Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Exploring Lazo Marsh and the Goose Spit "stairmaster" in Comox

by Keith and Heather Nicol
We saw lots of red winged blackbirds
      With great weather in the forecast we decided to check out some hiking trails in the Comox Valley area. First on our list was a trail along Lazo March which is easily accessed on Lazo Road in Comox. The parking lot is at coordinates 10 U0363587E and 55052298N and there is a large trail head sign titled Northeast Woods-Lazo Marsh Conservation Area which shows a map with numerous trails in the area. We opted for a 1 km loop that traversed through large second growth forest and led to a boardwalked lookout over the marsh. When we visited on Monday, February 23rd the place was full of a variety of birds from ducks to red winged blackbirds and many song birds.  We even saw a red headed wood pecker and a pileated wood pecker!  This trail is suited to a wide range of walkers and we saw many people on this trail enjoying the sun, warm temperatures and abundant bird life.
Heather looking over part of Lazo Marsh
 From there we backtracked to the Nob Hill Greenway trail which is located at the base of Goose Spit. Goose Spit is a popular place to walk, beach comb and sea kayak and we did numerous sea kayaking trips in this area last November. Our choice this time was to climb the Nob Hill Greenway trail which is very short but is full of stairs (coordinates: 10 U 0362916E and 5503358N). On this day we saw many people using it as an outdoor stairmaster since they would run up the stairs and then back down the stairs only to repeat the whole thing again and again. The first set of stairs is only about 150 meters long and has about 170 stairs in total.  This first section exits at Yates Road and some people walk or run back along it to the start of the trail. The second section continues on uphill to Moore/Butchers Road and it has fewer stairs and is about the same length. From there the route back to the start is much further and it seems that few people do this option. The views from the trail back over Goose Spit are superb so bring a camera on this trail.
The view of Goose Spit is impressive from the top of Nob Hill Greenway trail
We saw lots of people running up and down the Nob Hill Greenway trail

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