MEL DEANNA TRAIL

Mel DeAnna Trail was conceived and laid out by the late Mel DeAnna and constructed by the West Kootenay Naturalists, who continue to maintain it. An interpretive brochure has been developed by the Selkirk College Renewable Resources students and is available at local outlets.

The trail leads to a couple of small lakes called the Champion Ponds. The lakes are drained by a small creek which runs directly into the Columbia River. The upper reaches of the creek and the ponds themselves are located along a geological fault which extends into the Slocan valley.

The trail wanders through a mixed deciduous / evergreen forest to emerge at the shore of the larger oval lake where there is an A-frame shelter. The pathway continues along the lake, with a short spur trail leading to a location which overlooks the Columbia River and the community of Blueberry Creek. The main trail continues along the shores of a second narrower lake. At its outflow end, the trail crosses to the east side and turns back to the north along the lakes. A second A-frame shelter is located above the bridge. A mine shaft and a collapsed log cabin bear witness to an earlier time when the town of Waterloo supported intense mining activity in the hills east of the Columbia River. At the first A-frame shelter the loop around the lakes is completed.

4 kilometers of trail have been developed to emphasize the ecology of this special wetland site. Many of the native plants have been labelled for the uninitiated. It is the kind of trail where one should travel slowly and open one's mind to the silent voices which are present everywhere.

To access the trail-head, drive up Hwy. 3 toward Salmo and stop at the valley viewpoint. The trail runs through a fenced area, or can be accessed directly from the shoulder of the highway, beyond the fence.


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