Terrace - from the Nass to Kitimat

 

Being from Terrace, I have been looking forward to this portion of the Trekker program. I get to showcase my backyard — from the Nass Valley's lava beds and beautiful waterfalls, to the shores of rivers and lakes and old growth forest. 

All my treks around Terrace are well-known trails, popular with travellers as well as locals.  The best part though, they’re all very accessible, even with a car! Our Trekker program is also getting popular. People keep stopping me mid-trek with questions and comments: “Hey, I saw that on the news!”, “How much does it weigh?”, “What’s your favourite hike so far?”. Being close to home also gives me the opportunity to show my friends and family what I’ve been up to lately which is also pretty cool.

Here are a couple of my favourite trails from the past week: 

Howe Creek Trail in Terrace is great if you’re looking to get into the wilderness, but stay close to town.  This trail has multiple entry points and I started from Christy Park where I could leave my car in the parking lot.  The trail follows the natural bottom ridge of the benches of Terrace. You walk along a flowing creek in a thick forest, and you feel like you're deep in nature, but you’re still close to town.  The trail has a couple bridges, but other than one or two steps up, it is perfect if you have minor mobility issues. The trail ends at the bottom of Lanfear Hill, but opens up into Howe Creek Tree Park which is a nice addition to your walk.

Hirsch Creek Park is located on the outskirts of Kitimat and is again, popular with locals.  It's a looping trail that winds its way through old growth forest, then and runs along the Kitimat River.  During the time I was there (late June) the water had a special beautiful blue/green tone to it, adding to the pristine beauty of the area. 

If you’re looking to really get away from it all — no cell service, deep in nature, something new that you’ve never experienced before — the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park is it!  This park is home to Canada’s most recent volcanic eruption and the highway runs through the heart of the lava beds. 

To immerse yourself in the surroundings' history and culture, take the self-guided auto tour.  The tour features highlights of the park including Vetter Falls, picnic areas, pathways through the lava beds, special formations in the lava rock and the suspension bridge crossing the Nass River.  A special portion of the tour shows that where lava flowed and cooled, it created a natural dam changing the course of the Tseax River, and now the beautiful blue/green river (due to the minerals in the rock) flows through natural forest.  Two of my personal favorite spots to explore are the pathways through the lava beds, because you really get the impression that you’re alone and there’s nothing else like this, with the other highlight being the Nisga’a Museum which showcases the rich Nisga’a culture and heritage.  Being only an hour’s drive North of Terrace, this is the perfect day trip as well.