Sunday, 31 May 2015

Photographing wildflowers along the Paradise Meadows trail in Strathcona Provincial Park

by Keith and Heather Nicol  
 On Friday, May 29 we decided to check out Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park since
Western Bog Laurel
the last time we were there was in early April hiking in 20 cm of fresh snow. This area is just a 30 minute drive from Courtenay –Comox and is a quick way to get into the sub alpine. On this hike we decided to focus on some of the wild flowers which we were told we easy to see along the Paradise Meadows trail. This area is certainly popular and we were surprised to see the parking lot near the trailhead virtually full when we got there. Fortunately there is lots of overflow parking in the Nordic skiing lot nearby and we started out with a visit Strathcona Wilderness Information Centre which we suggest especially if you want to get hiking trail maps, brochures etc for the park. We were told that over 10,000 people come through the visitor centre each year and we thought the volunteers at the centre do a great job providing a much needed service.
The board walk trail is very popular and has numerous benches enroute
  The Paradise Meadows trail is about 4 km and you can do a shorter 2 km wheelchair accessible
Jeffrey's Shooting Star likes wet areas
boardwalk trail if you have people with mobility issues or small children in your group. There were about 17 species of wildflowers out when we did the hike and there are markers identifying many of them along the trail. The trail also gives views of Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort as well as several ponds. Also several other trails branch off from these trails providing access to the higher mountains nearby. Our goal is investigate some of those trails in the near future. For more information on the Strathcona Wilderness Institute which runs the information centre see:

You get good views of the runs of Mt Washington Ski Resort as well as small ponds

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