Mustang Hills after logging

As soon as the gate opened on the 15th we were off to check out the new look of the Mustang Hills. Had the yellow and orange striped flagging put up by SLS to protect the two main trails actually worked?  The answer is YES and YES. The summit trail where it leaves the old highway has a cutblock on the right side of it and you cross a logging road halfway up the steep bit, but after this it’s the same as it ever was to east hill. In fact, it is only on the summit of the hill that one sees the logging in the shallow valley below you to the south.

Standing on the old highway looking up at the start of the trail over the tops. A cutblock on the right side makes the trail look very different. Cairns are still there.

The logging road crossing halfway up the first steep hill.

View from east hill of the cutblock in the valley to the south. .

Another view of the cutblock from east hill. By descending the open slope seen here one can pick up the end of a logging road taking you out to either Rainy Summit or Cobble Flats.. Sunset Hill and Powderface Ridge in the background.

Diehards making a return loop with the trail between Beaver Flat and Cobbles Flats, will encounter a lightly logged area on the trail down the south ridge, but it’s easy enough to follow the edge of the forest and pick up the trail lower down in trees just above where a cairn signals a left turn.

Light logging on the route down the south ridge to the Beaver Flat-Cobble Flats trail.

If looking for other return routes from the east top, you have a few years in which to use the logging roads in the valley below before tree planting and reclamation starts. From the east top descend the open SW slope to the end of a logging road and head across the flat valley floor. At a 4-way after a bridge crossing,  the higher road returns you to the summit trail, the lefthand road to a 4-way on the old highway where you turn left to descend to Cobble Flats. Interestingly, just before this junction a yellow sign warns loggers of a trail ahead.

Logging road in the valley to the south of the tops.

View from the upper logging road of the ridges about Quirk Creek.

Following horse tracks on the logging road leading to the 4-way on the old hwy. Forgetmenot Ridge in the background.

The old highway is also untouched and available to people making a loop back to Rainy Summit from Cobble Flats. Once considered a rather boring plod, it has been transformed into something quite scenic and is well worth walking just for the views. Lower down, two legs of it run through a cutblock, but  fringes of trees on either side delineate the track quite nicely. Now we just need to have the trees fallen across it removed.

Old highway. Cutblocks below the old road give views south.

Old highway. Leaving the 4-way for Rainy Summit. New views to the west.

Old highway. Near the viewpoint shown on the map.

Old highway. In the cutblock the old road has almost narrowed to trail with fringes of bushes and trees on both sides. Two zigs leads to the ridge at the top right..

2 comments… add one
  • davebloggs Jul 13, 2019, 7:53 pm

    I took a walk out that way today amazing views now the trees are cut. it will all be replanted so thats good i have to say coming down from East hill along the part marked 1.2 kms you come to a T junction the map says go right but that starts to take you back up hill so i went left and down to the river then headed upstream i did find a trail in the end but parts of it are very worn and close to a drop into the river. but all in all an amazing hike only about 7 kms round the route i took very enjoyable indeed.

  • davebloggs May 23, 2019, 4:56 am

    Very nice photos I will have to take a walk out that way . Its a shame when the trees are cut but they are grown as a crop and its now harvest time for some of them. on a positive note the views look amazing now . which could not be seen before . the area will be replanted and in a few years all the green will fill in again.

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