Cold and foggy – yup, that’s what trail running in Port Alberni is, this time of year

Me and the dogs

Cold and foggy, yup. Well, it’s still a lot better than most parts of Canada. Our temperatures are hovering within a few degrees either side of zero. And most days of the year, there is not so much snow that you can’t run. But that fog hanging down here in the valley – it does get oppressive! Dave and I have done a few runs up high, getting up and above the fog. But not this one.

This is pretty much the route that we run the most – the trail rising off Ship Creek Road, at the south end of Anderson. Sometimes we just run up to the lookout on the bluffs (approx. 200 m elevation gain; lots of posts and pix on this blog of that route already), and sometimes we run up there, then down to the inlet to the old Boy Scout Camp and back up again (another 300 m down and up). That’s what we did this time. (The week before, instead of the lookout, Dave steered us up another logging road that got us up to something like 430 m elevation – above the fog!!).

Route from Anderson - up to the lookout, then looping down to the inlet and back up. (Yup, Dave's got pretty good with the GPS watch!)

So here are some pix from that last run – (posted late, it was last week, Friday the 9th). The frost on the trees was actually spectacular, all the fog rising from the valley sublimating right on every tree branch, every leaf and needle – huge frost crystals all lined up parallel to one another from the air movement. Beautiful!

A frosty view upward as we climb.

Almost up to the lookout - all the branches coated in frost.

Now down by the water. Yum! Xhosa and Tank have found a rotten salmon to eat. No more dog kisses for me, thank you very much.

Attempted group portrait: with blurry dogs, and Dave blocking the beautiful waterfall. Oh well....

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  1. #1 by Travis Macy (@AdventureCairn) on December 28, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    Looks like a great run! Plenty of sun (and not much snow) here in Colorado…

  2. #2 by Krista Turcasso on February 2, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    I’m heading to Port Alberni for the first time in a week and would love to get out for some 10-15km trail runs. Any suggestions?
    Krista

    • #3 by davidjgilbert on February 2, 2012 - 11:55 pm

      Hi Krista,
      We have some wonderful easy to find and safe trails here in Port Alberni. I would suggest the ‘Fisherman Trail’ which starts at Stamp Falls Provincial Park. Take Beaver Creek Rd until Stamp Falls Provincial Park road to the left, about six miles. Go down towards the campsite and the trail starts at the last corner, travelling upstream. You know when to turn around as you reach the far trailhead sign at a road. Another great trail is the system which starts at the corner of Anderson and Ship Creek Road. There are signs along the trail for directions. Contact us when you are here and if we can we will be happy to get out with you as we run the trails every day we can.
      Dave

      • #4 by Jacqueline Windh on February 3, 2012 - 7:34 pm

        Yeah, Krista, the Stamp River one that Dave mentions is one of my favorites. I think it is something like 15-17 km return, but of course you can turn around at any point. It is beautiful rolling terrain alongside a beautiful river, all on a winding path of hardpacked dirt – and the best thing is that it never gets muddy, even in the middle of winter! It’s a really good choice if it’s raining, or if theres been a lot of rain over the past few days.
        The trail system at the end of Anderson is really well sign-posted too – it’s Dave’s and my standard backdoor run (in fact we just did it today!). It starts with a long steep uphill trail (which you might want to hike rather than run, if you like to warm up before pushing it), then connects through to segments that follow both logging roads and trails. Every junction has a signpost with a map, so it’s very easy to find your way around. You get to the first nice viewpoint in 15 minutes or so – but you can easily make a 2-3 hour run out of these trails if you want (they are slow km, lots of ups and downs).

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