We both love ice cream, but it’s kind of a guilty pleasure! In the past, we have tried to make sure we do something active in order to earn the treat and it’s special day (read: usually pretty hot and always very sunny!) when we indulge in a cone. Turns out we might suffer from a bit of “treat guilt”!
We had a couple hours one day and at least one of us (it was Alina!) had a craving for ice cream and so naturally we thought of a trip to Whiskey Creek Store. This place is famous for its ice cream cones and it has over 30 flavours from Island Farms so you can be either be daring and try something new or else go for your favourite flavour each time. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy every bite! We decided to turn the trip into an adventure and get a few steps in first to at least earn the treat.
We headed out and went directly to Cathedral Grove, home of an ancient and an endangered giant Douglas Fir ecosystem. Many trees in the Grove are 500-800 years old and can sway about 250ft overhead. Seriously, they are just massive! Throughout the Grove, there are a lot more paths here now than either of us remember as kids so it’s a nice spot to explore and, since people come from near and far to walk amongst these giants, it’s a great spot to people-watch too. The paths meander through the forest and
along a creek bed. They also connect to the trail system that goes straight up Mt Arrowsmith if you just want a beautiful start to a crazy hike!
We were content to mosey along and take a few new turns to check out some corners of the Grove we hadn’t seen before. Beyond the Giant Douglas Firs, Cathedral Grove also contains many culturally modified trees. Many Red Cedars in the Grove have had their bark stripped– an ancient practice of First Nations people for cultural and ceremonial purposes.
Of course, no trip to Cathedral Grove is complete without a stop at The Big Tree. The Big Tree is thought to be over 800 years old, 76m tall, and 9m round. It’s called The Big Tree for good reason! The Grove will be changed every time you visit so that if you haven’t been here in a while, we highly recommend a trip back to check it out again!
After a jaunt around Cathedral Grove we headed back to the Whiskey Creek Store. Before we got ice cream though, we headed out back to the trail entrance to Malcolm Community Park and Steve’s Loop Trail. The trail starts right at the parking lot here and is just lovely. There are a few little hills and dips as you follow along, but the forest is full of new growth trees (read: all quite skinny and short when compared to Cathedral Grove) and the trail is probably somewhat underutilized as we didn’t pass another soul along the way. Whiskey Creek runs alongside but is almost silent itself so that you can bask in the sounds of the forest or chat it up and fill the void yourself if you’d like.
The loop from the parking lot is just about 2.5km and took us about half an hour at a very comfortable pace. The trail is a rough loop but easy to follow so there’s little chance you will get lost. Here, we had the motivation to get back to Whiskey Creek Store because we were finally going to get an ice cream!
We made it back without incident and found we both really liked this new trail discovery! We got our ice creams and headed home, happy with the day’s adventure that got us outside, moving, and involved a yummy treat!
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