Lavington Lovin’: Crown Land Trails with Dr. Adventure

Greetings, Okanaganites! It’s time again to get off your tushy and really seek some understanding of our license-plate friendly geological descriptor: Beautiful British Columbia (“The Best Place on Earth” works too, but that was for a limited run during the Olympics).  So, if you’re wanting to really appreciate why such apt narcissistic remarks belong on our vehicles, then follow me. It’s time for another Adventure with the Doctor…

Sometimes the pursuit of adventure means that you have to get a little dirty…and that’s exactly the way I like it. So, on a sunny Sunday morning in the beautiful A-OK, Dr Adventure (yours truly) and his clan (consisting of giggly wife and slobbery dog) took off on yet another exploration of the stunning place we now call home. Where would the trail take us this time? Well, we lost the trail before we even got out of the car. Oooooh…so exciting. Where would we create the trail, then? In the pure white snow still sitting among the trees outside of Lavington. That’s where.

If you drive about 15 minutes east along Highway 6 out of Vernon, you’ll come to School Road in Lavington. You can’t miss it if you keep an eye out for the Road House.  Take School Road south and you’re on your way. Whether via map, GPS, or intuition, you need to navigate your way onto Bluenose Road, which eventually becomes Aberdeen Lake Road. Once you pass Reets Road on the right, then the real adventure begins.

You’re now on Crown Land, which is government lingo for “adventure waiting to happen”. Since 94% of British Columbia is Crown Land, that means you and I have some exploring to do. Once you pass the sign that reads ABERDEEN FSR (for Forest Service Road), you’re free to check out all the nooks and crannies that the wilderness has to offer. There are many different side roads and trails that will cart you off into the wilderness to become one with the outdoors. However, if you keep on Aberdeen FSR road for quite a while, you’ll make it into the land of lakes. Depending on exactly what road you choose to head down, you could run into Aberdeen Lake, Haddo Lake, Curtis Lake, Nicklen Lake, the Jerry Lakes, Lily Pad Lake, Ricki Lake etc (okay, no one actually named a part of our beautiful province after a washed-up daytime talk-show host…I lied. You get the point).

On our specific adventure, we took a turn off that put us on the road by Herb Lake on the way to Nicklen Lake.  Since we were treading in the middle of March, the snow eventually got too deep for our CR-V and we decided that it was time for the real trail-blazing to begin. So, just a few hundred meters from the shores of Nicklen Lake, we abandoned ship and kept on moving.

For us, the snowpack was great in some places and less-than-stellar in others. We spent most of our time with our hiking boots about 4 inches under. Apparently, snowshoes would be a great investment, since these sorts of things are not unordinary for us. On the odd step, one of us would sink crotch-deep, much to the amusement of the dog and spouse, who usually broke through in their fit of laughter.  When the heckling would finally stop, we usually came to the consensus that this place would be incredible for spring/summer camping. Brushing off the snowsicles and checking to make sure we didn’t disturb the slumber on any hibernating beasts, we would then continue for another 5 feet, only to repeat the sink-cackle-climb process once again. It makes for great exercise, moving up and down almost as much as forward.

Dogs love adventure too!

Once we had ventured far enough from ol’ Cecil (our CR-V), we decided that it was turnaround time. A Round trip from our car to the Buck Hills Road Ecological Reserve was probably about 3 to 5 kilometers, but we are not usually the type for maps or GPS, so that is only a guess. It may have been merely 1 kilometer, but it took us a couple of hours because we were extremely inefficient in the snow. All the photo-taking, snowball slinging, and spouse mockery probably had something to do with it as well.

A Dog and his Doctor (when said Doctor's wife, also a Doctor, snatches the camera)

If you’re thinking of following our footsteps in this sort of adventure, I would suggest sunscreen and water as your minimum basics. If you’re planning on going for a day-long hike, it is always good to have a map or GPS as well. Google Maps didn’t do so well without service on my iPhone. This type of place, so vast and untracked, could easily be the backdrop for a creepy eat-your-friend-instead-of-die-but-this-sure-is-fantastic-scenery kind of movie…so make sure you do a little prep.

And on that note, this is Dr Adventure signing off. Now, go have some good clean fun.

Leave a Comment