Bush North Loop - Kamloops Trails

Bush North Loop – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  January 18, 2020 at 8:56 am

The original Bush Lake Trails were built for the first 1979 BC Winter Games.   I remember talking to Art Hooper, the Sport Chair for cross country skiing.   I was sport chair for both squash and racquetball and I attended Sport meetings with the other chairs and Director Pat O’Brian, then ran the events during the Games.   Art got help from local cross country skiers and the then Outdoor Recreation branch (BC Forest Service).     The Games went well and the trails were part of the legacy of the Games.   There were several trailheads that could be used, but the two main ones were on the Timber Lake Road and at the Bush Lake Trailhead.   When the snow was heavy, the parking lot at Bush Lake was a better choice.   We can still find some of the old trail signs in the bush, but they are disappearing and the trails have suffered from deadfall, logging, and road building.   The Coquihalla Highway was planned in detail in 1978 and by 1984 the highway was complete, but it cut the trails in two with no underpasses at the upper end so the government of the time decided to start an alternate recreational area, which is now the stake Lake Trail System.   Once the Coq was built, the Bush Lake Trails fell into disuse and subsequently were logged, grazing fences added, and new roads added.   Even through all of this, the north loop trail was skied or snowshoed every year and some of us added some trail markers to assist others after a snowfall.   In the last 5 years additional areas have been logged, but we have continued to set tracks and add markers to keep the loop useable.   I snowshoed the loop in December, following some tracks and some trail markers.   Some of the sections through cutblocks are harder to follow, but the tracks are there now to assist other snowshoers and skiers.

A few taller douglas fir trees line the edges of cutblocks under grey skies with just a dot of sunshine to the south.

When we do the loop we set tracks for others to follow.

The cutblocks have been mostly cleaned up, but there is still debris and new shrub growth and with the newly opened areas, new windfall.

On this day, hoar frost coated the witch’s hair lichen on the trees, with some bright sunshine highlighting the garlands.

We return to do this loop through the forest on grey or snowy days to do the 4 km moderate North Bush Lake Loop.

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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at: http://www.kamloopstrails.net/

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