Back in 2008, in the early days of this blog, we promoted a skiing/hiking trail that we called North Bragg. It was used and maintained by equestrians who called it Hidden Trail, part of a ride that also included Moose Loop. The trail started up Hostel Loop, then up over what is now called Demi-Tel, down Reconnect and Telephone to Mountain Road.
How things have changed! Originally a cross-country skiing and dog walking venue, after an orgy of trail building West Bragg has become a winter playground for not only skiers, but for fat tire bikers, winter walkers and trail runners, and when there is enough snow, snowshoers. Walkers and snowshoers may be interested in our former blogs Should you Winter Walk or Snowshoe? and Winter Hiking Traction Devices.
North of Mountain Road there is a maze of ski, snowshoe and all-season multi-use trails. Among the many winter walking options, there are a few that are becoming popular. Some have better views, others are more sheltered on cold, windy days. There are new trail signs at junctions to help you find your way. Here are a few suggestions:
North Bragg Loop: Snowshoe Hare | Demi-Tel | Reconnect | Braggin Rights
The original route started up Hostel Loop, but now it makes more sense to use Snowshoe Hare (keep off the ski trails where possible, right?). Follow Demi-Tel easily up and around the ridge where there used to be good views across cut-blocks. Head down Reconnect to Telephone, then either turn down Telephone or continue on Reconnect to the Merlin View junction and back to Telephone via Braggin Rights. Here you have a choice. You can head back to West Bragg along Braggin Rights, or if you wish to avoid the fat tire crowd, you can continue down Telephone past Moose Loop junction and head across the open hillside to pick up the old well road that leads down to Mountain Road. Finish along the road or use Snowy Owl. Main loop is 8.6 km.
Just after Long Distance crosses Demi-Tel there is a cut-off route, shown on the map by a dashed line, down a sheltered valley. The upper half is all meadow. Lower down, the going is still easy in trees with the odd deadfall to circumvent or step over. On reaching an obvious track turn left and follow it down to Braggin Rights or farther down to Mountain Road.
An alternative with good views but a little more elevation gain is to start up Braggin Rights and Long Distance.
Snowshoe Hare Loop | Telephone | Disconnect | Long Distance | Braggin Rights Loop
This is becoming a popular loop. You can either take Snowshoe Hare to Telephone, then north through sheltered open forest to Disconnect or you can follow Telephone all the way from the parking lot. It’s a multi-use trail as far as Disconnect. An easy climb up a ridge on Disconnect takes you to a junction in thick forest with Long Distance. About 500 m north on Long Distance, just past the gate, is the best viewpoint on the ridge complete with log seat for lunch. You can return back on Long Distance or make a loop to the north, heading back on an old logging road to Reconnect. Unfortunately there is now a drift fence at the cutline that you have to climb over. About halfway down Long Distance to Demi-Tel there is a viewpoint on the west side where you can look across to Merlin View with Moose Mountain in the background. On reaching Demi-Tel you have several options, though most people continue on down Long Distance and Braggin Rights to the parking lot. Main loop is 10 km.
Braggin Rights | Long Distance | Demi-Tel | Snowshoe Hare Loop
A shorter version of the North Bragg Loop at 6.8 km. Add 2 km if you return via the east side of Snowshoe Hare.