Alberni Inlet Stage I

–trip report submitted by Ken Warren
–Photos submitted by Kerry Hart

Although the weather forecast was not encouraging, we had a dry day on the Alberni Inlet Trail.  Our start time was delayed by bridge inspections on the China Creek Road, but we set out from Ship Creek around 11 o’clock.  The first stretch is impressive old growth fir and cedar opening up into views of the valley with Arrowsmith Massif obscured by clouds. Frogs to the left and right cheered us along the trail.

We continued off the main trail and up to the viewpoint where we had lunch and vistas of the inlet and townsite.  The mountains were still obscured.  Making our way down the hill, we intersected with the main trail about an hour from Lonetree Point. The point gave good views up and down the inlet, but the wind was brisk and chill so we didn’t linger. The trail is never particularly steep but there is a lot of up and down. It’s a solid trail with little mud, although the creeks were flowing quite high.  We saw eagles and sandhill cranes and were serenaded by their raucous cries.
We continued on to occasional viewpoints and increasing logging slash until our 5:30 finish. The last stretch of the trail over China creek and the old growth rainforest makes an impressive finish. I’d picked up a hitchiking tick along the way which Maggie kindly removed in the Macdonald’s lineup.
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