Distance: 5 KM
Elevation Gain: 260 Metres
Terrain: Mostly even and nicely maintained trail. 20% technical with roots and rocks. Some parts require a short scramble.
I am lucky enough to live just 10 minutes away from Minnekhada Park. Whereas a lot of people in our area go to Buntzen Lake, Rocky Point or White Pines, very few people go to Minnekhada Park. As a result I am often on the trails in the park by myself and see all sorts of wildlife. I have seen literally millions of baby frogs after they hatch, large grey owls, beautifully crowned woodpeckers, ducks, beavers and of course bears. I often take people to the park and make my claim that I see some amazing bit of nature every time. It never disappoints.
As a trail runner in training, the park offers an excellent assortment of terrain for training. Runs can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as an hour if you do the full perimeter and the high knoll.
Today I did the Upper Marsh Trail which starts off on the Quarry Trail heading north east, then up to the High Knoll to see the view and finally back on the Mid Marsh Trail which goes straight through the marsh after descending down the rock bluff. The last final leg is the Lodge Trail. If you are running it can be done in 30 minutes. If you are walking and want to stop for the view, save a couple hours for it. The total length of this hike is just over 5 KM with an elevation gain of about 260 meters.
For those not familiar with the park here are some excellent references:
Here is a video of my running the Upper Marsh Trail so you can see the terrain (street view for trails). I don’t expect anyone to watch it in real time so I increased the play speed by 4x. I dubbed it with music so you can’t hear me panting for air. If you don’t care for the soundtrack just turn it down. Make sure you change the quality to 720 (under the Settings icon looks like a cog) as otherwise it is a bit of a blur.
For those who have a GPS and want to load the route, the following zip file can be downloaded, uncompressed and then use either the included kmz or kml files.
Below is my kml files taken from the GPS I was carrying and then plotted on Google Earth. Click on the picture for a full screen view.