This is our last sunny run in our amazing endless summer! I decided to take Jackie on a trail system she has not been on before, the twin trails up to the Mt. Arrowsmith road at the top of the Hump. Don’t try to do this route without taking someone who knows it as its impossible to know where the trails are and which turns to make without knowing the entire area well.
The first bit is easy to find, Port Alberni’s iconic ‘Hole in the Wall’. We parked across from the vet above the Candy store, took the first right, then the next left and followed the trail to the Hole. If you were wondering about why the Hole in the Wall is there, it was put in as a short-cut of Alberni’s water line before the amalgamation of Alberni and Port Alberni. The water line is still there, made out of strips of yellow cedar bound in wire.
After running up Roger Creek to the original water works dam, the trail veers up along a tributary and then steeply up to the Black Powder Range road.
Jackie is a writer for ‘RunLiveLearn‘ online running magazine and Salomon gave her a pair of their new trail shoes to evaluate. Jackie really liked them as they were designed to run on both paved road and trails, a difficult proposition, and she will use them in the Shawnigan Half Marathon later this month which is both trail and pavement.
This short section heads steeply up to the Black Powder range road.
At the road we crossed and continued up through the forest East until we came out in a new logged area.
The above pic is adjacent to Stokes Creek falls, a must see if it’s been raining hard.
The above and below pics are the Knutclacker trail. It was the original road to Port Alberni during the horse and buggy days, decades before the ‘new’ highway over the hump. This totally overgrown road was cleared, and bridges installed by Mike Cooke for mountain biking about eight years ago, and took about two years to complete. Mike is a now a supervisor in a Washington State hospital, and after the logging, the trail / historic road will most likely be destroyed forever.
The Knutclacker goes right up the the Mt. Arrowsmith Road and comes out at the parking area 200 ft from the highway. We took the Scorpion trail which is about a half mile down from the road. There is a scorpion carved into the rock right on the trail, and I’m looking for the name of who carved it and when.
The Scorpion trail system is one of the oldest mountain biking trails in Port Alberni. It’s full of ramps, jumps and all kinds of dangerous fun stuff! It is getting old and in disrepair now, and it will be logged too, effectively destroying it.
The lower part of Scorpion trail goes past many old cars which the bikers turned into jumps and ramps using hoods, roofs, whatever. When we came out on the road after a bit I saw an old car with a tree growing through the hood and I remembered it was on the trail so we veered off the logging road and continued down the more scenic trail.
A definitely good outing, dry and sunny. It may also be the last of anyone to do this loop as the upcoming logging may destroy it all forever.