Good thing I’d planned on a quick trip anyway, just a burn down the trail to the lake and back. Five minutes in, I came across a logger, who said there would be some blasting right beside the park, and I couldn’t go down. But I talked him into letting me go, promising not to be anywhere near the suspension bridge at 3 o’clock. He must have wondered what I was doing with my big pack on; I just wanted to hike with some extra weight.
Fossli Park is a very small and beautiful provincial park, on Sproat Lake in the Alberni Valley. Referring to guidebooks, it’s notoriously hard to find, but I found a great regional link with perfect directions. Access is on a logging road, but the potholes aren’t too bad, and even a car with no 4WD could make it.
The trail starts out on an old logging road, and then narrows into a real hiking trail and goes through the woods. Quiet and green, the well-used path leads to a suspension bridge over a river. I stopped there for a while and watched a merganser duck make its way upriver, until it stopped and rested in an eddy at the foot of a small waterfall. I waited to see if it would duck under and swim, or fly over, but it stayed in the eddy, so I moved on.
In about 20 minutes, I reached the lake. The whole Valley’s been fogged in lately, so I couldn’t see across. Everything was still and peaceful, and overhanging trees cast reflections on the calm water. There’s a small beach, and this would be a great summer spot for a day at Sprout Lake.
On the way back, I came across the logger again. He was checking the trail to make sure everyone was gone before the blast. We chatted for a bit, and he gave me a good piece of locals’ info. If you want to know of a great swimming spot nearby, and how to get to it, let me know!