Green Mountain Hike

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Hiking on Cortes Island – Green Mountain Hike

There are many wonderful hiking trails on Cortes Island, BC, but of the many easily accessible, the two with the best views are the Easter Bluff (190 m) hike and the Green Mountain (300 m) hike.  Recently (June 2019), I hiked the Green Mountain trail.

The Green Mountain trailhead is at Whaletown Road close to the y-intersection (when you are on Cortes Island, everybody knows the y-intersection; just ask around). A small parking lot at the very beginning can accommodate three to four cars. There we saw an interesting warning sign: “remove your dentures and fasten your bra straps,” but this is probably addressed to visitors driving their cars on this rugged road to visit with friends who live in the Green Mountain forest.

Extremely hot day

It was only June, but the forest was extremely dry. So, stay on the trail to minimize disturbing the environment. Most of the trail follows a dry winter stream of uneven path, with rocks and holes. Good hiking boots are a must. Start your hike early enough to come back during daylight as parts of the trail are next to steep and dangerous cliffs. Do not look down, if you are sensitive. A pair of walking sticks could be helpful. And do not go walking alone.

At the top

Close to the top of the mountain, the trail goes through rocky terrain, some of which is covered with mosses. In this dry weather, the rocks had good grip, but the mosses caused me a lot of troubles. Well, I had old sandals and had to crawl on all fours a few times. Hmmm…, I have to admit, I am not 20-something anymore, so I had to proceed with care. There are not too many trees and shrubs to hold on to and many are so dry, it would be dangerous to use them as support. In wet weather, the mosses would be ok to walk on, but the rocks could be slippery.

Once on top, we enjoyed magnificent views, almost 360 degrees around; I placed my butt on a big rock and looked around as I tried to catch my breath. It took us 40 minutes from the trailhead to the top. At the top, you can go back or proceed on a loop. The loop is marked with a sign. Of course, we decided to do the loop, and we went to the right.

Hiking the loop

The first part of the loop (to the right from the main path) was clear and easy to follow. We enjoyed more beautiful views and admired the trees and shrubs, stunted by severe conditions and looking almost like bonsai creations. The trail then comes to an almost-vertical 3-metre drop, but a rope was attached to a tree to help you get through. I was already a bit tired. Luckily, the day, although sunny, was not hot.

We hiked down quite a bit more and then… the trail started fading. Soon we did not know where the trail was. We tried a few possible directions but found ourselves lost in the bushes. This is when we decided to go back the way we came. We turned back and walked with care, looking right and left, up and down, watching for signs of our lost path. When we were on a strong, visible path again, we followed back to the start of the loop, the point from which we have begun. Our stronger hiker then went the other way (to the left) and soon figured out that we were almost there the previous time. Oh well…

Going down

We continued down and finished our adventure in 3 hours total. When home, we jumped in the lake, had supper, and slept like babies the whole night, ready for another hiking adventure the next morning.

Are you in good shape?

A beautiful hiking trail; I would recommend it, of course, but you need to be young or at least in good shape for outdoor activities. You can try this trail on a mountain bike, but only the lower part, as the upper part is very fragile.

Green Mountain – view from the top.