Sunday, September 2, 2012

Carpenter Creekside Loop

Carpenter Creekside Loop
Distance: 5.69 km (3.54 mi).
Route type: Loop
Suitable for: Walking, running, biking
Elevation change: 123 metres up, 123 metres down
Technical difficulty rating:  
Navigational difficulty rating:  

This is a fabulous little loop that is mostly shaded and takes in some lovely views of Carpenter Creek. It is a combination of the old powerstation supply trail and a portion of the Galena Trail, with fun but steep connector that joins the two trails. At its furthest extent the loop brings you to the location of the old power station and the amazing narrow chute the creek runs through at that point. When running or walking, it's nice to do the loop counterclockwise starting in town at the corner of Columbia St. and Slocan Ave.. Take the first right north of the Carpenter Creek bridge and follow this little street straight to the end, pulling over to park. The trail begins following the creek just to the right through some grasses.

Initially the creekside trail meanders amongst small trees and worn stones on the floodplain of Carpenter Creek. The creek hasn't flooded here in decades, as indicated by the size of the trees. Cyclists will be happy for any suspension their bikes are equipped with, as the trail bumps along over a lot of river rocks. After about 0.75 km, the trail moves up a bit onto the bed of what was the supply trail for the old power station, but still stays near the creek. The going gets easier as a result. It's a gradual uphill.

About 50 metres after the first steeper up-hill section begins, there's a switchback on the left. This connects the Creekside Trail to the Galena Trail along the railgrade above. Before heading up and back, though, I took a detour to the chute. A small mossy trail continues along beside the creek. There's some scrambling involved, and it's important to stay alert doing so: pretty soon there is some steep exposure above the creek.

This is the view directly down. The creek has been funnelled into an incredibly narrow space. The boulder wedged between the walls of the canyon is probably two metres across at its maximum width. I can't imagine how it got stuck there!

For comparison, here's what the creek spreads out into just a couple of kilometres further downstream. It's a lot of water that travels through here.

Heading back to the switchback, I usually walk the connector up to the Galena Trail. It's quite steep. I have managed to bike it downhill, though it has involved a lot of adrenaline -- a lot!

The connector meets the Galena Trail near the little bridge over Turris Creek. Turn left to head back towards town. The Galena is a smooth gradual slope back to the highway maintenance yard. At that point there's a little bit of asphalt to get back to the start-point. Head straight along the road until it ends, and carry on straight across it to find the abandoned street that goes straight down the hill. About halfway down the broken asphalt hill of what used to be an extension of 10th Ave., a little trail heads off the the left through the trees for a couple of hundred metres. It spits you out on the main road, Highway 31A. After half a kilometre or so, Columbia St. is on the left, and taking that for a block will lead you back to your start-point.

When biking the loop I go in the opposite direction so that the steepest sections are downhill. If riding up the highway, I usually stay on the road until Denver Siding Road to keep the grade more manageable.

Find more Run in New Denver, Canada

No comments: