Lusk Falls Trail to Mckinstry Shelter
May 3rd, 2015
Sunday May 3rd and another perfect spring day. We returned to the Lusk Falls Trail. The gate to the parking lot was now open and by the time we arrived around 10:00 a.m. the lot was pretty well full.
This time we headed up the trail at a good pace saying to ourselves that we have to stay in shape. It was a good workout and we made it to the fire tower in just under 1 hour.
The change in the vegetation was quite remarkable. Three days ago the trees were bare and today the “greening” of the forest had begun. There were far more flowers; the first trillium, hepatica and dog toothed violets had quite literally bloomed over night. And the leaf buds were just slightly coming out on the undergrowth – the fuzzy barely-there green of early spring.
The trail that leads from the fire tower to the Mckinstry Shelter definitely feels more like northern Canada. The trail is lined with tall thin jack pines. The air was fresh and clean with a sweet resiny smell from the pine trees.
We passed a wetland area with a small lake likely created by beavers. There was no wind at all and there was this mirror image of the dark pines in the blue water of the lake.
The Mckinstry shelter has recently been renovated. It sits nicely under the canopy of large trees. In the middle of the shelter is a wood stove, placed right under a sky light. All around on a raised level are picnic tables. Outside there is a wood shed complete with a large blue axe. There is also an outhouse which I ventured to use. It comes complete with toilet paper and hand sanitizer!
We enjoyed our lunch at the picnic table outside the shelter.
The temperature on Sunday was warmer than three days ago, around 20C. As we made our way back down we started to meet more and more people. By the time we reached the Lusk Falls we could see that the parking lot below us was overflowing and cars were parked all along the gravel road. The picnic area was also full of people, kids kicking around soccer balls, everyone just out enjoying the splendid Sunday!