A DAY TRIP TO MONKMAN PARK – NO LONGER JUST KINUSEO FALLS

Years ago some visitors would complain that it was a long drive to Monkman Park and back for the pleasure of gazing at Kinuseo Falls for a few minutes. Mindful of this concern, Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society used their knowledge of the area, in co-operation with BC Parks, to develop multiple other attractions en route. A day trip to the Falls nowadays offers numerous exciting options. Here follows one suggested itinerary.

Access to Kinuseo Falls and Monkman Provincial Park is via the Murray Forest Service Road. Just past the km 12 marker on this road, look for the signs for the turnoff to Barbour Falls and Nesbitt?s Knee Falls. After consultation with WNMS, West Fraser Mills recently changed its logging plans for this area so as to preserve the trail to Barbour Falls, a much appreciated action. Access trails to these attractive destinations are each just about a kilometre long, through pleasant forest. They form worthwhile short outings that break the journey to the Park. Further on, one can hike the short Greg Duke Memorial Trail to the first lake, Irene Lake, where there is a picnic table.

Once in Monkman Park, a few kilometres before the Kinuseo Falls turnoff stop at the pullout on the left. This is the trailhead for the Stone Corral and Lake Joan (Jade Lake) trails. Each of these trails is a must-do for those who can mange moderately strenuous trails with elevation change and some steep sections. The Stone Corral was discovered by WNMS members in 1999 and its amazing beauty led to the boundary of Monkman Provincial Park being enlarged to include it. The trail (4 kms long) leads through a fascinating karst limestone landscape of cliffs, springs, ponds and caves and mountain views. Be sure to take a flashlight to explore Corral Cave and Porcupine Cave, and see if you are skinny enough to squeeze through the latter.

The trail to Lake Joan starts across the road from the parking lot. It is now circular, and is best done in a counter-clockwise direction. It leads past this picturesque lake which was named in the 1930s by the Monkman Pass pioneers, then up the creek to what the pioneers called Canary Falls (now Jade Falls) where it climbs steeply before looping back to the trailhead. Trail distance is under 2 kms.

After all this activity you will have earned the view of one of Canada?s great waterfalls, Kinuseo Falls, from the visitor platform, and if you still have remaining energy you can enjoy the other viewpoints and even descend to the base of the falls.

The trails to Barbour Falls, Nesbitt?s Knee Falls, Stone Corral and Lake Joan have recently been re-cleared by WNMS volunteer work parties. A day trip to Monkman Provincial Park has now truly become an action packed adventure!