Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Squirrel Hills hike
A frigid wind was blowing as Bert, Judy, Hazel, Marlene, and Brenda met Chad a prospective member (we hope) for the trip out to the Squirrel Hills just west of Minnedosa. We arrived just as Robert drove in from shoal Lake. Once we got into the hills and out of the wind, the sun did it's thing and it was a beautiful day for a walk in the park.
The Squirrel Hills wind up and down through the oak-covered hills, criss-crossing frequently, but we kept to the outside loop for the most part and most of us knew where we were most of the time. It's easy to see why the hills have the reputation for being a challenging ski venue. The long uphills would be bad enough, but it would be pretty easy to get out of control on the long steep downhills. A number of maps along the way point the way and rate the hills from easy to double black diamond. A trail volunteer we met told us that after 20 years he had finally found a route that allowed him to stick to the greens all the way around.
The highlight of the trip was watching a pine martin up in a tree watching us. Eventually he must have decided that we weren't going away, and he dared to scramble town and head off into the bush. Besides Pine Martins, the trail boasts a lovely warming hut and the world's smallest outhouse.
We finished off the day with coffee and hot chocolate at the friendly Chipperfield Coffee Company in Minnedosa.
If you are looking for a pleasant alternative to the Brandon Hills, not too much farther away, the Squirrel Hills should be on your radar!