Morte Lake Trail

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The Morte Lake Trail begins at a small carpark beside the Walcan Road, which begins about ten minutes’ drive north of Heriot Bay and runs off to the left from the main road. After turnign down the Walcan Road drive for about a mile until you see the sign saying ‘Morte Lake Trail’ on your right. Turn into the car-park and park your car here. The trail begins here and takes you up a gentle gradient along an old logging track. After five minutes or so you will pass a side-trail going up to the right and this short trail climbs steeply and goes to the Beeches Mountain Trail and to the Chinese Mountains Trail car-park.  The Morte Lake Trail takes about 45 minutes from its car-park to the lake. Near the lake the trail forks left and right, and either branch will take you around the lake and back to that fork, then back to your car. From that fork you can see the lake and if you take the right branch of the trail it will take you quickly down to a sandy beach, popular with swimmers, picnickers, and campers. At the far end of the lake is a picnic table and campsite, also popular with swimmers and campers. There are a few uphill and downhill sections along this trail but nothing very steep or very long. It is a popular trail for mountain-bikers and leaving the main trail are a few side-trails made specifically for rugged biking.

morte lake

One of the beautiful bays on Morte Lake

The lake setting is serene and the Morte Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails on Quadra. People of all ages walk this trail, from all over the world, even if only to the lake and back and not the circuit of the lake. The average person can can walk from car-park to the lake in 40 minutes, and then around the lake in an hour-and-a-half more, then back to the car in a further 40 minutes, making it a good three-hour hike. A fit hiker can walk the circuit trip and back to the car-park in two hours.

You will probably want to stop and hike the short lookout side-trail, and stop for the view in several places around this lake. There are small trout in the lake and beaver and varied waterfowl may be seen here. At night here, don’t be surprised to hear wolves howling, especially during winter when fewer people are around the lake. There is also a rear entrance to this trail on the western edge of the lake, but this involves some driving along logging roads. There is a picnic table at the far side(north side), where visitors camp out and go swimming. There is also a good camping (sandy) beach in the southeast corner of the lake, near where the trail forks to go around each side of the lake.

6 july '11 during building new bridges at Morte Lake.2

Here a group of trails volunteers take a lunch-break while working on the Morte Lake Trail

At the far side of the lake is a side-trail which takes you to Maude Island, beside Seymour Narrows. Another side-trail takes you to Mud Lake and the Walcan Road. Near the Morte Lake car-park is another side-trail off the Morte Lake Trail which takes you to the Beeches Mountain Trail and to the Chinese Mountains Trail car-park.

august 032

One of the pretty bays around the lake