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Mount Pocahontas Viewpoint Hike A popular Trekker hike, closer to Van Anda and Gillies Bay than Texada’s highest peaks of Mount Shepherd and Mount Davie is Mount Pocahontas, locally called Mount Poco. Your hike starts at a junction of an old road about 900 meters off the High Road on the Pocahontas Main Logging Road. The old road eventually joins the Hydro Road leading up to a collection of communication towers at the top, 530 meters (1,745’). The new towers may be a destination in itself, but the 4 viewpoints off the old road are much better. After twenty minutes of steady up, the old road levels off for a short section with a wetland on the right. At the start of the wetland there is an overgrown side road on the right that eventually leads to a bluff almost directly overlooking Gillies Bay. This side trail is bushy and very wet underfoot in rainy season. The lookout is not as spectacular as the others and unless you are adventurous and can follow a sparsely marked route, perhaps pass on this viewpoint. Or if you have lots of time, try it on your way back down. Continuing on the old road after the very short but pleasant flat spot, the incline once again becomes steep. Allow another twenty minutes for the very fit, longer for those that wish to take more time and breathe in the fresh air. Again, the old road will level out. The most popular view point to hike up to is the site of Canada’s first fire lookout, built in 1924, at an elevation of 490 meters (1,603’). The viewpoint trail, only about 15 minutes each way, goes off the left side marked with flagging tape and square markers with a short rock scramble near the top. All that remain are the cement supports of the fire tower. It is easy to see why this location was chosen as the vast vision range is extensive. What was once the workplace of a lonely fire watcher, now offers spectacular scenery over the north end of Texada, Vancouver Island and the Coast Range on the mainland. And if you think it was tough to get here, the first fire watchman Jim McKimmie, had only 1 leg and the trek was done several times a week. Many will be very content to make this their final destination. But, viewpoints #3 and #4 are so close. Retrace your steps back to the old road and continue, now descending for a short distance. A couple of minutes and another side road on your left will lead to the last 2 viewpoints, about 15 minutes away. Follow a meandering moss-covered track. Viewpoint #3 is flagged to the left. It is very short and you will quickly climb to a moss covered bluff for a view towards Stillwater on the mainland. Continuing on to the final viewpoint where the road like track ends and a flagged trail heads up on the right. Follow this and scramble up to what is locally known as the ‘drive in movie screen’ or reflector tower. Views over the mainland are open and well worth the additional distance. Retrace your steps back down to your parked vehicle. Tidbits: What is the history of why the mountain was named Pocahontas? According to the Texada Heritage Society (check out the Museum Musings 2015 Aug Express Lines) there is no validated documentation. There is mention that the name Pocahontas was perhaps named after a tug boat. The first mention of the name Pocahontas that I was able to find was an 1899 BC Mines Report naming the prominent bay below the mountain, Pocahontas Bay. Coincidence perhaps that Pocahontas, a famous North American First Nations person was named as a bay in Tla’amin Nation and is now called Shehtekwahn. How to get to the trailhead: Starting in Van Anda: At the end of Wall Street, at the start of the High Road where the pavement ends, it is 7.2 km to logging road on the left, known as the Pocahontas Main. Starting from Gillies Bay drive to the junction of Shelter Point Road, Bell Road, and the High Road. Turn left along the High Road for 6.2 km to the Pocahontas main on your right. Drive to the 1km marker (sign is small) to a narrow old road leading up on the right. There is a small parking area.

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