This area is the domain of motorcycles and ATVs. Even though it is now in the provincial park, the hills were heavily used for motorized recreational purposes so that right has been grandfathered forward. The whole motorized area has been reduced to the southeast section which is rugged and steep. Normally non-motorized hiking or biking in this area would not be very nice amidst all the noise and activity, but we can venture onto the trails early in the season on a weekday before much activity starts. We started from the parking area just past the cattleguard and did a counter-clockwise loop through the hills.
For this hike, we followed the powerline over the hill, then past the edge of the newly developed area of Batchelor Hills onto the pipeline cut (Kinder Morgan plus fibre optic) which is a double track on a bench heading out to the hills above Westsyde. The bench is a long ways below the top of Batchelor Ridge and we turned uphill 4 km along the route to start our climb (at N50 45.182 W120 21.876). The hill is about 2km long and gains about 760 feet of elevation. From there we followed a path south over the hills gaining another 200 feet, but with much up and down, some of it steep. At the last hill, we saw some ATVs, but we managed to hike for 11km without running into any motorized traffic.
The hike is very hilly and takes over 3 hours. Much of it was dry, but there was some mud on the northern sides of the upper hills. There are fine views from the top of the Batchelor Range. Strawberry Hill-Dome Hills lie to the east; Mt. Paul-Peter southeast; Lac du Bois Grasslands to the northwest; the Batchelor Range to the north; Mt. Mara and Mt. Wheeler to the west; Greenstone Mountain and Chuwhels Mountain to the southwest.
Any hiking or biking to the top of the hills will challenge your legs and lungs, but it is a good early-season fitness route. There are many trails and tracks in the area so you probably will be exploring each time. Early season is best before the “invasion” starts.