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Opal Beds Trail

OPAL BED TRAILS

HOW TO GET THERE:

Drive south from Burns Lake on Highway 35 towards Francois Lake.

About 1 km after the bridge over Burns Lake, turn right onto Eagle Creek Road (the first road on the right after the bridge). Follow this road, keeping right when you come to a fork in the road. After travelling this road for approximately 7 km, you will notice a Lakes Outdoor Recreation sign marking the recreation site (Eagle Creek Recreation Site) on your left. Turn here and follow the road to an area that is marked with trails and recreation site signs.

THE TRAILS:

Eagle Creek Trail:

  • Length: 1.4 km
  • Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Condition: maintained, climbs steadily for an elevation gain of 150m
  • Start & Finish: Begins on the access road, Eagle Creek Road, about 3.7 km in, just before a small creek. It joins up with the road again just under below the parking area for the trails.

Lookout Trail:

  • Length: 2.3 km loop from the recreation site and back along the road
  • Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Condition: maintained, elevation gain of 50 m, some short steep sections
  • Start & Finish: Begins behind the recreation site, heads north up a ridge, providing a number of viewpoints including one only 5 minutes from the campsite. It meets up with the road and is about 500m from the parking area. There is also a short cut that passes through the middle of the loop.

Beaver Pond Trail:

  • Length: 1.5 km loop from the recreation site and back along the road
  • Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • Condition: maintained, mostly flat
  • Start & Finish: Begins at the recreation site, heads south of the road and follows a small creek and a series of beaver ponds. It meets up with the road and is about 700m from the parking area. A good trail for spotting moose, beavers, ducks and geese.

Opal Bed Trail:

  • Length: 1.9 km
  • Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • Condition: maintained, some steeper sections, an elevation gain of 60m
  • Start & Finish: Begins from the west end of the recreation site, heads up the ridge that runs southwest, overlooks the creek then turns and follows the ridge to where it overlooks the Eagle Creek Valley.
  • Opals and Agates: Can be found between the creek and this trail. Visitors are welcome to take some, but are reminded that there are others who would like to enjoy rock hounding.

HISTORY:

In the early 1980s John Shelford discovered opals in the Eagle Creek area, west of Burns Lake. He staked a mineral claim there, however in 1984, he offered to withdraw his claim if the area would be protected from claim stacking and left as a recreational area for public “rock hounding.” Over the years, the area saw the development of an eight unit recreation site accompanied by four trails.

SAFETY:

Be cautious around the steeper sections of the trails, especially when hiking with children. Be aware of steep banks.
Precautions should be taken with respect to bear encounters. Make adequate noise when walking as to alert any bears to your presence.Be aware of traffic from active logging.

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