Sherriff Creek Trails- Beaver Meadow Trail

I have already mentioned Sherriff Creek in a previous post, but on that day I didn’t really walk the trails, I just did an overview of the immediate area at the entry point, with some pictures.

I got up this morning, not really knowing what I wanted to do, and then I just made a spur of the moment decision to hit the Sherriff Creek trails.  I’m glad that I did, because I got some really great pics, and I also ended up getting some excellent information on the entire Elliot Lake area.

I just happened to run into a couple of guys who are in charge of mapping all the trails in this area, and they stopped to ask me some questions about what I would like to see on these maps.  Of course, I took advantage of this unexpected meeting to get as much information as possible about the area, and where I could find the best access points.

These guys really knew their stuff, and were very familiar with all the trails, and bush roads that wind their way through the forested hills along the hwy 108 corridor.  In fact, they gave me so much info that I’m sure I won’t be able to remember it all, but I was very happy to talk to them, and I came away with a better understanding of what is out there, waiting to be explored.

Also, one of the guys did give me a warning of a very large black bear in the area.  He estimated that it was around 600 lbs., which is indeed a very large bear.  He said that it was known to frequent one of the areas that I had on my list to check out soon.  Gulp!!

Anyway, it was a very interesting chat, and I felt very fortunate to come across such a great source of information about areas that I have yet to explore.

Now, to the trail.  Sherriff Creek has three hiking trails, with each different trail looping off the other.  The trails are colour coded, and the trail markers also use the same colour as their respective trails.  Today I followed the red trail, or Beaver Meadow Trail, and I took a ton of pics, so be prepared.

Today there was an added warning that wasn’t there the last time I visited Sherriff Creek, and I did verify this later on.

The Expedition is about to begin.

The number of official trails in this area is astounding, and there are probably ten times as many unofficial trails to add to that.

They really do make sure that you know what you’re getting into around here.  Perhaps this is why I haven’t run into many people on the trails so far.

The preceding pictures were all taken with my Olympus Sp800UZ camera.  I had been having trouble with it, but I now know why, if only I could remember to change the manual settings to automatic every time I turn it on.

Just to show you what I mean, here are a couple of pictures taken from the same place, but on one of them I had forgotten to change manual setting to auto, guess which one?

Now you can clearly see what I mean, and why I was so disappointed in this camera at first.  But, now that I know what the problem was, I have a better feeling about this camera, although I still don’t see a huge performance improvement over my older 4 megapixel camera, as compared to this 14 megapixel one.  I can’t understand why Olympus would make manual setting default, but maybe there is a way to change the default settings to auto.  I’ll have to investigate that a bit more. ***Fixed***

The following pictures were all taken with my trusty Nikon camera, unless otherwise noted.

This is the huge swamp at Sherriff Creek, and it is noteworthy that I only saw one or two mosquitoes on my walk today.

The trail starts off with a wide gravel pathway.

Does a bear shit in the woods?  Well, not always, sometimes they shit on a gravel pathway.

They have a number of these nice shelters/blinds built around the swamp for viewing wildlife.

This map was inside the first shelter.

A look inside the shelter/blind.

There was also a small deck in front of this blind.

Another viewing area without a shelter.

There are lots of small ponds hidden in the bushes.

That there is bear country, and once you step off the trail you will quickly find yourself in no-mans-land.

Can you hear the frogs croaking?

This is another wildlife viewing blind further along the trail.

From inside out.

The red trail markers are for the Beaver Meadow trail.

…..and a beautiful trail it is.

There are lots of signs of beaver here, not just this one.  You can see trails in the long grass, where they come in at night to chew on the trees.  Also, there are many small tree stumps which have obviously fallen to the industrious teeth of the beaver.

Could this be Sherriff Creek?  There was no sign on it.

Looking up the other way.

This section of the trail can be accessed by ATV.  Many of the trails in the area are shared by all modes of transport, including, foot, bicycle, ATV and snowmobile in the winter.

There are all kinds of fungi along the way, and I’m a big fan of photographing fungi.  They come in so many shapes, colours and sizes.

Another quiet pond hidden in the bushes.  I had to pull the trees aside to see this one.

The same pond from a different angle.

Another unusual fungi.

Now the trail opens up into a large, flat meadow, with the rolling forested hills in the background.

Just as a side-note, I did shoot some video here with my Olympus camera, but I need to learn a bit more about manipulating these videos.  Anyway, WordPress charges an additional $60. a year for the privilege of uploading video’s to my blog, and I probably won’t be obliging them with this added feature.

The meadow.

More fungi.

More meadow.

One of many small bridges along the trail.

Wooden steps and walkways are frequent.  Overall, this trail is pretty level, and easy to walk.

A nice setting of white birch trees.

Boardwalk to the bush.

Fungi again.

This really is a very nice, and well maintained trail.

Oops, maybe I spoke too soon!  Oh well, this was probably just recent.  I’m glad it wasn’t really recent though, like when I was walking under it.

These blue berries really stand out in a sea of green.

This log has been lying on the forest floor for a long time, with fungi and moss growing on it.

Here’s some really strange looking fungi.  It reminds me of Kramer’s hair in Seinfeld.

More Kramer’s hair fungi.

The boardwalk snakes through the forest.  Why cut down a tree when you don’t have to?

Brightly coloured fungi.

Nearing the end of the trail.

….and a wonderful trail it was!

The final bridge of the trail.  This last picture was taken with the Olympus.  I finally remembered to change the settings to automatic when I turned the camera on.  So, there is some hope for this camera I guess.  I’ll continue to play with it until I get use to it. ***Note***  I have now rectified this situation.  I just had to go into the settings and select “save settings” and then select the ‘auto’ setting.  Now, every time I turn the camera on, the saved ‘auto’ setting is still there, so my problem is solved.  It still doesn’t answer the question as to why Olympus felt it necessary to make the manual setting as default, but it is what it is, and all’s well that ends well.

So, the final report on the Beaver Meadow Trail is… highly recommended. It’s an easy walk, for those that cannot tolerate rugged terrain, and it is very interesting and scenic.  The trail is not all that long, but it passes through a multitude of environmental conditions, and landscapes.  It took me a long time to walk it today, because I took a lot of pics.  I’m guessing that most people will want to stop here and there to enjoy the interesting scenery and wildlife.

I carry a little cell phone music player in my shirt pocket, which I will usually have on, to alert any unsuspecting bears that I’m coming. It’s not all that loud, or distracting, it’s just nice background music for my hike. If you are a lone hiker, like I am, it’s very advisable to have some sort of noise making device on you.  I’ve seen some people with small bells attached to them too.  Most bear attacks happen because the bear was surprised.  If a bear can hear someone coming from a good distance, they will nearly always run away.

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