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6. CPR Trail to the Dam Site

Easy - 1.4 km - Time 30 minutes one way - Heritage rail bed

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This historic rail bed has just been designated a recreational trail and should become part of the trails society’s Stewardship Agreement with the province.  The society hopes to develop this trail and the dam site as official historic sites.  There is lots of parking at the trailhead.  From town, drive up North Fork Road past Ward Lake.  Turn right just after the Rodeo Grounds sign just before Eagle Ridge Road which is on your left.  Park your car about 200 m down the gravel road on the outside of the gate.  Continue on foot around the gate on the road up to the rodeo grounds. This is actually the old CPR rail grade. When the road veers up to the right stay left on the old rail bed.  There are great views of the North Fork Valley as you walk above ranch land.  This used to be the main access to a notorious beach called ‘Snake Hole’, the site of too many wild bush parties.  Today this beach has disappeared and become an abandoned slough as the river has changed direction.  Look for the trails down to the beach that are labeled public access.  Please respect the fencing that marks private property.  Back on the rail bed follow the river as it swings south into a gorge that comes alive in high water but is a great fly fishing spot in the summer.  You will eventually arrive at the trail’s end 30 m above the river on the edge of a steep precipice that is the footing of the CPR trestle.  The view is breath taking and the artifacts amazing but BE CAREFUL.  You can turn around and walk back to your car or look for the trail with the handrails leading up to the upper dam site.  A short climb and you will be on the old GN rail bed.  Yes, there were two sets of train tracks that crossed the river here!  Look south and you will see the trail through the forest to the upper dam site area.  Here the views are even more spectacular.  And if you are ready for a longer walk, look for the Riverside Meadows Trail leading back down along the river to the new subdivision.

 


          
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