Access: Getting to Lynn Headwaters

Level: Moderate

Distance: 14 km r/t

Time: 6 h

Elevation Change: 230 m

Topographical Map: 92 G/6

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Season: April to Nov

From the information board take the left fork, following a wide, flat path paralleling the creek. On the left you'll soon notice a stack of old, creosote covered wooden pipes, vestiges of North Vancouver's water supply from the 1920s to 1983. After 1.7 km the trail forks. The easiest and most interesting route lies to the left on the Cedars Mill Trail. In the underbrush to the right of the trail you'll note a miscellany of rusted artifacts dating to the early days of B.C. logging. These scraps of history are protected so refrain from pocketing a souvenir of your visit.

A Far Sketchier Route: To reach the top of Coliseum Mountain continue climbing above Norvan Falls. The trail, an additional 6 km each way, is far steeper from this point forward. Pictured here, Coliseum Mountain from the backside as seen from the Seymour River Salmon Hatchery.     

Except during periods of high water it is possible to catch a glimpse of a giant western red cedar, nearby. A rough trail, adjacent to the old mill site but across Lynn Creek leads steeply up the bank to the foot of a 600 years old conifer measuring 50 metres tall and 4 metres around at the base. Be sure to exercise caution when rock hopping across the waterway. Follow the rough trail back downstream to see other cedar and Douglas fir giants that the loggers overlooked.

At the end of this 2.1 km section the trail opens up on a boulder field, evidence of periodic flooding. Enjoy the sunshine at creek side here as the trail next plunges into the forest darkness following a succession of old logging roads for 2.9 km to the bridge at Norvan Creek. On the way you'll pass by another heap of historic relics. Broken bits of porcelain, a dented tea kettle and old, broken handsaws attest to the forestry operations which began here in the mid-1880s. Check out the massive stumps hereabouts and imagine the backbreaking work that must have been required to saw through one of these giants balanced on a springboard two or more metres above the forest floor.

Picturesque Norvan Falls will be found 300 metres upstream from the Norvan Creek Bridge. Whether turning back or continuing on to Grouse Mountain plan to stop here for lunch.

The End


Fireweed

Fireweed

Gashes in the forest caused by fire, blowdown or human intrusion are quickly filled in by pioneer species such as fireweed or salal. Quick growing red alder and maple soon take over, being themselves supplanted in turn by Douglas fir once soil has stabilized. Eventually shade tolerant climax species such as western red cedar and western hemlock will come to dominate. The whole process can take centuries if not millennia. Immature fireweed plants can be cooked whole like broccoli while the young leaves can be used as salad greens. Fireweed is high in both beta-carotene and vitamin C. During pre-contact times fireweed seed fluffs found utility as pillow stuffing.

Illustration by Manami Kimura