Trail Name: Blackwell Trails
Distance: 4.3 km
Time: About 1 hr
Cell Service: Yes
Trail: The entirety of this trail is single track, loose dirt and sand.
Highlights: Very well signed network of trails. Nice views in both directions along the South Thompson River 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. This is the same parking area as the Barnhartvale-Dallas Nature Park. Get directions from Google Maps here.
As you turn right into the parking area, the Blackwell Connector trail will be straight ahead of you. Continue straight down the trail until you reach a gate. The gate separates the Blackwell Trails network from the Barnhartvale-Dallas Nature Park. On the other side of the gate, you’ll see a box of trail maps. The various trails are all colour coded on the map, with corresponding colour coding on signage through the area. This hike follows the black trail around the perimeter of the park. The furthest point in the loop from the parking area is where the views are best. This short section of trail runs parallel to the highway, high up on a ridge overlooking the Thompson valley. The views of the Thompson Valley are magnificent.
This park is maintained by the Barnhartvale Horse and Hiker Trail Preservation Society. They have done an exceptional job maintaining the trails and providing maps. Please be respectful and close all gates behind you.
This trail has a lot of ups and downs throughout the hike, but none are exceedingly steep. The trails are well marked, but there are some tricky intersections. Be sure to grab a map at the gate. The trail is dog friendly (make sure to bring a leash!), but be respectful of the horseback riders on the paths. Shade is rare, so bring lots of water and sunscreen! Overall, it’s a great family friendly area to explore!