Hike Distance: 7.4 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1329.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 416 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 174363 feet
I tried going to the Vancouver lake and Frenchmen’s Bar trail, but the conservancy land near there was being treated with something. Whatever this white powdery substance was, all I knew was that it was in the air and I could smell it. I decided against exposing myself and instead went to the Burnt Bridge Creek TH, at NE 19th Circle.
It was another sunny and beautiful day so I was looking forward to investigating all the areas I’d never done. I can’t complain about the beauty, or weather but the homeless problem has escalated in a very bad way! 😦 It seemed like every wooded region, or areas with brush, were occupied with homeless camps and people. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t on edge with my guard up.
The only reason I continued the hike is that there were plenty of other people on the trail, and it was very sunny, and I was primarily out in the open and able to see clearly around me. Everywhere I went I was looking around me. I was even looking on the ground for discarded needles. I felt the safest on the asphalted main trail but did venture off into a few other areas.
I ended up hiking all the remaining trails that I hadn’t done before, so I could say I completed them. My intentions are never to go back to this area again, as it’s become a homeless landscape. Mind you, I was never approached or threatened, but I don’t want to be on guard for the possibility of being robbed or worse. I’ve been taught that you avoid places that cause fear or could put you in harms way. There are plenty of safe places to be, and this area is not one of them (at least alone), in my opinion!
I will say that going with a group would be an option if you still want to experience the trail? I would definitely seriously consider whether you feel comfortable going alone in this kind of area. Everybody has their own tolerance level and I wouldn’t think of preaching to them. I would rather mention this so you can make an informed decision and then make your choice!
I do believe the west end of the Burnt Bridge Creek trail, at the Stewart Glen TH, is much better, but have seen one camp (never seen a person though) in the wooded area south of the trail, about one mile in. In addition, I have once seen the Vancouver police on bicycles, so the trail is being somewhat monitored. I had also seen two police cars, on the trail, during this hike. There is also a series of articles coming out in the Vancouver newspapers that talks about the homeless population at Arnold Park, off the Burt Bridge Creek trail. Just more info for you to mull over before deciding what you want to do?