Nugedzi Lake Trail

 

The lake has thin ice covering it here. Photo taken from the Picnic & Swimming Rock @  N 50º 10.312′, W 125º 17.761′ : 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 minutes until you come to a sizable stream crossing the washed-out road. At this point the trail climbs to the right up onto a small footbridge over the stream, then climbs to the right through forest. This trail too is on a very old logging road which takes you up a respectable climb for the next 20-30 minutes 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 actually a tiny lake which had beavers in it in the 1990s, and the old lodge and dams can still be seen.

At the Lily Pond turnoff trail you can stay on the main trail and it 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

Nugedzi Lake in December, 2017, with 1cm of ice covering it. During colder winters you can walk across the lake on the ice. During summer here is a popular swimming spot, where you can dive right off this rock knob beside the trail. The rock knob is a popular summer picnic spot too.

Little Nugedzi Lake: photo taken fro Loop Trail, on 12th April, 2018, by Greg Ross

From the lake the trail goes 100m to the Little Nugedzi Lake Loop Trail turnoff, and on past this to a lookout point at the lake and continues around and up for ten minutes to a flat open wide rock knob then continues down to a lookout over Seymour Narrows, where there is a heavy chain leading down to a flagpole cement cairn. This trail ends here at the cairn.

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’.

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.

Or, from Nugedzi Lake you can simply retrace your steps and walk back down the beautiful trail from Nugedzi Lake to the car-park. During summer a dip in Nugedzi Lake is quite a popular swim.

Supplementary Notes and photos on the Nugedzi Lake Trail and side-trails to Lily Pond, Seymour Narrows Lookout, Little Nugedzi Lake, Mount Seymour Connector Trail   ⇓

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.

This trail begins at its car-park, which is about 15 minutes’ drive north of Heriot Bay, and is off to the left up a small side-road marked with a ‘Nugedzi Lake’ sign at the main road. Park your car beside the sign at the trail-head at the end of this short dirt road. The trail takes you uphill on an old logging road for about 30 minutes then heads right over a footbridge and on up another old logging track for about 50 minutes. Then the trail branches left off the old road and crosses over a small footbridge and becomes more of a hiking trail. This takes you up for about 20 minutes to a fork in the trail and a signpost indicating go left to the lily pond (an old beaver lake) and continue along that trail past the lily pond for another five minutes to a lookout point giving you a good view to the southeast. Here this trail ends and you return via it to the trail fork and the main Nugedzi Lake Trail. The right branch of the trail now takes you up and down through heavy forest for about 30 minutes then descends to the lake. This is truly a lovely lake, at about 1700 feet altitude, where there is a good swimming and picnic spot on an obvious bare knob of granite  beside the lake. From here there is a trail going up and to the west to the lookout over Seymor Narrows. The trail climbs northwest from the lake for ten minutes then takes you up onto the top a large flat, open granite knob where you head across the knob to its southwest corner and you will find a long steel chain fastened here as a hand-hold for descending this trail a short distance to the cement cairn.  The trail ends there at the concrete and rock cairn. This cairn was probably built by previous trails-work volunteers and looks to have been made to hold a flag-pole and Canadian flag.

stone cairn on seymour lookout, off n lake trail.

The stone-and-cement cairn at the end of the Seymour Narrows Lookout Trail which runs northwest up from Nugedzi Lake. Cairn is @ 1760′ elevation, N 50º, 10.375′, W125º,18.181’. This cairn and its embedded hollow pipe look to have been built to hold a Canadian flag. The saw and secateurs on the cairn belong to the trail-cutter volunteer who took this picture. G. Ross

There is also a short trail loop taking you from Nugedzi Lake along the south shore of Little Nugedzi Lake which takes only about five minutes to walk. There is also a trail going from Nugedzi Lake to Mount Seymour. These trails are signposted.

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The signpost at Nugedzi Lake, indicating the various trails branching off there.

To hike from Nugedzi Lake to the Mount Seymour summit, give yourself 90 minutes. A very fit and experienced hiker could do this trip in less time. From the Mount Seymour summit you return via the trail back to Nugedzi Lake or, take the trail branch which goes down to the Granite Bay Road then walk the road back around to your car, which means about 30 minutes’ walk along the Granite Bay Road and then south along the main road to the Nugedzi Lake turnoff and the car-park there. During colder winters, such as in 2016/17, you can walk safely across Nugedzi Lake on the ice.

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Frozen Nugedzi Lake

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Wolf scat on the trail; typically filled with bone pieces and hair.