Distance: 12.0 km
Features: Multiple Cafes, Shopping, Scenic Farm Land, Private Small Beaches, Historic Markers
The trail passes through Winlaw, where another trailhead can be found as well as the “Winlaw Station”, the storage building of the stewards of the trail. Winlaw was once a thriving mill community back in the 1920’s and 30’s and now boasts restaurants, stores, and shops nearby.
North of Winlaw look west and you’ll see the Winlaw Regional and Nature Park across the river. A delightful location for a picnic or a swim (in season) – but watch out for those mosquitoes, they can have a ferocious appetite!
As you venture north you’ll then pass the odd picnic table, a very oversized bench (to give winter skiers someplace to rest above the snow) and pass the Appledale Daycare. The daycare was a former schoolhouse until the 1960’s and now houses one of the oldest cooperative daycares in the province.
After winding along the river, passing below the local golf course, you’ll arrive at Perrys Siding, which is one of our neighbourhood trailheads. At Perry Siding, look for the old one-room schoolhouse on the west side. Now a Threads Guild centre, it was last used as a school in the mid ’70’s. The Threads Guild Society now owns the building, using it as a base to pursue making textile arts. There’s a local beach 150m west of this road crossing if you need a dip before venturing on to the next segment of the trail. There’s also a bus stop at this location, should you need it. And the valley bus has a bike rack!
The trail then meanders along a slow-moving portion of the river, opposite another rich waterfowl habitat area known locally as ‘the oxbow’, which can be navigated by kayak or canoe during high water.
From here you wind away from the river, through large open pastureland. At the north end of this pastureland and less than 1km south of the Lemon Creek trailhead, where an empty open field breaks the forest to the east, picture a whole ‘town’ of simple wooden shacks with streets and gardens, a school and everyday life. Between 1942 and 1946 this was the site of the Lemon Creek Interment camp that housed hundreds of Japanese Canadians. The farm on the west side – a dairy and hog farm at the time – was operated by the internees. A commemorative plaque was placed along the Rail Trail in 2012 to recognize this event. The event brought together many internees who lived at the camp, many of whom are still struggling with the hardship endured during that era. The trail then enters a heavily wooded area, ending at our next trailhead.