(Note:  The aerial photo was taken more than 25 years ago, sometime after parts of the area were selectively logged.  Since that time I have built my home and shop and have developed the trails shown in colour code above.  The Highway shown is Highway No. 2 North, 40 KM north of Prince Albert Saskatchewan)

1. "Freedom Way" is a larger loop around the pond. Trees along this trail have been adorned with abandoned neck ties from my former professional life. The  Sacred Hoop Trail has intersected Freedom Way and takes precedence.  I am letting the portions of Freedom Way which lie within the Hoop Trail to revert to natural forest  pattern. The section of Freedom Way closest to the Highway and to the south of my driveway was largely under water for several years. As of September 2011 an entirely new section of trail on higher ground has been created to restore the complete Freedom Way trail in this area.

2.. "Pond Loop" circles the pond along a well established game trail. This trail links to Freedom Way by numerous connecting "Pond Links". If disoriented by twists and turns in the trail, taking one of these links to the open area of the pond will enable the hiker to reestablish orientation.  In the spring and summer of 2006 much of this trail is under water because of a dramatic increase in water levels. Not advised without boots

3 "Thrum's Run", named after a game trail that my former dog, Thrum, used to follow daily to check on the deer that bedded down along that way. A very pretty and diverse trail, featuring the only jackpine area on my site."King's Loop", connects to Freedom Way and takes the hiker through both aspen and spruce stands.

4 "Kings Loop" was  the longest section of trail and connected to Freedom Way  at the South West and then extended along the entire south border of the land and then ran  northward and west to reconnect to Freedom Way.  The entire east-west section of this line no longer exists because of SaskPower's wanton destruction. As of early October 2011, an entirely new trail connector has been established to connect the east and west ends of the original Kings Loop Trail. This connector is north of the Power line corridor.

"King's Link" ( in pink) provides a connector between King's Loop and Freedom Way along a ridge, joining at a location called "Council of the Elders"  

5. This is a new section created in 2006 to allow movement around the south and east sides of the pond  while remaining on higher ground in the trees.  This avoids getting wet feet  along the high water edge of the pond.

6.  "Sacred Hoop" trail is complete  It is a large Sacred Hoop / Medicine Wheel trail with a radius of 90 m.  It is centred on top of a hill.   It intersects various other trails.  Walking this Hoop is intended to be a prayer / spiritual undertaking.  Encountering the beauty of the forest and the forest creatures along its paths makes it very difficult for it to NOT be a prayer experience.  6E is the East Quadrant protected by Eagle, 6S is the South Quadrant protected by Bison, 6W  is the West Quadrant protected by Bear, and  6N is the North Quadrant protected by Wolf.   Eagle Camp is situated just beside the East Gate.

HJ.  This is a junction  location where trails come together in the form of the letter H.  It links a pond link crescent, Freedom Way, and King's Loop.

The black lines represent trails on my neighbour's property and should not be used without explicit permission.

 

 

Friendly Forest hiking trails are cleared paths through the forest. They are ideal for walking and snow shoe hiking, but not very great for cross-country skiing as the trails take abrupt turns, and will always opt for hills and dips in the terrain. In some cases the trails follow natural game trails, as is the case with Thrum's Run and Pond Loop. In other cases, trail segments target special micro-habitat areas that are of special interest and beauty. At various locations on the trails, one-footed "bush stools" are hung on trees for the rest of a weary hiker. These trails have taken a lot of work to create and to maintain. Their value is in providing access directly into the transition Boreal Forest without danger of getting lost in dense hazel nut thickets, without stumbling over dead-fall trees, and without being scratched by rose bushes. Other than a public trail developed near Christopher Lake, Friendly Forest trails probably offer the best forest access south of the National Park trails.

Basic Expectations:

  • NO SMOKING ON TRAILS!
  • Do not dig up or break off plants.
  • Stay on cleared trails so as to not damage other vegetation.
  • In summer wear a "bear bell" which Gerald can provide, walk in a group and stay together. That gives the bears a chance to avoid you.
  • If you wish, use the "bush stools" to rest.
  • Enjoy, and whisper a prayer of thanks to the Creator of such great beauty.

 

In late September 2011 I took my camera and captured images of these forest trails while the trees were ablaze in fall colour. You can find thumbnails of these images on Friendly Forest Photos, Gallery Eight

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