By: Dylan Webb, Sports Editor
As social distancing and other pandemic-related compromises begin to take their toll on our social, emotional, and physical well-being, it’s important to take time to consider the things we can still do. Hiking, as far as I can tell, is definitely one of those things. What better way to clear your mind and get some fresh air, while continuing to adhere to pandemic minimizing guidelines, than to take a stroll in the woods? However, due to the strenuous nature of trekking through the wilderness, many hikes aren’t necessarily an activity accessible to all, or even most, people. For this reason, I thought it might be a good idea to review one of the more attainable hikes that I’m aware of: the Burke Mountain Powerline Ridge hike.
Beginning at the Harper Road gate, which is adjacent to the Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club, this hike is just a few kilometres long, can take just under one hour to complete (not accounting for time spent enjoying the view from the ridge), and, most importantly, can be done entirely on flat, gravel trailbed. While there are a handful of alternative routes that, by way of more difficult terrain and trails, also lead to the Burke Mountain Powerline Ridge, I wanted to focus on the least arduous path to maximize the amount of readers that could benefit from this review.
After walking past the yellow Harper Road gate, you’ll start your stroll with the most difficult part of the hike. Though the entire journey takes place on gravel trailbed, the incline for the first 500 metres of the hike is relatively steep. Depending on your hiking ability, you may want to take a couple breaks on this portion.
After ascending this steep, opening portion of the hike, you’ll see another yellow gate on your left, while the trail you are on continues straight ahead of you. Take a left turn and pass by the yellow gate to get to the main portion of your journey: a couple kilometres of relatively flat trekking through a thickly wooded portion of Burke Mountain. Enjoy this stroll through the woods until you reach a fork in the trail with a sign that indicates routes for the Woodland Walk and the Coquitlam Lake View Trail (CLVT). While the Woodland Walk is certainly another trek worth trying, this time you’ll want to take the high road and follow the signs for CLVT. Just a few hundred metres later, the forest thins out rapidly and the trail opens up into the Burke Mountain Powerline Ridge. You’ve arrived at your destination.
While the Burke Mountain Powerline Ridge is something of a grand central station for a variety of other, more arduous hikes in the region, it’s also an exciting destination itself. The ridge is quite expansive, and hikers can ascend a few hundred metres up the ridge to get a more panoramic view of the valley below. The quality of the view from the ridge relative to its accessibility is definitely the best part of this hike — even the most novice hikers can enjoy an amazing view just a few kilometres from their car.