The leaning trees near the entrance of the trail leading to Margaret Falls have long been a temptation for people to climb. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

The leaning trees near the entrance of the trail leading to Margaret Falls have long been a temptation for people to climb. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Column: Still sights to discover in Shuswap, even in places you’ve been

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

After a brief hike along the well-beaten path up behind Margaret Falls, we took a small detour along a slightly less-beaten path to a little spot along Reinecker Creek.

There, my family paused to take in the view and use the cool creek water to soak our heads, warm from the late summer sun we enjoyed on the walk up.

It was a location I wanted to share with my family, one I’d only discovered this summer. It’s near the end of a trail I vaguely recall seeing for the first time about 30 years ago, after hiking up a steep, and long since decommissioned trail beside falls.

Back then, when people reached the falls, some would venture up what I guess was kind of a trail on right-hand side. I did it once. I think it was during a Kamloops-to-Revelstoke road-trip with a few friends from high school. Along the way we took a side-trip to the falls. It made a lasting impression: the three leaning trees near the start of the trail that people would climb on, the glacier-carved crevasse leading towards the falls, and the falls itself. I also remember, after hiking up the side of the falls, that somewhere near the top people were cooling off in the creek. (I’ve since seen the spot, I think. It’s beautiful but not part of the trail system and not for those like myself who aren’t crazy about heights.)

Read more: Shuswap mom helps others find their own outdoor adventures

Read more: Trail to Shuswap attraction Margaret Falls open once more

Our next stop was the Last Spike in Craigellachie (a name I wouldn’t learn how to properly pronounce for another 14 or so years). This visit was cut short by the clouds of mosquitoes that had us running back up the hill to the old parking lot for the car. Unfortunately, we didn’t cross the highway there to the beautiful Gorge Creek Trail, which was closed about 23 years later due to flood damage and safety concerns.

Weather damage also closed the Margaret Falls trail, twice. Thankfully, it was rebuilt and improved upon. Same with the historic flume trail in the North Shuswap. I took my family there before it’s temporary closure in 2014, when it still had the wooden bridges. There was a little clearing along Hiuihill Creek that used to be the trail’s end. Nearby, someone had constructed sandcastles. During a visit this summer I looked for remnants of the former trail, the stairs and wooden walkway, but all seemed to have grown over. The trail is still amazing though, the bridges far sturdier and the new parking is easier to access.

Something I realized on the recent Margaret Falls hike is that regardless of how long you’ve lived in the area and what you’ve seen, there are still things to discover. Even in places you’ve been.
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Shuswap Lake