Moving to a new area opens up a whole new set of trails to discover. Having the luxury of time, I have been exploring some of the nearby parks and trails. Today I decided to drive about an hour north to Seymour Narrows and hit the Ripple Rock trail. This short little jaunt follows crosses BC Hydro land along the coastline and up onto the bluffs above the narrows. This narrow waterway is less than a kilometer across yet huge freighters, oil tankers and cruise ships navigate it daily.

8 km round trip will take you to the bluffs above Seymour Narrows where you will surely be entertained by the riptide’s effect on boaters.

It has been an especially low tide this week so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see the rapids as the tide began its flow. As I left the parking lot, I noticed a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car, reading a book. She nodded hello and continued reading. I guess she wasn’t in the mood for seeing fabulous views today.

The trail is really well-signed and well-used. On many of the trails here, I see no one at all but today was a record as I saw 10 other hikers. Soon I was treated to a swinging bridge and then the most enormous 2nd growth Douglas Fir that I have ever seen.

This is the bounciest swinging bridge ever. It would be easy to bounce someone right off! Running is not an option.

Wow! I used the panorama setting to take this photo! And no, it is not growing maple leaves.

Eventually the trail began climbing up and I was treated to a spectacular view back towards Campbell River, complete with west coast log booms.

Typical island view! Click on this image to really see what you are missing.

I think it would be possible to run the entire length of the trail, but I am not in top running form and had to take lots of breaks along the way. It was shady and cool and rocky and smooth with little bridges here and there. There were a few beach access trails and lots of rocky outcrops perfect for sunseekers. With numerous stops for breathing and for photos, I reached the main vista in 40 minutes.  And it did not disappoint.

Seymour Narrows is only 800m across at this point.

Ripple Rock was two huge rocks only 9 feet below the surface at low tide. In 1958, they were blown up and now the clearance is 47 feet. You can see where the rocks are by the churned-up water.  The tidal current was flowing fast towards the right as two powerboats fought against it, using up all their fuel in the process.  Sillies!

It took about half an hour for this boat to move 500 m against a strong tidal current. Silly seamen!

After half an hour of watching boats and eddies, chatting with hikers and marveling at the beauty here, I turned back and ran the 30 minutes back to the car.

Sadly, the same woman was still sitting in her car, reading her book.  I guess she was waiting for her hiker friends to return. I should have given her the link to this blog so she could see what she missed!