Stramberg Lake and Oldgrowth Grove Trails

STRAMBERG LAKE TRAILS

This page and its information were updated on 16th January, 2021, two days after a field-trip visit to record the recent changes to access into Stramberg Lake’s south end from Open Bay Main Road, and a walk through along the old trail from Stramberg Lake’s south end to Village Bay Lake and the road.

The map above shows the location of the two trails into Stramberg Lake and the two trails into the old-growth grove in that area.

http://© Both Maps Copyright: Open Streets Map copyright:  https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

The map below shows the location of the total trail access( the red line) into Straumberg Lake, one end off Village Bay Lakes Road, and the other end off Open Bay Main Road and both trails go to the same point at Straumberg Lake. The blue line shows both routes into the old-growth grove (yellow circle) in that area. The green circular is the area where you follow old logging roads off Open Bay Main to the ford over Stramberg Creek and the foot-trail into the old-growth grove. Click on the map to enlarge it.

 

You can access the old-growth grove near Stramberg Lake, and visit beautiful Stramberg Lake itself via Open Bay Main Road, or via Village Bay Lakes Road. As shown on the above map.

Stramberg Lake from its south end, near Open Bay Main Road; it’s a 15-minute stroll along old and new logging roads from Open Bay Main Road down to Stramber lake’s south end, at:  N 50° 11.113′, W 125° 14.773′. 

(1) Via Village Bay Lakes Road: Drive north from Heriot Bay for about ten miles until you see the first of the Village Bay Lakes  on your right. The trail begins here on the left side of the road, just to the left of a logging road which climbs into the forest here. This trail has not been trimmed recently and is marked with red and pink flagging tape sparsely, and takes you in about 30 minutes to an old homestead building and to Vic’s Marsh and Moses Meadow, which were the site of an old farm. Continue straight ahead and up and over a few small hills and after 30 minutes you will pass an overgrown turnoff with a small sign nailed to a tree. From Vliiage Bay Lake roadside, it takes about one hour to walk to this small sign. Here you go left to Stramberg Lake, or right to the Old Growth Grove.

 

 

This trail is overgrown, with many windfalls over it and can be hard to follow, and you need to go slowly so as not to loose the line of flagging tape markers.  bit of flagging tape. If you ignore the turnoff to Stramberg Lake and continue straight ahead you will come to the old-growth groove, at about two hours’ hike from the road. The trail continues straight on right through to an old logging road which takes you in about a mile to the Open Bay Main logging road. The quickest way back to your car would be via the route you walked in on. But, you could also walk a loop along the roads back to your car, which would take about 1.5 hours from. Open Bay Main Road.  Photos for this section need yet to be added here and will be added during summer 2021.

(2) Via Open Bay Main Road: This route is the quickest and easiest way to access Stramberg Lake. Drive north from Heriot Bay for about 15 minutes, go past the Granite Bay Road turnoff, and go down the following long steep hill until you come, at the bottom of the hill, to Open Bay Main turnoff on your left, marked by the woodlot sign there, as shown in the photo below.

Turn left onto this dirt road and follow it for about 2 kms, past a locked orange metal gate on the right, until you come to a newly opened up (in 2019) area of about 10 acres on the right side of the road at point: N 50° 10.764′, W 125° 15.277. A new rough logging road has been made here, but is purposely blocked by a few large boulders. Here there is now a new sign indicating Stramberg Lake and Main Lake Provinicail Park. It is a 10-minute walk to the Park boundary sign, and another five minutes from that sign down to the lake.

The new Provincial Park sign on Open Bay Main Road, which indicates the start of the track and trail to Stramberg Lake, south end.

Since the photo below was taken, the lot has been planted with trees. Follow this dirt track through to the first park sign, then go past the pink toilet and onto Stramberg Lake and the old trail to Village Bay Lake

Take the right-hand road here in the above old(pre-planting) photo, past the two boulders and across the clearing and into the forest and follow the sings down to the inconspicuous side-trail to Stramberg Lake. Takes about 15 minutes walking from the above point to the lake.

follow these signs to the Main Lake Park sign, and then on down to the lake.

The pink toilet beside the road en route from Open Bay Main to south end of Stramberg Lake. It does not flush.

Park just north of here, beside Open Bay Main, where a logging road goes off to the west.  Walk a minute back to the new logging road with its boulders walk this road’s right-hand (south) branch across the clearing and into the forest, and stay on this road for the next five minutes or so to a point where it begins to go out into an open area. Here you will pick up the mossy old road heading off to your right at point: N 50° 10.901′, W 125° 14.917. Follow this old trail and soon you will see the parks sign, below, at  N 50° 10.900′, W 125° 14.853.

Continue down the trail a few hundred meters until you hit and take the left branch of the trail here, at: N 50° 11.040′, W 125° 14.649.

The right branch of the trail here at this point takes you right through to Village Bay Road and Village Bay Lakes. The left branch drops you down to the lake, about 100 meters away. This photo is at point N 50° 11.040′, W 125° 14.649.

Now from this point at the bread bag follow the left branch of the trail and this short trail takes you down to the shore of the lake’s south end. It is a beautiful secluded, silent spot here.

From here, the south end of Stramberg Lake, you can see the north end of the lake, where there is a trail to the lake from the access road into the old-growth grove from the west.

These two photos, above and below, show fresh wolf scat on the two trails into Stramberg Lake. Both photos were taken on 16th March, 2018. If you visit the lake at dusk or early morning you are certainly likely to hear wolves howling

To access the old-growth grove and the north end of Stramberg lake from Open Bay Main Road, continue driving northwest past the trail to Stramberg Lake. After a kilometer or so you will pass a trailer on the right then soon come to a larger bridge and cross over it and after another 200m you will come to two roads going off to your right. One road is a wide gravel road, the other road is a mossy old logging road. Take the mossy old road, which veers hard right at point: N 50° 11.495′, W 125° 15.961, where you will see a small sign and some flagging on a tree, as below.

Point: N 50° 11.495′, W 125° 15.961. At this point there are two roads turning off to the right off Open Bay Main Rd. Take the hard-right option, where the car is parked in this photo.

You can drive your car down this road if you take care and go slowly. There is a Parks sign at the start, as below.

After a kilometer you will come to a fork in the road. The right branch takes you immediately to a parking space where a signposted (below) short trail takes you down to Stramberg Lake’s north end. This trail begins at point: N 50° 11.394′, W 125° 15.192. 

You can drive, carefully and slowly, and if there are no trees dwon on the track, to this sign at the north end of Stramberg Lake and park here.

Stramberg Lake from its north end, accessed via the turnoff road from Open Bay Main Road, 3 kms north from Village Bay Lakes Road .

The left branch of the road here takes you a further 100 meters or so before the road becomes 4 x 4 only for its final 100m. At the end of this road is a parking space (at  N 50° 11.509′, W 125° 15.098‘) and a berm blocks the road, and here a foot-trail heads off to the left and continues along down the old logging road for 30 minutes to a large stream at point N 50º 12.529′, W 125º 14.746′. Ford this stream at this point and follow the flagging tape for 30 minutes or so to the old-growth grove. From the grove you can follow the ongoing trail through to Village Bay Lakes Road, or, return to your car near Open Bay Main Road.

A couple of hikers ford the large stream flowing from Stramberg Lake’s north end, en route back to the parking space after visiting the old-growth grove. They are fording the stream at point N 50º 12.529′, W 125º 14.746′.

Admin Update; further notes: On 14th January, 2021 I walked the old trail from Village Bay Lake to Stramberg Lake, after not walking it for about 20 years. It has not been maintained apart from some new flagging tape being tied to trees to mark the route, once every decade or so. The trail is reasonable for the first hour, and when you arrive at the small sign pointing the way to the Old Growth Grove and to Open Bay Main, you choose the Open Bay Main option if you wish to get to the south end of Stramberg Lake and then go on another 10 minutes or so to Open Bay Main Road. From the point where the small sign is, as shown in the photo below, and you take the Open Bay Main option, there are many trees down across what remains of the old trail, although after 30 minutes or so of travel, the trail becomes an old, mossed-over logging road and travel is still quite good in places along this very old road. As you near the lake, down on your right, there is a slight trail going down off the old logging road, which takes you five minutes to walk down to arrive at the lake shore. Then return up to the old logging road and follow it for another five minutes, past the Park sign, and you’ll meet an active logging road to woodlots. From this point you follow the Park signs back to the planted block and follow the dirt track across the block and you will meet Open bay Main Road, and see this sign.

From here it is a 90-minute walk back to your car via the roads (Open Bay Main and Bold Point Road). I tried, but could not receive any cellphone reception along this route. I carry a personal locator beacon (PLB) during forest hikes, as PLBs can notify Search and Rescue from any point on Earth, if you become lost, as they work via satellites, not via cellphone towers.

Return to your car via the roads, it’s a nice walk. Or, you can return to your car at Village Bay Lake via the trail you came in along(about two hours), if you like climbing over fallen trees….

IMPORTANT NOTE: Walking this old route from Village Bay Lake to Stramberg Lake is not for novice hikers. It’s first hour, to the Old Growth Grove sign, is relatively easy, but, the second hour of this route, which comes after the signpost shown in the photo below, requires many climbs over windfalls, and sharp eyes to keep track of the somewhat meagre flagging tape markers, as they are the only clue in many places that you are actually on a route. It’s a good exercise in forest navigation, for well-experienced and well-equipped hikers. It takes about two hours’ hiking from Village Bay Lake to Stramberg Lake, but, if it’s your first time along this route, give yourself double that time = four hours. Plus the 1.5 hours’ walk back to your car via the roads. That’s 6.5 hours total. If you had two parties of hikers, you could leave a car at each end of this trail and (hopefully) you’d all meet in the middle.

Don’t underestimate the ability of the forest terrain on Quadra Island to confuse you and then swallow you so you don’t know where you are. Stop. Control any panic feelings. Work slowly back to the last point where you knew exactly where you were. Then decide whether or not you really should continue.

Carry a locator beacon, map, and compass. Carry items so you can light a fire. Carry spare food and clothing. Tell someone exactly where you are hiking.

Photos from the Stramberg Lake Trail from Village Bay Lake to Stramberg Lake, taken on 14th January, 2021, by G.Ross

small lake near Moses Meadow on trail from Village Bay lake to old Growth Grove and Stramberg Lake.

Stretches of the trail as you near Stramberg Lake are on a mossed-over logging road, quite open and pleasant to walk along.

The first of these Park signs you will see as you walk from Open Bay Main Road towards Stramberg Lake. Follow these signs to the trail to the lake’s south end, also the trail to Village Bay Lake, 2 hours walk further on from Stramberg Lake.

This page was updated on 17th January, 2021

A northern saw-whet owl photographed perched alongside the Stramberg Lake/Old Growth Grove Trail.

A northern saw-whet owl photographed perched alongside the Stramberg Lake/Old Growth Grove Trail.

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