Sitka Trails

January 11, 2014

Snowy day on Thimbleberry Lake-Heart Lake Trail

Filed under: Green Lake Road,Heart Lake,Thimbleberry Lake — Matt Goff @ 7:44 pm

I told Connor and Rowan about my plans to visit all the trails, get tracks and refresh (or in some cases, make) my acquaintance with them in order to update the trails site. They seemed to have mixed feelings about helping me with this project. But only in the sense that Connor was unhesitating in his approval of the idea, and Rowan was decidedly unenthusiastic about the prospect.

For our first trip as part of this project, we decided to start relatively easy, with Thimbleberry Lake-Heart Lake trail. A fair amount of snow had fallen, and was continuing to fall as we made our way up from the Thimbleberry Lake Trailhead. We passed a family with a couple of young boys carrying small snow shovels who seemed determined to shovel at least part of the trail. We also saw other folks coming and going as we made our way along.

It took us a bit less than an hour to make it over to the Heart Lake Trailhead. Blue Lake Road is still closed to all non-dam project traffic above the trailhead, but it looked like it might be okay to at least walk the lower section of road between Sawmill Creek Road and the Heart Lake Trailhead. Instead of making a loop of it, we just opted to turn back around and return the way we had come. It took us a little less than an hour each way.

As we had a fair amount of time left in the day, we decided to go ahead and see if road conditions were reasonable enough to get out to Herring Cove. One of the things that inspired me to get back to work on this site was a question/comment left for me about the “Bear Mountain Trail” shown on the sign at Green Lake Road. I didn’t remember seeing such a sign (or at least noticing a Bear Mountain Trail), and was curious about it.

I was watching for a sign as we walked up Green Lake Road after parking at the Herring Cove Trail lot. Sure enough, when we reached the gate, there was a nice green sign with a rudimentary map that included an indication of “Bear Mountain Trail”. That seemed sort of funny, since as far as I know, there has never been an official trail up the mountain. There are at least a couple of different well used routes up the mountain off of Green Lake road, however. The one I am most familiar with starts at Pole 41 and, given the scale of the map, appeared to be the one shown. (The other is much closer to Bear Cove and provides access to Bear Lake – I’ve not made it up that one yet.) We ended up walking out as Pole 41 before turning around.

3.4 miles (Thimbleberry Lake – Heart Lake Trail, round trip)
1.8 miles (Green Lake Road to Pole 41, round trip)

July 15, 2007

Bike, Hike, and Paddle

Filed under: Green Lake Road,Medvejie Lake — Matt Goff @ 6:39 pm

Medvejie Lake

Connor and I got dropped off with my bike and the trail-a-bike at the Herring Cove gate. We rode out to Bear Cove, hiked to Medvejie Lake, paddled to the upper end of the lake, then did the same in reverse on the way back (with the addition of a ride into town from Herring Cove).

It’s a good time to be out on Green Lake Road. There are lots of flowers blooming and salmonberries are ripe. There were several piles of bear droppings, though we saw no bears.

The last time I was up Medvejie was November 2004. Later that year, there was a substantial wind storm that I had heard resulted in some issues for the trail up to Medvejie Lake. As far as I know, Medvejie Lake Trail is not officially maintained, though it’s clear that someone occasionally does some work on it, so I was curious to see what the trail was like.

The start of the trail was about the same as I remember. The water was up, so Connor made the log crossing a little down stream. The trail from the end of the log to the main part of the trail has seen enough traffic to muddy the ground, but the brush hangs over it. If the stream level is low enough, it’s definitely easier to just cross it and get right on the trail.

The middle section of the trail was more or less obliterated by a decent sized bit of wind throw (probably from the storm in December 2004). There were some logs to crawl under or over, and a couple of different options, but for the most part, there’s been enough work to make a reasonable trail through. Once past all the fallen trees, the trail was fine.

At the lake there were two canoes and a coleman skiff. The skiff was a little bit for me to manage by myself, so I left it in favor of a canoe. The aluminum canoe seemed to be leak free today (in the past, it’s had slow leaks). I guess the duct tape on the bottom of the boat did the trick.

There were several people we passed on the road, but did not see anyone on the trail.

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