Guest Blog By: @nat_venture
Natalie is an avid explorer and camper, keen to adventure to all reaches of the Island. She recently packed up her trusty jeep and headed out to the Village of Sayward to scout the area for those heading up to race the Kusum Kilmb next month. Read on for her recommendations for what to see and where to stay when exploring the area!
The Island’s favourite Mountain Race is just around the corner. Are you tough enough for the Kusam Klimb? On June 22 people from all over will flock to the little Village of Sayward to attempt the rugged 23km Mountain loop trail in record time. The Village is ready and waiting to receive these brave warriors with open arms. Come for the race, come to cheer on the racers, but definitely come to Sayward!
If you are heading up island don’t forget to stop in at Campbell River to pick up any last minute supplies. Get your tastebuds ready to make a quick stop at Roberts Lake Resort for sweet, delicious homemade cinnamon buns. You won’t regret it!
It’s only a 1-hour drive north from Campbell River but you will lose cell service. Perfect time to crank your favourite road trip tunes and take in the views. What awaits you in Sayward is stunning mountain vistas, lakes, waterfalls, old growth forests, tons of backcountry camping and don’t forget Kelsey Bay (for those who like to camp oceanside).
There are a couple of campgrounds close to town. Kelsey Bay Resort or White River Resort will both accommodate tents or trailers. If you don’t want to stray too far from town there are a couple of local trails worth checking out. Bring your binoculars for bird watching on the Salmon River Estuary Trail. Take a walk through the green mossy Dalrymple Creek Trail. Check out the views from Salmon Point Lookout or Hike Mt.Kusum, if you are not up for the summit hike there are lower loop trails at the base of Mt. Kusam.
However, if you do have some time and a suitable vehicle there are several rec sites in the area that make for some great backcountry camping. After a day of exploring you can cozy up by a fire or even take a dip in a lake under the stars. Wander through old growth forests in White River Provincial Park which can be accessed on the White River Main logging road. Take in the stunning views of Victoria Peaks as you drive toward Stewart Lake Rec Site. There you can set up camp for the night. Tlowils Lake rec site or Junction Pool Rec site are good options as well. If you have a canoe or a kayak Sayward is a perfect place to bring them along.
Come for the climb and stay for the backcountry camping. Sayward is simply a great place to get in touch with nature and maybe even see some wildlife or go fishing.
There is a well-stocked gas station in Sayward where you can fuel up and get some grocery items. Otherwise, you will want to have with you:
-weather appropriate clothing
-plenty of food and water
-navigation items such as GPS or a nap of the area
-first aid kit
GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE CLIMBERS!