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Nanaimo Lakes Road to Whisky Lake

Being part of hiking groups online is a mixed blessing. On the one hand there’s a constant supply of assistance, inspiration and motivation to get outside. On the the other hand, there’s a steady stream of beautiful trail pictures streaming by making it difficult to focus on anything other than… going outside.

A last minute change to plans this past weekend meant I had some time to hike but not as much as I originally though. Driving a couple hours to hike was out of the question so I quickly searched for some trails closer to home to try. The benefit to having that constant stream of trail information means I’m never without a long list of places near home to see.

Whisky Lake near Nanaimo River Road had come up a few times in my feed and new trails around there. I had never seen the lake and liked it’s likely 5km route out and back from the power lines on Nanaimo Lakes Road.

Off we go.

I parked on Nanaimo Lakes Road just before it forks into a dirt road and start hiking along the power lines. I was using one of Phil’s Maps of Nanaimo mountain biking trails to find the ones I was looking for and see what’s there. (Phil’s maps is now gone. Trailforks is a great place to look for mountain biking trails). I knew there might be some new ones around Whisky Lake and possibly some on the way that weren’t mapped yet. Follow along with the map of Nanaimo and you’ll see the route I used.

Tangerine A short connector trail from road to road, Tangerine was a better route than rocky logging road.

Unnamed trail? to FNG I’m sure this trail has a name somewhere but it starts just up the road from Tangerine. It’s mostly through reforested clearcut but would be a nice ride or run.It crosses a logging road, goes through some recent slash and into the woods to start what I think is FNG, or so the sign said.FNG pops out near the logging roads near Whiskey Lake. This just drops down right beside the lake.

Schadenfreude Walking around the lake to the west, I bumped into the the end of Riparian and Schadenfreude. I took Schadenfreude until I had to turn around near the south end and then came back up and started Riparian back towards the lake. Turning around before Wonderwall starts. The trail continues down to the right of the photo below. Another day.

Riparian and Whisky Lake Compared to all the other trails in the area Riparian is right around the lake and is thick and green. Some of the trail runs the cliffs along the lake. Great views through the trees from the mossy ledges. 

Logging road, and garbage Riparian spit me out on the logging roads near where FNG ended and I walked down towards the Magic Carpet start and looked for a better view of the lake.Of course, you give access to a beautiful place by 4×4 and ATV and they leave their garbage everywhere. Clean up your garbage when you go.

Magic Carpet to Hot Tamale to Samba to Black Jade Next to the lake Magic Carpet leaves the logging road and heads up the ridge back toward the powerless. The trails all blended together and finally spit me out on the logging road near where I started.Sad to see the trees left on the boundary of a clear cut all being pushed over by the wind and rain with no protection left. A few arbutus knocked down just the same as the others.

Coal Pile A bit of time to kill before I had to be home, sent me looking for one last short trail near the care. Coal Pile is short but green trail through the woods near the powerlines. It runs over a pile of coal along the way. Della waiting patiently.

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