Tom Snow in Moose Creek

Moose Creek

The trail disappears into the creek just after the second creek crossing.

We have seen no reports on the post flood state of the Tom Snow trail north of Bragg Creek, so decided to go take a look.

We had hiked the section between Dawson and the Husky well road previously and found a few big trees across it near the junction with Cox Hill trail, but that was all. But the section up Moose Creek was unlikely to have fared as well, even though the K Country trail report says it’s open, and with no warnings to imply there is anything the  the matter with it. WRONG!

For starters, the footbridge over Jumpingpound Creek below Spruce Woods trailhead is encased in a tangle of flood debris that’s caused the creek to shift north. Luckily, there’s a crossing place downstream at the cobble flat, but it’s only good  at low water.

We knew some boardwalk had recently been built on Moose Loop interpretive trail so went and had a walk around it and sure enough there is one stretch of boardwalk and a new footbridge.  We expected the usual fallen trees to weave around, but were surprised to find the entire slope above Moose Creek had slid and taken the trail with it. This means two crossings of  Moose Creek, again only feasible at low water. Will this section of Moose Loop be abandoned or realigned we wondered?

As we headed south on the Tom Snow up Moose Creek valley, the  damage was fairly minor until we neared the first creek crossing. After this and most of the way to the cutblocks near the watershed with Bragg Creek the damage is substantial: the old road eroded into deep holes and long deep ditches either filled with stones or mud, or crisscrossed by fallen trees,  or missing where the creek bank has collapsed. Here and there, rough  bypass trails and pieces of flagging are appearing to right or left of the “trail.”

On gaining the last creek crossing just before the watershed we decided that returning the same way would take too long—hard to believe this used to be a fast easy walk—so we cut across cutblocks to the pipeline trail and followed that out to the Husky well road in Coxhill Creek valley.  The distance was farther but the going a lot easier. On hitting the road we walked the cow trail alongside, then got back on the Tom Snow at the pipeline crossing.

What can be done with the trail up Moose Creek, which, it should be noted, is also the Trans Canada Trail? Nothing much with the trail itself we decided. A  completely new trail needs to be built in the upper two thirds of Moose Creek valley. Perhaps not in the valley bottom itself. From the pipeline trail we noticed that cutblocks extended a fair way downstream above the west bank. It might  be possible from near the end of the first section of trail, the reasonable part,  to take a new trail up a gentle slope onto the bank top, then run it along the edge of the cutblocks to join with the present trail just before the last crossing of  Moose Creek. At least it would be dry and safe from further flooding. Any other ideas? Bikers?

Moose Creek Map

Note that the line of Moose Creek is way out on the Topo map.

3 comments… add one
  • Alf Skrastins Apr 26, 2015, 5:52 pm

    There are no specific plans at this point, just a general idea to connect Merlin View to Dawson via a more sustainable / enjoyable route. There is also some thought of reviving an old K-Country plan to connect Tom Snow to Jumpingpound Summit via Jumpingpound East Ridge and the NE ridge of Moose Mountain. That’s a big project, however.

  • Gillean Daffern Apr 25, 2015, 11:46 pm

    Any idea, Alf, on what route the reroute would take?

  • Alf Skrastins Apr 25, 2015, 10:24 pm

    The West Bragg Creek All-Season Trails Plan includes a proposal to build an high/dry re-route of Tom Snow Trail off of the north end of Merlin View Trail. The Trans-Canada Trail is supposed to be completed by 2017, in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary. It appears that the time is right to design and build a sustainable replacement for this section of Tom Snow trail!

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