We hike the Grasslands community Trail every year, but we vary the route each time. The upper end of the trail starts by going along the south edge of the McQueen Lake property. While students are on the property, we go around the fenceline past Clay Lake and then we meet up on the east side of the Environmental Center property on our way along the 14km trail to Ida Lane.
We were pleased to see that the trail is better signed and marked, thanks to the good work of the Kamloops -Thompson Trails Alliance. The second section of the trail enters the douglas fir forest at 972m (3180 feet), following a ridgeline parallel to McQueen Creek, then down to the creek, which is crossed 3 times on footbridges. After 3km in the forest, the trail emerges into the grasslands following the drainage down to the McQueen Creek Road, a rougher backroad that comes up from Westsyde toward the Long Lake Valley.
The last kilometer goes down to Ida Lane. For many years we have parked at the top of Ida Lane, but the strata development has shut out parking on the upper part of the road so now we have to park quite a bit lower. There is only room for about 4 vehicles there on this narrow road, so we parked over at Westsyde Mall, adding an extra kilometer to our hike for the day. Something needs to be done to fix this parking problem (a new parking area would be best) and it will take some coordinated effort from BC Parks and the City of Kamloops to resolve this issue.
The Grasslands Community Trail is one of the best trails in our region in spite of the Ida Lane problem.
- Lac du Bois brochure
- Grasslands Community Trail (2010)
- Community Grasslands Trail (2010)
- There are 3 potential upper trailheads:
- N50 49.297 W120 26.700 (not to be used when school groups are on the propery)
- N50 49.120 W120 26.765 (alternate route around Clay Lake, but it takes some route-finding)
- N50 49.877 W120 25.326 (approximate – look for the sign)