There is an extensive network of backroads, double tracks, and single tracks just above the grasslands on the lower flanks of Greenstone Mountain and Chuwhels Mountain. In summer it has been well-used by motorcycles, with a few mountain bikers too, but in shoulder season, it would be rare to see anyone on these quiet routes. In late November, ice covered the puddles, but the tracks were dry for a 7.2 km loop.
The whole area is a maze of tracks so its not easy to navigate, but we have done all the tracks over the years so we recognize each turn along the way. A favorite route is the Dam Lake Loop.
The highlight of the loop is Dam Lake. It was down as low as we have ever seen it as the result of a dry summer and draw down for the pastures below. The lake was covered in ice and all was quiet in the area.
The lake/reservoir has been dammed so old stumps stand at the water’s edge, but most are submerged in spring. While walking along the shoreline we spotted a large number of fresh-water snails on the dried up bay shoreline.
We followed a different route back to the parking area for 2 hours of hiking on the Outer Inks Trails. We enjoy this area in November and December, but we have also snowshoed there in winter and mountain biked various routes in summer. Apart from some open areas and ponds, it is mostly a hike on forested tracks, but in the off-season, it is a quiet and pleasant outing in the woods.
verse by Harrison, NY, 2014
photos by D. Smith, 2017