Eleven Caldedonia Ramblers hiked the loop along Blackwater East on Saturday, December 30.
The walk generally drew good reviews particularly as we skirted alongside the Blackwater Canyon which, as usual, provided stunning views. Some of our more sharp-eyed participants saw a cow moose and calf on the far side of the pond along the trail's lower section. The weather was generally fine for such a walk - more springlike than winter - and there was very little snow although there was a fair amount of ice in some sections and most of us wore microspikes for the entire length.
There was some adversity as we missed the turnoff back down to the lower trail and instead popped out on the main road just across from the trailhead for Blackwater West. From there, we walked down to the parking lot for Blackwater East, which added about a kilometre or so to the hike. In all, we had walked about 15 kilometres. However we were back to the starting point by 3 p.m. (we had left the city at 8 a.m. for a roughly 90-minute drive) and we were back on the highway more or less as the sun had just set.
As had been expected, a trapline had been established along the trail. We came across two small traps but a sign has been posted about a kilometre into the trail advising people to keep their dogs on leashes.