Today is your day, the mountain is waiting. So… get on your wayDr. Seuss
I can remember as a young teen being dragged by my father at least two or three times during the summer months to go hiking, backpacking in the mountains and it always seemed to start at Paradise Meadows. Now back in those days to arrive at Paradise Meadows you traveled by logging roads. It wasn’t a paved road in the early 70’s. The walk through the Meadows was on trails, muddy, rocky, sometimes swampy, steal your shoe sink holes, not boardwalks like it is today. For some reason, I always ended up with the old Trapper John backpack, I swear to you, the frame was made of one by one’s and its weight at least 15lbs on its own. As I said in those days, I was a young teen and probably didn’t appreciate what I saw, to me it was just another ‘forced march’ by my father in the woods.
As I started to research Paradise Meadows on the web, I found it difficult to find interesting articles. Honestly, I’m not sure why. It’s an excellent place to take the family and kids or your photo buddies for a morning, or evening stroll. It’s an easy hike you are no longer walking in the mud or the muck as I did as a young teen on my forced march, boardwalks, have been placed on the trails, and the view well, what can I say, it’s ‘spectacular’ at any time of the day. What will you see? Meadows with small ponds, surrounded by mountains, some covered in snow, depending on the season. Small streams draining into the ponds surrounded by wildflowers. Those of you that are not into heavy hiking or just wanting a quick walk Paradise Meadows is a great place to go. The Meadows loop trail is approximately 2 1/2 km long, and the walk should only take a couple of hours. As I said before, it’s a very easy trail, but it’s also connected to another couple of easy trails. It’s the start of Lake Hellen McKenzie and Battleship Lake loop which we will discuss later. Now for us ‘photographers’, Paradise Meadows is full of photo opportunities. It’s just a matter of being there at the right time. For me, it has taken a couple of years to see the beauty within the Meadows. Here are some things I’ve learned as I forced myself to take pictures of Paradise Meadows during last month (August). If you’re looking to shoot fog and mist, get up early in the morning and head out. It’s a great place to go and shoot starscapes. In fact, shoot starscapes and stick around for the sun to rise, it is after all in the mountains and the temperature drops at night, causing the fog and mist to rise from the ponds and lakes in the morning. You do have to be a little bit careful for there is light from the lodges and the surrounding ski hill. But if you’re willing to walk over to Battleship Lake or to Lake Helen MacKenzie you’re in the perfect world to shoot starscapes.
In conclusion as a photographer, a trip to Paradise Meadows or I should say several trips to Paradise Meadows are well
worth your time. I know for me I will certainly be going back again and again.
Paradise Meadows is on the edge of Strathcona Park nestled by Mount Washington Ski Hill. If you’re not from Vancouver Island the best way for me to explain how to get there is head to Courteney using the inland highway, then follow the signs for Mount Washington and continue to the lower parking lot. It’s a beautiful area and, very easy walk on boardwalks and probably takes a couple of hours to do the whole walk.
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