Back to the Jumpingpound for an afternoon of snowshoeing! For the first time, the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest Road was open in winter, so we scooted down there to Spruce Woods day-use area with its new picnic tables and a biffy that was actually open (useable once the ice was scraped off the seat!). We were interested to see how the two interpretive trails of Moose Creek Loop and Pine Woods Loop worked out on snowshoes. Very well as it turned out. The snow was good and not too deep, and someone had been there before us on skis.
Getting down the steps to Jumpingpound Creek was interesting. After crossing the bridge, we went clockwise around Moose Creek Loop. The forest, draped with old Man’s Beard, was very beautiful, and we only had one fallen tree to climb over. At the far end, up on a low ridge between Moose Creek and the Husky well road we took a detour on the Tom Snow trail up Moose Creek. We would have liked to have gone further, but feeling we had to keep to the matter in hand, we returned to the interpretive trail and dropped down to the 4-way junction with map at 537553. Going straight here returns you to the bridge. We went left into the big flat meadow alongside the Husky well road. On the way down to the 4-way we had noticed that the hillside to the west was logged, and sure enough, in the meadow, trees stripped of branches were piled up by the side of the road waiting for transport to SLS in Cochrane. You could smell them a half-kilometre away. Also new was a trapper’s cabin with solar panel built this year.
So next we followed a snowmobile track up Tom Snow Trail headed west, into the warmer air of a sunny ridge, and looped around Pine Woods. Here, we had to break trail and were very glad of the blue flagging that kept us on the trail as it weaved through straight rows of pines planted in 1974. Back on the Tom Snow, we retraced our steps to the 4-way junction at 537553.
FACTS: Start: Hwy. 68, then the west leg of Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest Road to Spruce Woods day-use area. Moose Creek Loop is 2. 6 km, Pine Woods Loop is 4.8km, combining both is 6 km. Know the whole area is zoned for snowmobiling on designated trails only. Some of you might like snowshoeing on groomed trails? Moose Creek Loop is exempt. On the map showing forest land use zones in Kananaskis Country, “Red” snowmobile trail is shown following Moose Creek all the way into the upper cutblock. It appears to follow the old logging road throughout, so people snowshoeing/skiing up Moose will not run into it until they descend into the valley bottom at 539540.