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Trail Updates



TOP: Black Mountain Baden-Powell Trail Bog Bridge Crew before starting work near Cougar Lakes: BC Parks Rangers, Knee Knacker and North Shore Wetland Partners volunteers – September 25, 2011 ABOVE: Heading home after completing work – September 25, 2011 Rob Wilson Photos

On a wet windy Sunday, September 25, 82 metres (270 ft.) of redcedar bog bridges were installed over several boggy sections on the Baden-Powell Trail in the Cougar Lakes area of Black Mountain Plateau.  The boards had been previously helicoptered up to the site.  Installation was done by Park Rangers Rob Wilson and Mark Grist, Andrew Wong and seven other Knee Knacker volunteers, and North Shore Wetland Partners project manager Bruce McArthur.  Their hard work in difficult conditions is greatly appreciated.

This was the first significant trail project on Black Mountain Plateau in many years.  It is hoped that native plants will now become reestablished in areas adjacent to the bog bridges, and that more trail improvements can be made on Black Mountain Plateau in future.  Funding for this project came from a BC Parks Community Legacy Program grant as part of North Shore Wetland Partners’ wetlands restoration work in Cypress Provincial Park.


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TOP: Reviewing south section of abandoned Yew Lake Trail prior soil preparation and re-vegetation with native plants. Cypress Creek Lodge and earthen bridge visible in background.  August 2011.  Katharine Steig Photo.

BELOW: North section of trail following re-replanting.  September 2011 Fiona Wright Photo.

North Shore Wetland Partners’ primary focus for the BC Parks Community Legacy Program grant was restoring as wetland habitat two abandoned sections of the Yew Lake Trail below Cypress Creek Lodge.  These trail sections had been cut off by construction of an earthen bridge from the Lodge to the ski area on the other side of Cypress Creek, resulting in moving the Yew Lake Trailhead to an area north of the Lodge.

Volunteers spent many hours every weekend from mid-July to early November manually digging up the gravel trail sections south and north of the earthen bridge, adding new soil to the trail bed, and then planting 3300 small native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, sedges and ferns on the trail bed. Large rocks and woody debris were added to prevent run-off and retain moisture. While it will take several years for full restoration of this area, a good start has been made to increase water retention and wildlife habitat in this part of Cypress Creek’s headwaters. 


TOP: Howe Sound Crest Trail crew rebuilding trail area south of Strachan Meadows that had disappeared in major landslide in Spring 2000 - October 2011.

Alex Wallace Photo

BELOW: BC Parks and Friends of Cypress assessing new bridges at Strachan Meadows in preparation for 2012 trail work  – September 2011.  Bridges were reinforced with rock by trail crew before winter.  Alex Wallace Photo

In 2010 a new HSCT route to a new Bowen Lookout was completed by BC Parks with 2010 Olympics Legacy (VANOC) and Federal (National Trails Coalition) funding. The new route (HSCT West) starts near Cypress Creek Lodge in Cypress Bowl, follows the east (Strachan) side of the Yew Lake Interpretive Trail and Old-Growth Loop to join the Pumphouse Road to the north. From here the trail turns left along the Pumphouse Road, continues a short distance, crosses a footbridge, then heads uphill to a junction with a short spur trail to the new Bowen Lookout over Howe Sound.  From the junction, the trail continues up to re-join the main HSCT near the BC Parks (Paul Binkert) kiosk.

Trail upgrades from the kiosk to Strachan Meadows took place in 2010-11 with two new bridges installed near Strachan Meadows.  In 2012 the upgrade to Strachan Meadows will be completed and work will continue beyond Strachan Meadows.

NOTE: The original HSCT route (HSCT East) from Cypress Bowl still exists. It can be accessed either by going a short way along the Yew Lake Trail (as described above), then turning right along a forested trail to reach the Pumphouse Road OR by hiking on the ski trail up past the Lions Express Quad Chair to reach the Pumphouse Road.  Follow the road a short way, then turn right at the trail sign just before the large green water reservoir to head uphill on the forested trail switchbacks as in past years to reach the road above.  The old and new HSCT routes are shown on this Cypress Park map: Click here.

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED on the Yew Lake Trail and Old-Growth Loop.  Hikers with dogs who wish to use the new HSCT West to Bowen Lookout must follow the ski trail past the Lions Express Chair to reach the Pumphouse Road, and then continue west along the Pumphouse Road past the green water reservoir to reach the footbridge and the HSCT West route, as described above.


Friends of Cypress volunteers undertake minor trail maintenance and report on trail needs during the summer months through the Trail Watch program. Friends of Cypress also works with BC Parks staff to determine trail improvement priorities and a schedule for undertaking trail projects over time.

Many of the hiking trails in southern Cypress Provincial Park are in need of improvement.  Unfortunately, there is inadequate BC Parks funding for this work, Park Rangers are in short supply, and they are responsible for a very large number of parks. Contact Friends of Cypress here for more on the Trail Watch program or for other information.

See BC Parks’ Cypress webpage here for summer/winter hiking information.

All content © 2012 Friends of Cypress Provincial Park.

No content may be used without the express written permission of Friends of Cypress Provincial Park.