A walk in the woods, a bubbling creek, nine bridge crossings! What could be better?
Trailhead: Sproule Creek Road
Distance, Round Trip: 10km
The main Millsite trail traces an old wagon road and winds back and forth across Sproule Creek until it ends in a clearing where an old timber mill operated in the 20’s.
In addition to Millsite, there are two shorter trails to explore – the Westside Loop and the East Fork Trail.
About 7km up on Sproule Creek Road, just fifteen minutes from Nelson. There is parking available on the left as the paved road turns to gravel. Cross the vehicle bridge on foot and you’ll come to the trailhead on the right:
Up the Millsite Trail
We had a pleasant walk for the first couple kilometers. The creek babbled away as the forest filled with morning light. We saw Western Trilliums and Skunk Cabbage and carpets of soft moss.
As we went along, snow began to appear along the trail. First in small patches, then in long tracts, and then after the logging road, the trail was completely socked in. We moved slowly, sometimes sliding sometimes sinking. Ah, April hiking.
The Millsite Trail crosses nine bridges as it zigzags across the creek. Bridges are great when they’re working, and problematic when they aren’t.
Bridge #8 was in the process of repair, but we carefully stepped across anyways. We crossed the old logging road and carried on sliding through the snow.
We had one final kilometer to go before the trail ended a sunny clearing, and one final bridge crossing.We trudged forward until we saw… Bridge #9. Broken and sketchy.
After sizing up the broken bridge, we decided to turn around and slog back through the snow. We’ll come back later in the summer and try again!
**October 18, 2016: we returned to Sproule Creek and the final bridge is still broken.