Big Cedar Trail came under my radar after last year TR by guntis
. Further bit of research (TRs by Ryan
) revealed possible extension to Kennedy Falls , with added bonus of optional ford of Lynn Creek with loop return. Two scenic highlights:
This is North Shore 'connoisseur' territory. Not advertised on trailheads or in hiking guidebooks -- you need to know where to go. Even finding start of Cedar Trail can be challenge in a maze of biking trails east of Lynn River. I took notes from guntis report and it worked like a charm (thanks very much!) -- Baden Powell to Lower Griffin/Upper Griffin, then exit on Mt. Highway near 1km mark just before first big switchback.
1-Griffin sign 2-Start of Cedar Trail
Soon comes the last initial junction I recognized from guntis report: Crinkum-Crankum goes left, while lower path is Big Cedar Trail proper:
From now on trail is flagged with yellow squares and fairly frequent red tapes. Couple of potentially confusing junctions (left or right??), but you can go either way -- both branches join further up. It is about 3 km on slowly deteriorating terrain to Big Cedar -- couple of gully crossings with running water, some blowdown (biggest one just before the end) but generally level with not much elevation gain and some impressive stumps along the way. Some photos from this section:
Reaching Big Cedar in about 1hr from Mtn. Highway I took a break and admired sights of this huge beast:
Sign on tree informs you "Rough Trail to Kennedy Falls". Heading up initially, it soon levels and keeps going north. Despite some deadfall (under, over or around) it actually felt easier than last section before Big Cedar. Thin film of snow started and made things slippery. Takes about 45 minutes to an hour before you reach large gully draining Kennedy Lake high above. Trail turns corner and descends to the falls. This section was brutal -- it took me 30 minutes for 100-150 m -- horrendous deadfall, slippery snow and very unsure footing. Nobody passed here in a while so I had to be extra careful. Finally few flags lead to down to creek and just bellow very impressive falls. If you are photographer, take a tripod -- light here is simply not enough for hand-held shots. Quite a bit of water too -- snows must be melting high up on Fromme:
Coming back to Big Cedar I thought I'd check out feasibility of crossing Lynn Creek -- I knew this was not best time of year, but creek was close and I still had time to go back if water was too deep. Steep, but flagged drop from Big Cedar in about 10 minutes brings you to water level. It looked doable so I gave it a shot. Knee deep at highest point, but I possibly didn't choose the easiest path. In preparation for the trip I also watched Ryan.in.realworld video of Mick Range barefoot crossing of Lynn Creek -- not keen to repeat such experience I brought sandals and they were essential. Drying off I took couple of shots:
Both sides of crossing are flagged, but if you are coming from Headwaters side it will be easy to miss. It will be couple of minutes north of Cedar Mills site; unmarked side trail branching left, soon becoming better defined and flagged, exits to river bank on photo above in minute or two.
Return down on east side was quick. Map and stats:
5 hrs, 14km and about 500 vertical.
This is nice exploratory hike in Lynn Headwaters where solitude is guaranteed. Should not be done after rain, as there is plenty of riding on fallen trees and shrubs that will be wet. Lynn Creek is not overly challenging ford, but bit of experience as well as old sandals/hiking poles are very helpful.