A project initiated by the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail was constructed in 1971 to commemorate British Columbia's first 100 years as a province. This 41.7-km trail stretches from Horseshoe Bay in the west, across the south-facing slopes of the North Shore Mountains to Deep Cove in the east.

Most of the trails on Canada's rugged west coast have a lot of vertical mixed in with their horizontal. This trail is no exception. Over the course of the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail you can expect to encounter nearly 5 km of elevation change. You'll climb 2438 metres and lose slightly more, 2530 metres, on the downside. Nearly half of your elevation gain will be in the first section alone.

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The trail is readily accessible at many points along its length using public transportation and is best undertaken over a number of days. The Baden-Powell Trail is especially popular in the springtime for pre-season conditioning while most hiking routes in the province of are still under snow. The route cuts across a large number of administrative areas. For that reason you will find great variety in the quality of maintenance and signage along the way. Though closed to mountain bikes expect to encounter cyclists at any point on the trail. Keep in mind that if you choose to complete any sections of the trail in the opposite direction from those described below your time could vary considerably depending on the slope.

The End


Cattails

Cattails

A veritable supermarket on a stick, cattails were once a source of sustenance as well as comfort to Pacific Northwest natives. Young shoots can be eaten as greens in the spring while young flower spikes can be roasted and eaten like cobs of corn. Young roots or rhizomes (underground stems) can be peeled and eaten as is—sashimi-style, hold the wasabi—or dried and pulverized into flour. Early settlers too discovered that cattail pollen could be harvested and added to bread or pancakes. Cattail down or fluff was collected in autumn for use as a wound dressing or for stuffing pillows and bedding. Cattail leaves found use in native basketry.

Illustration by Manami Kimura