Photos: Canoeing and hiking to Widgeon Falls in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park

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      Save this trip for a bluebird day, and don't expect to find solitude.

      Widgeon Falls is a popular destination on sunny days, combining an easy canoe trip with a short hike.

      The adventure starts at Grant Narrows, formerly a Metro Vancouver regional park, in Pitt Meadows.

      There you can rent a canoe for $55 per day from the Katzie Development Corporation, owned by the Katzie First Nation, whose territory you will explore.

      From the dock, you paddle across the south end of Pitt Lake and through Widgeon Slough.

      Canoeing in Widgeon Slough.
      Stephen Hui

      After landing at the Widgeon Creek campground in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, the hiking begins.

      You can follow an old logging road to the waterfalls.

      Widgeon Falls.
      Stephen Hui

      B.C. Parks is not recommending that hikers take the Widgeon Falls Trail, which branches off the road and has been partially rerouted, though experienced parties should be able to manage it on a fine day.

      Rock balancing at Widgeon Falls.
      Stephen Hui
      Widgeon Creek above Widgeon Falls.
      Stephen Hui

      Last weekend, the paddle and hike in each took one hour (one way). We spent a total of 7.5 hours out there, though, because the falls are worth much more than a quick lunch stop.

      Canoeing in Widgeon Slough.
      Stephen Hui
      Coast Mountains from Widgeon Slough.
      Stephen Hui

      By the way, Pinecone Burke is also home to Burke Summit, Munro Lake, Sawblade Falls, and other hikes.

      Comments

      2 Comments

      D. Elviss

      May 23, 2015 at 12:40pm

      I worked on a Forest Service Crew in the early seventies building a trail (with switch backs) into Widgeon Lake above the falls. The lake is absolutely gorgeous, worth the visit. Unfortunately, I understand the trail was not maintained over the years and it is a strenuous hike into the lake now. We also built a gazebo shelter at Widgeon slough all those long years ago but that shelter is probably long gone.
      Widgeon Falls is worth the hike.

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      Hermesacat

      May 23, 2015 at 4:10pm

      I always wanted to hike the long trail the Western Canada Wilderness Committee blazed through the area years ago in its campaign to get it protected as a park. I'm healthily afraid to try it now though as I learned from experience elsewhere Wilderness Committee trails tend to get ignored after an area gets protected & are often allowed to slip into treacherous dereliction as trail markers & visible paths disappear, & getting lost while hiking becomes ever more of a danger.

      This unfortunate fact became apparent when several years ago I lost the Elaho Valley trail the Wilderness Committee had built & marked years before, & stayed lost in the mountains there for five days as a I bushwhacked & wandered a seemingly endless maze of abandoned logging roads full of cul de sacs with fallen trees lying across them ensuring recreationists passing through would be few & far between. A GPS unit would have come in handy, no doubt, but it was a trail I'd been on before without a problem. I didn't have a GPS, & why should I need one? (I thought!)

      I had been on the same trail many years prior without getting lost, but that was when trail markers were intact & paths were more visible. Little did I know it had been allowed to deteriorate into a trap for hikers.

      It seems once the Wilderness committe is successful in getting an area protected they feel they have no reponsibility whatsover to help ensure their trails remain safe or even to warn hikers when they are no longer safe. The Wilderness Committee is interested in saving & protecting natural landscapes & flora & fauna there, not protecting & saving hikers.

      It took me five days of hiking lost before I relocated the logging road where I'd left my car. I lived to tell the tale, but no thanks to the Wilderness Committee.

      Let's hope the new 2015 park plan will include trail recovery/maintenance. But since the BC Gov't has been paring Park budgets to the bone & beyond, this seems highly unlikely. Where are trail maintaining volunteers when we need them?

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