A Loon Lake community trail containing some whimsical delights is taking shape near the community hall, and it all began with some down time, a few rocks, and a suggestion.
Loon Lake resident Janet Harman says that she was just killing time after a work bee, waiting while her husband finished some repair work, when the seeds for the trail were planted.
“Everyone else had gone, so I started putting rocks along the trail from the hall to the picnic tables and benches and horseshoe pitch,” she explains. “Karen Lea [president of the Loon Lake Community Recreational and Agricultural Society] saw it and said ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we had a little trail around and through the trees?’”
The idea quickly caught on with others. People began painting rocks and creating gnomes to place along the path. Harman painted 13 different birds on pieces of wood and hung them from trees along the path, or placed them against stumps, then created a laminated sheet with the names of the birds. The sheet is in a box at the trail, and Harman says that kids are encouraged to pick up the sheet and spot the “birds” as they make their way along the path.
“I think kids would have fun with these sheets, trying to find the birds. It teaches them the names of them, and what they are.
“There’s a fairy section, with a fairy door on a tree, and painted toadstools. There’s a prospector with a donkey, and someone donated an old gold pan, so I painted it with shiny paint to look like water and glued some rocks to it and painted them with gold paint.”
The prospector is in honour of the Cariboo Waggon Road, which ran near Loon Lake, and Harman says that she’d like to have a signboard there giving some history about the road.
Another thing she’d like to have signboards about is the fire of 2017. Part of the path is through an area that burned during the fire, and she’d like to have signs telling about what happened.
“People might say ‘Why does this go through a fire area?’ The signs would tell them that the area is regenerating, that they should look past the black trees at the wild grasses and flowers, and that if they come back next year and compare photographs they’ll see how much it’s changed in a year.”
Harman says that the community trail is still very much a work in progress. Volunteers are gradually stretching it along the fence line and through the trees near the community hall, and the intention is that it will eventually be a circle of two kilometres or so that begins and ends at the community hall. And while she says there’s still a long way to go, the response from the community so far has been very positive.
“It’s all being done by volunteers. We had a work bee on May 18, with some people raking undergrowth and some placing rocks. We want to get the path up through the trees, and we need to mark it with signs.”
She adds that the trail seems to have inspired a few people to stretch their artist muscles.
“It seems like we have a very artistic community. One person said ‘I’m not artistic at all,’ and then started painting rocks.
“Everyone is good at something.”