guide, for intermediate hikers. Level 3 Hikes are multi-day trips in partnership with Island Alpine Guides

Sun. July 4, 10 am:

Level 1 Hike: Paradise Meadows loop or Lake Helen Mackenzie:
2-3 hour hike with Kate Pierce of the Comox District Mountaineering Club

Sun. July 4, 1-3 pm:

Nature Walk: Lichen it!:
Explore lichens around the meadows with Registered Professional Forester Margaret Symon

Sun. July 11, 10 am:

Level 1 Hike: Lake Helen Mackenzie or Battleship Lake:
3-4 hour hike with Pam & Don Munroe of the Comox District Mountaineering Club

Sun. July 11, 1-3 pm:

Nature Walk: Spring Flora & Fauna:
Early plants & birds of Paradise Meadows with expert naturalist Betty Brooks

Sat. July 17 :

Parks Day:
Celebrate Strathcona Park at the newly completed Wilderness Centre. More details TBA at http://strathconapark.blogspot.com 

Sun. July 18, 1-3 pm:

Nature Walk: Ethnobotany:
Interesting and useful plants of Paradise Meadows with local ethnobotanist Gwyn Sproule.

Sun. July 25, 9 am:

Level 2 Hike:  Croteau Lake:
5-6 hr. hike with John Waters of the Strathcona Wilderness Institute.

Mt. Albert Edward from Croteau Lake
Mt. Albert Edward from Croteau Lake.

Sun. July 25, 1-3 pm:

Nature Walk: Insects:
Identify & explore sub-alpine ecology with naturalist Tyler Johns

Fri. July 30 – Mon. Aug. 2:

Level 3 Hike: Mount Albert Edward to Augerpoint Traverse:
with Island Alpine Guides in partnership with Strathcona Wilderness Institute. $500/ per person. Register by July 9. Contact IAG: 250-400-2870  info@islandalpineguides.com

For all activities: dress for the weather, wear proper footwear, bring lunch or snacks, water, bug spray and sun protection. Nature walks and day hikes are free, although a donation of $5 –10 is appreciated to help with the Institute’s ongoing activities. All walks and day hikes start at the Wilderness Centre. 

Paradise Meadows Boardwalk
Strolling the boardwalk in Paradise Meadows.

For more information and the full summer program schedule, visit the SWI website at www.strathconapark.org.  For up-to-date information on activities & conditions, visit the blog at http://strathconapark.blogspot.com.

FMI: Contact Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre Summer Coordinator Krista Kaptein at 250-338-9962.