May 9, 2017

Riding Pickles on Powell Lake


Approaching the Pickles barge ramp on Powell Lake.
Sounds funny, but that’s the name of a Western Forest Product’s logging site on Powell Lake. I don’t know the name's origin. Maybe it was the nickname of an old timer in nearby Henderson Bay, or some obscure gastronomic event.

We took advantage of a sunny spring day to head out with our barge and quads. Pickles is about twenty minutes from our cabin and we’ve watched with interest as road builders reopened the barge ramp and blasted their way through granite cliffs.


Burning the slash in 2008 after the first logging at Pickles.
Pickles is an isolated block. Roads offer limited riding, but there was a unique draw. After building ends, roads are left to settle for several months, letting you ride through mature forests with their robust understory before logging begins.

We didn’t have our barge when Pickles was first logged. Because quick growing alders blocked the roads, this was the first time we could ride both old and new sections.


Our barge at the Pickles dock looking up the east arm of Powell Lake.


Wayne on one of the old cleared logging roads.
On the north-south road there were views of Goat Island, First Narrows and Chippewa Bay. Loggers even had a roadside bench at the most spectacular spot. The most extensive road building was at the end of the east-west section. Here road crews had to blast their way along granite slopes (easily heard from our cabin deck). Trees logged during the road building process won’t go to waste. They are stacked and ready for removal when logging begins.


Looking north with First Narrows in the middle and Goat Island on the right.

This is the second time we’ve been able to ride new roads to experience mature forests up close. The first was at nearby Chip South. As a part of the reforestation process, new harvests in previously logged areas occur after about ten years. This allows new trees to grow and “green up” in the open areas. Western Forest Products is a responsible company that carefully manages our forests on Crown land.

A new section of road with logs waiting ready for removal.

If you want to ride in the Powell Lake region, you can contact Western Forest Products to get current information about logging activities.  In addition to the hotline listed below, there is a @WFPRoadInfo Twitter account, a Stillwater Operational Information Map (pdf updated monthly), and online information page.

Stillwater Forest Operations
201-7373 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC V8A 1W6
Office: (604) 485-3100
Road Hotline: (604) 485-3132

I invite you to come visit Powell River and enjoy quad riding in our glorious backcountry. -- Margy

March 21, 2017

Powell Lake by Barge and Quad


Newest Release
from PowellRiverBooks.com


Coastal BC Stories

And other Online Booksellers

Wayne and I have lived in our float cabin on Powell Lake since 2001. In 2003, our good friend John introduced us to quad riding.

In the beginning, we followed John around as he introduced us to the many logging roads and trails in the Powell River region. At that time, we kept our quads on a trailer in a hangar at the airport, and drove to off-load locations.

In 2012, we tried keeping our quads a short boat ride away from our float cabin.

It made it easier to go riding, but we were limited in the roads and trails we could explore. Plus, they were exposed to the elements.

Thus began our quest for a landing craft to house and transport our quads to all of the roads and trails around Powell and Goat Lakes.


In 2014, we found a perfect 22' barge on Craigslist and quickly bought it sight unseen.

Now our quads can remain at our float cabin, ready in an instant for day trips and camping adventures.

Also, we can also maintain them better and protect them from the weather.



In Powell Lake by Barge and Quad, you can join us for quad adventures to destinations on Powell and Goat Lakes accessible only by boat. You will visit unique places where all-terrain vehicles can explore logging roads and trails in one of British Columbia’s most picturesque regions. 

Check with your favourite online bookseller or go to www.PowellRiverBooks.com for more ordering information.

February 3, 2017

Winter Quad Ride on Chippewa Main


Map of our Chippewa Bay quad ride.
When you get a sunny day in winter, the outdoors calls, real loud.  Wayne went out to the barge where we keep our quads up at the float cabin in Hole in the Wall and got our bikes ready for a ride.

Chippewa Bay is good winter destination because it gets direct rays until the sun sets behind the Bunster Range at about 4:00.

Back home at Hole in the Wall direct sun ends at 12:30 this time of year. Winter sun and exercise are a welcome combination.



Offloading at the Chippewa Bay barge ramp.
Since it was a week day, we called Western Forest Products to make sure we wouldn't interfere with any logging activities. We've seen a boat at the dock lately, so we knew something might be in progress.

Western Forest Products can be reached at (604) 485-3100. If there isn't an answer, you can leave a message for a callback.

It takes about half an hour to get from the cabin to Chippewa Bay. 

The low lake level and calm day made for an easy barge ramp offload.

Rest break in the turnout next to a slash pile.

We started up Chippewa Main heading for the snow. The lower road was in good condition. Logging has been quiet here for several years, but that's about to change.

Powell Lake and the high country in the backgrount.

After following along Powell Lake for some distance, we turned uphill towards Heather Main. It didn't take long for us to see patches of snow, and suddenly the road was covered in a thick coat of the white stuff. Unlike some riders here in Powell River, we don't have tracks to turn our quads into snowmobiles.

We make it to the snow level.

After a break to enjoy sunshine and a winter wonderland, we headed back down to Chippewa Main. We turned northward and passed the brushing machine where it had to stop the job of clearing alders from the roadbed.

Ready to start back down after a fun day up in the snow.

We bumped into a Western Forest Products crew surveying for culverts that needed replacement. Some needed replacing so the brusher could finishing removing the alders, and the road would be ready for logging trucks in the near future. It's amazing how fast those prolific trees can take over a road in the bush.

We made it back to the barge ramp with enough sunlight left for our ride home, the end to a great day in the backcountry.

Once the snow recedes, you can reach Chippewa Main and Powell Lake via Southview Road north of Powell River. It takes two or more hours one way. -- Margy

http://www.atvbc.ca/clubs/powell-river-atv-clubIf you are new to the area, you can connect with the Powell River ATV Club for further assistance.  Mario Gusola, President  (604) 485-2275.

November 13, 2016

Fall and Winter Rides to Khartoum Lake


Viewpoint looking over Lois Lake towards the high country.
Quad riding in the Powell River area isn't limited to summer. Every season has it's own pleasures.

Fall and winter bring storms, but in between you can find some glorious days for riding. Most of the roads at lower elevations remain open and easy to ride since they are used by the logging companies.

Check on Western Forest Products' hotline at (604) 485-3100 or online to see if there are any closures or hauling activity scheduled. Or, you can check their most recent Operational Map pdf.


The bridge before you reach the Khartoum Forest Campground.
If you drive south of Powell River to Dixon Road, you enter a world of lakes and forests. Here's a link to the Recreation Sites and Trails map from the BC Ministry of Forestry. But be careful, they show you going the wrong way at the one-way slit at the south end of Lois Lake.

During the week, this area is used by loggers. But after hours and on weekends, their extensive road system is available for use by the public with care.


Roadside parking.
On one winter trip, we saw a few trucks, jeeps, and handful of other quads, but most of the time we had the roads and trails all to ourselves.

Dixon Road quickly turns into a well used and often potholed dirt road. So, we quickly selected a turnout large enough for our truck and trailer.

Don't select one at a bend in the road. Logging trucks carry long loads that can swing really wide.


Good signage along the way.
We headed up Goat Lake Main and transitioned to the Stillwater Main heading towards Khartoum Lake.

The view up Lois Lake to the snowy peaks was unbelievable. We hadn't been this way in almost a year. At that time, the devastating winter storms had washed the bridge away.

It was thankfully been replaced and so we can return to this unique spot.



The calm waters of Khartoum Lake.
Khartoum Lake has a Forest Recreation Site with a primitive campground right on the lake's shore. We first came here by kayak via Lois Lake. We returned in 2006 to host a unique book launch party for Wayne's book Up the Main.

It is one of my favorite back country campgrounds in the Powell River area. The road can be tricky for a passenger car, but for a truck it is a fairly easy drive (except for maybe the steep entrance road in snowy or muddy conditions).

We feasted on sandwiches and pop while sitting on warm, sun-baked logs along the beach. A fellow adventurer brought an inflatable boat in his jeep for a quiet row on the lake.

View from a lakeside campsite.

Do you like history? Here's a post from www.vanishinghistory.ca called Khartoum Lake - Abandon Camp. It's a great site with stories and pictures about the history and historical artifacts of the Powell River region.

Want to read more about quad riding in the Powell River region? Try Wayne's Coastal BC Stories that focus ATV adventures:


All books are available in e-book and print formats at most online book sellers. Books are also available in Powell River at Coles Bookstore in the Towne Centre Mall.

If you ever have a question, don't hesitate to leave a comment or use the email link in our profile. -- Margy