by Sherwood Botsford
(Warburg, Alberta, Canada)
As an Alberta visitor in the Halfmoon bay area, I find that most of the trails are gloomy and dull. I've done most of them now that are bounded by the highway, Mason Road, Halfmoon-Carlson Branch 2, and Stevens Way.
My favorite so far is the powerline from Trout Lake Road to Gunboat Bay. Part of this is the SC trail, but even where the trail leaves the powerline, I prefer to remain on it.
For a rider this would be a fairly tough slog. Lots of grades in the 15-20% range. Low spots frequently have 6 inch deep 30 foot wide puddles (I was here in Jan 2019)
In a few places the powerline route isn't usable. The first of these is where the line crosses Halfmoon Creek, a 50 foot deep ravine filled with blackberries. You should detour around this by going up HC FSR to cross the creek, then take the first road on your left.
You need to ford Homesite creek. Knee deep. One of my dogs did this on his own, the other two needed various amounts of help. Footing is good, and while too deep to ride, would be easy in a quad.
In a few places the access road moves off the right of way, with short side roads for each pair of towers. Generally staying on the powerline would require that you be part mountain goat with numerous 10-15 foot boulder faces at near vertical pitches. And of course blackberries. Another section of line looks like a beaver swamp. Again, take the alternate route.
Depending on the section of powerline you get views of the mountains on Vancouver Island, the sea, and various islands.