Trail Name: Benchlands – Ranger Bob Loop
Distance: 3.6 km
Time: 1.25 hrs
Cell Service: Yes
Trail: The Benchlands trail is easy, wide and double track. The Ranger Bob trail is a little more narrow and single track but still as easy.
Highlights: This trail is one of many in the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park. It’s easy, simple to follow, and offers amazing views of the Thompson Valley!
To get there: Head East along the Trans-Canada Hwy. Take exit 384, the Dallas Dr /Barnhartvale Rd exit. At the roundabout, take the second exit to stay on Dallas Drive. In 500m turn right onto Barnhartvale Rd. Follow this road for about 3.1Km and then turn left on Eliza Rd (the street sign is partially hidden by a lamp post and can easily be missed). The parking area is just ahead on the right. Get directions from Google here.
As you enter the parking lot, you will pass the trailhead to your left. This particular 3.6km hike followed the Benchlands trail into the park. Roughly 1.5km in, you’ll come across the Bent Gate. This provides access to the Blackwell Trail network. Continue following Benchlands trail until the end where you’ll reach a plateau high above the Dallas neighbourhood. Be extremely cautious of the edge while you enjoy the beautiful scenery this viewpoint has to offer.
From the viewpoint, we turned around and headed back up the Benchlands trail and then turned right onto the Ranger Bob trail. If you follow this trail, it leads to a second viewpoint and a nice bench for another rest. From here, the trail winds back up through the forest and back to the parking lot.
While a great trail in the summer, this trail is equally fantastic in the winter! It offers some absolutely stunning views and is an easy afternoon snowshoe. The Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park is an off-leash dog park as well, so bring your furry friends! Enjoy the trails!