Monday, August 29, 2011

Hike to the Skookumchuck Narrows and a Giveaway you won't want to miss!


 This contest is CLOSED.  Thanks for playing!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Healthy Families BC. I didn't receive any compensation for this post, but rather, a $250 Lululemon gift card that YOU can WIN. See below!

Last week, Kevin and I decided to be tourists in our own town and hike the Skookumchuck Narrows trail, part of a provincial park and tourist attraction near Egmont, BC. We are the kind of family that loves outdoor, adventure type tourist attractions. Between white water rafting, 4x4ing in Moab and hiking, we keep ourselves busy when we are on vacation. We have finished our huge excursions to far away places, but there is plenty of active things to do right here at home.

Summer is drawing to a close now, and what can you do with kids for a short weekend get away to get them away from the TV and computer? Hop the ferry and come to the Sunshine Coast to hike in the temperate rainforest, bike some of the many trails, kayak, or pick blackberries. Late summer is a perfect time to visit!

What makes the Skookumchuck Narrows so special? During large tidal exchanges, 200 billion gallons of water are forced through the narrows by three different inlets, resulting in really turbulent rapids which can be over nine feet high. These tidal rapids are the second largest tidal rapids in the world, and people come from all over just to experience the thrill.

The trail head is just outside of Egmont, BC, at the far end of the Sunshine Coast close to the Earl's Cove ferry terminal. Turn off the highway and follow the signs to Egmont, and you can't miss the trail head. The hiking trail is fairly long at 4km, but we saw plenty of kids under ten, so I would imagine that a family could do this trail fairly easily with some stops along the way. There are bathrooms at either end of the trail, as well as a bake shop and museum close by the trail head. We wandered through lush ferns and trees over a fairly wide, packed trail past a picturesque lake while squirrels chattered at us for entering their territory. I was grateful that we remembered bottles of water and good shoes, because we certainly needed them.


bake shop


"Mom! There's a bake shop! A BAKE SHOP!" The only way I could make him continue on was to promise to return some day to check it out.


skookumtrail

The trail was mixed terrain. A good part of the trail looked like this and would be perfect for sports strollers, but don't be fooled. Eventually the trail splits while you choose to go to different parts of the rapids, and from there it becomes significantly more narrow and rocky.


interpretive signs

There are interpretive signs along the way, teaching about the local plants and aboriginal culture.


Watching kayakers do tricks

We were ready for a break once we reached the view point by the rapids. There was a rocky ledge and lots of space to sit and watch the rapids while kayakers braved the waters to put on a show, doing tricks and flips! When the tide is high, or flowing, as in the picture, it's important to keep out of the water. When the tide is very low, you can wander out a little farther and look at the marine life clinging to the rocks.


kayaker2

It's hard to believe that those waves are caused simply by the tide! Check out the video I took while we sat on the beach and watched-it's incredible!



Getting out and doing active things with your kids is a great way to spend time with them. I'm not the kind of Mom who is motivated enough to go to the gym every day, but this is something that I loved-not just because it made me be active, but I got to spend time with my teenager.

Do you like hiking? Take the Healthy Families BC Walking Challenge, and you can win prizes! You have until September 19 to enter, and can win everything from bikes to a pass to a local recreation center, or even one of six grand prize package getaways. Get out there for a walk, bring your camera or camcorder, then send in your story. You might just win! While you are there, check out the Healthy Families BC site for all sorts of recipes and lunch box ideas as well. Or, you can check out their Facebook page and share your own healthy living tips.

Wait, there's more! You don't have to enter just over at Healthy Families BC, you can win right here because they have generously offered me a great prize to share with all of YOU!

Prize:

One gift card to Lululemon, valued at $250

Rules:

This giveaway is open to residents of Canada who are the age of majority. You must have a Canadian mailing address.

How to Enter:

Leave me a comment, as much as once a day if you wish, from now until September 29, 2011. One winner will be drawn at random and notified by email or twitter. Please leave me some way to contact you. If you leave an email address, write it as follows jane (at) yahoo (dot) ca so that you are not inundated with spam. Or, you can leave me your twitter handle so I can just tweet you.

You can get an extra entry, up to one a day, by tweeting about the giveaway! Just copy and paste:

@scatteredmom took a hike, and YOU can win a $250 gift card to Lululemon from @healthyfamilybc http://t.co/wlAzkok #healthyfambc


Happy walking! I'd love to hear what sort of outdoorsy things you like to do with your kids.

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