These trails form a very popular trail system of walkways/bike trails between the community center on West Road, and Heriot Bay Road. The system runs through the center of the island close to the main roads and many residences, yet still has wolves and occasionally cougars using it along with bikers and hikers. It is virtually all through flat forest with no climbing and is very popular with bikers and joggers as well as walkers and hikers.
Park your car in the Community Center parking lot, where you will see a map of the trails carved into a wooden sign on posts beside the parking lot. Then walk up the right side of the baseball field and follow the trail past the Judy Leicester memorial sculpture. Judy was a long term dedicated volunteer trail worker on Quadra who headed the Trails Committee and led the trail-work volunteers for more than ten years and died suddenly of cancer in 2012.
Walk along this, the Community Center Trail, into the forest and it will take you in about 15 minutes through to the fire-hall on Heriot Bay Road. However, as you walk this trail towards the fire-hall you will see the Daisy Trail then the Sheppard Trail and then the Homestead Trail each branching off to your left. These first two side-trails take you to the Homestead Trail which in turn takes you back to the Community Center Trail if you go right on it, or, if you go left on it, it will take you to the linking trail which forks and will take you either to your right, southeast, in about 10 minutes to Smokey’s Bike Shop on Heriot Bay Road, or, left, for about 10 minutes back to the Community Center, and to a further little side-branch trail directly onto West Road to a spot about five minutes’ walk from the community center. There are also cycle trails crossing the main trail on this left trail branch.
The Homestead Trail is so named because along this trail you can see the remains of a farm where the first European child was born on Quadra Island to the first European woman to settle on the island, during the 1800s; Mary Bryant. There is a huge maple tree beside the Homestead Trail near where it meets the Community Center Trail, and this old tree marks the site of the Bryant homestead. Further along the trail you can see where ditches were dug by hand and a swamp was drained during the days when the Bryants lived here. Also running off the Homestead Trail is the Blackjack Trail which takes you in about 10 minutes back to the baseball field beside the community center.
The Swale Trail was the first mountain bike trail on Quadra and runs off the Community Center Trails system. Now there are many mountain bike trails on Quadra but Swale Trail is very popular because it is central and in the middle of the general residential area. Here, below, are some of the island’s keen mountain-bikers working hard on the Swale Trail, on 10th of February 2018. Trails work on Quadra is voluntary and the trails need regular maintenance to keep them in good shape.
It’s hard work but generally very rewarding to help build hiking and biking trails.