~ submitted by Karen Armitage

April 22, 2018

Five hikers set out around 10:00 am, for a ramble around the Town of Ladysmith trail system.  Parking at the end of Colonia Dr., we followed the Holland Creek trail to just above the bridge, and then branched off to the Heart Lake trail.  The climb up rewarded us with a view over Ladysmith Harbour.

Ten minutes farther, we were looking over Heart Lake, where we stopped for a quick break.

Following the path around the lake, we proceeded to the Stocking Lake trail. It was a bit soggy in places, but easy hiking.

We stopped for lunch at the end of Stocking Lake, where we speculated on the purpose of the dam-like barrier just before the creek outflow leaving the lake.

After lunch, we completed the circuit of Stocking Lake, and then rejoined the Heart Lake loop.  Choosing the longer but less steep option, we followed the old logging road and then descended past the “Chicken Ladder falls”. Trillium were blooming all over the banks in this area.

Overall we hiked about 11 km, enjoying Earth Day and pleasant company.