Nugedzi Lake Trail

Nugedzi Lake Trail

One of Quadra’s most-popular trails, and a very invigorating climb with great views along the way. Allow 2 – 4 hours to get from the car-park to the lake, but, most fit, experienced hikers can hike from carpark to the lake in about one hour.

There are a very few spots along this trail where cellphone reception exists, such as on the trail section along the east shore just above the lake, and up on the attached Seymour Lookout Trail once you climb onto the flat knob there. Otherwise, along 99% of this trail there is no cell reception.

The red circle on the map below indicates where the Nugedzi Lake Trail is located. Open Street Map Copyright:

The red line on this second map, below, indicates the Nugedzi Lake Trail route. Please click on the map to enlarge it. Open Street Map Copyright:

The lake has thin ice covering it here. Photo taken from the Picnic & Swimming Rock @  N 50º 10.312′, W 125º 17.761′ : Photo taken Dec. 2017. G.Ross


To access this trail, drive north from Heriot Bay for four kms, drive past the Walcan Road on your left, and drive on for another few kms until you see the signpost indicating the rugged side-road off to the left to the Nugedzi Lake car-parking area. You have to be virtually on top of this new signpost before you see it, hard to your left, right beside the tiny dirt track leading to the parking area. Drive up this little road-track for 150m and park in the parking area. The trail begins here and climbs a moderately steep old logging road for 15 – 20 minutes until you come to a sizable stream crossing the road which is washed-out where a road bridge once was, and where a trails bridge was but is now gone. At this point, once you cross the streambed to the uphill side (to the true right side), the foot-trail now branches hard right off the old road you’ve been following, and climbs another very old logging road. There is a wooden sign here pointing out the change of direction, but the sign may not be obvious.

This very old logging road now takes you up a steep climb for the next 30 minutes. As you climb you will eventually pass some orange flagging on your right(east side) of the trail which leads to an old viewpoint which is now mostly blocked out by tree growth. Keep climbing the main trail for another few minutes and you will see some more orange and blue flagging tape which leads to another viewpoint, very much better than the slightly lower one.

The view east from the lookout off Nugedzi Lake Trail, at 1537′ elevation. at point N 50, 10.043’ W 125,16.688’

 Lookout at 1537’, on Nugedzi Lake Trail N50°, 10.043’ W° 125,16.688’

Looking northeast from the Lookout Point on the Nugedzi Lake Trail at 1537′ altitude. Surge Narrows entrance can be seen below, with Reed Island to the right of it.

until you arrive at a signpost pointing to your left, over a small footbridge. Here the trail leaves the old road grade and turns into a typical forest foot-trail, through beautiful dark cedar forest. After 10-15 minutes you arrive at the Lily-pond trail turnoff.

This side-trail heads off from the main trail, west to the Lily Pond, about a five minutes’ walk

This side-trail takes you in five minutes to the Lily Pond, a pretty little lake, and continues around the Lily Pond for 5 – 10 minutes to a good lookout point which looks south out over Quadra’s east side.

The Lily Pond is at 1690’ elevation, and is at point  N50°, 09.932’, W125°, 17.057’

The Lily Pond is actually a tiny lake which had beavers in it in the 1990s, and the old lodge and dams can still be seen.

The Lily Pond during summer, 2018.

The Lily Pond is at 1690’ elevation, and is at point  N50°, 09.932’, W125°, 17.057’


This is the Lily Pond Lookout, which is a few minutes hike east from the Lily Pond, along the Lily Pond Trail. This natural bonsai pine has stood here like this in its small winter puddle for decades without growing much. This spot gives a good view of Hernando, Savory, Mittlenatch, Marina, and Cortes islands, and Rebecca Spit.

The Lily Pond Lookout is at 1712’ elevation and is at point  N 50°, 09.851’, W 125°, 16.852’

At the Lily Pond and along the trail to this lookout and at this lookout grows juniper bushes and Labrador tea bushes, which are found on Quadra Island only above 1500′ elevation.

Juniper berries are the source of gin, and are used in cooking, and grow plentifully here at the lookout and along this trail from the Lily Pond to this lookout point. This point is at N 50°, 09.851’, W 125°, 16.852’, at the Lily Pond Lookout Point.

Back on the main trail to Nugedzi Lake, at the Lily Pond turnoff trail if you do not take the fork to the Lily Pond but instead stay on the main trail, this climbs up and down small slopes for 20 -30 minutes and takes you to Nugedzi Lake, at 1700 feet elevation. Here there is a signpost and map offering the various trail options.

The signpost beside Nugedzi Lake

Little Nugedzi Lake: photo taken from The Loop Trail, on 12th April, 2018.

Nugedzi Lake in August, 2018, taken from the Picnic Rock, a popular swimming and resting spot.

From the lake the trail goes 100m to the Little Nugedzi Lake Loop Trail turnoff, and continues on past that turnoff, for 15 -20 minutes up to an open rock knob where an old trail heads off the south west corner of the knob and ends after a few minutes’ of downhill travel at a lookout over Seymour Narrows, where there is a flagpole cement cairn. This trail ends here at the cairn which was built by past Quadra trail-builders.

Here is the cement cairn overlooking Seymour Narrows, about 25 minutes’ walk from Nugedzi Lake. This cairn is at 1760′ elevation, @ N 50º, 10.375′, W125º,18.181’. The trail to here is a continuation of the Nugedzi Lake Trail, which heads west from the picnic rock beside Nugedzi Lake, over a bridge, then up through the forest to an open rock knob. From the rock knob head southwest to the trail down top this cemented cairn. The trail ends here.

Back at the Nugedzi Lake Signpost, one trail branches north to Little Nugedzi Lake and its tiny loop trail, and also continues on through to the Mount Seymour Trail. In fact you can hike a good loop trip by parking your car at the Nugedzi Lake carpark, climbing to Nugedzi Lake, walking the connector trail to the Mount Seymour Trail ( you can also nip up to Mount Seymour summit if you have an hour to spare: it’s about 30 minutes each way from the signpost) and then down the Mount Seymour Trail to Granite Bay Road.

Here is the signpost on the Mount Seymour Trail as the trail climbs up from Granite Bay Road. From this point you can go via the trail to Nugedzi lakes, or to Mount Seymour summit, or down to Granite Bay Road. Mount Seymour summit is the highest point on Quadra Island, at 2020 feet above sea level.

From where the Mount Seymour Trail meets Granite Bay Road it takes you about 25 minutes to walk east/southeast along beautiful Granite Bay Road to the main road, and then from there walk south along the main road for 10 minutes back to the Nugedzi Lake car-park.

A hiker from overseas enjoys the view of Nugedzi Lake in the background and Little Nugedzi Lake in foreground. This photo was taken from the Mount Seymour Trail.

Updated on 1st September, 2022.

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