Stramberg Lake and Oldgrowth Grove Trails

STRAMBERG LAKE TRAILS

This page and its information were updated on 7th May, 2019, a day after a field-trip visit to record the recent changes to access into Stramberg Lake’s south end from Open Bay Main 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 recently been trimmed and marked with red flagging tape takes you in about 20 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 after 30 minutes you will pass an overgrown turnoff on your left which is the old Stramberg Lake Trail. This branches off the main trail to the left about an hour’s hike from the road. This trail is overgrown and could be very hard to follow, apart from the odd bit of old flagging tape which may still be on the odd tree. 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 2 hours from the old growth groove.

This trail from Village Bay Lakes Road to the old growth grove was trimmed and re-marked with red tape in August 2017 by a Quadra Island volunteer. Thanks to Robert Bringhurst for his update on this trail. Photos for this section need yet to be added here and will be added during summer 2018.

(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.

Take the right-hand road here in the above photo, across the clearing and into the forest and down to Stramberg Lake. Takes about 15 minutes walking from the above point to the lake.

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 see a plastic bread bag tied to a branch 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. 

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′.

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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