Hike the Happy Creek Trail

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Hiking the Happy Creek Trail in Hinton, Alberta. Trailhead begins at the Beaver Boardwalk, Canada's longest freshwater boardwalk.
We are so lucky to have these boardwalk trails right in town.

 
For this hike, Jax (Jacqueline Rose) and I were joined by another local blogger Allison (check out her new blog over at My Slice of Paradise) for a local hike and we chose to stick really close to home. 

There are so many trails to choose from in this area that we felt like we would be remiss if we didn’t visit them soon. We were not disappointed.

At 5.5km around the loop, The Happy Creek Trail is part of the Hinton Mountain Bike Association’s (HMBA) fantastic trail system and it attaches directly to the Beaver Boardwalk trail system.
 
We met at the boardwalk parking area next to Maxwell apartments and I’m sure we looked a tad ridiculous as we headed off wearing our packs.
 
 
 
We left at 10:30 am and had every intention of being back by 1:00 pm.

Once on the trail running along the back side of Maxwell Lake we turned right and chose to start at the western most trail head. There are two trail heads within a few hundred meters of each other on either side of the bridge.
 
 
 
The trail heads south and quite soon you are on a small ridge looking down at the south loop of the boardwalk before coming out at a power line cutline. Continue across and the trail winds through the trees, with very moderate ups and downs.

In my opinion, this is the perfect trail for cutting your teeth on hiking with moderate ups and downs, a narrower trail than your groomed pathways in town and roots and other minor obstacles to get used to.

The signage that the HMBA have put up is excellent and informative, and there’s ample little orange tins marking the trees along the way so there was little doubt we were heading in the right direction.
 
 
Because it is a popular biking trail it is also fairly well traveled. Please remember these are mountain bike trails, so watch for bikers and give them the right of way. 
 
The trail follows along the creek, but for the most part you aren’t seeing it as you are higher and the creek often becomes a larger, swampy slew down below. We felt like we should have been seeing moose, but we weren’t that fortunate.
 
 
Just before the point where you cross the creek, there is a bench at the top of the ridge looking down over the gulley. It’s a great place to snap a few pics and have a snack. Hiking in and having lunch would also be great.

There are well maintained bridges along the way where needed, and a ground level boardwalk spans a particularly swampy area, keeping your feet dry.
 
 
Right near the end of the hike we were rained on and we welcomed the cool-down. We also stepped off the trail to allow thirty children from a school in Devon to pass as they visited our park for a field trip. 

We were back to our cars right on time, even though we stopped many times along the way for photos.

I will be taking this hike again, and often. I will adjust my pack weight and challenge my time as I use this gem to train for other longer and more difficult hikes.
Hinton Alberta Day Hike Canadian Rockies Beaver Boardwalk

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