OLD GROWTH ALLEY, located along Highway 16 beside Hydro pole 805, is the place to hike on Haida Gwaii for people who want relatively easy access to ancient trees. The route is well marked, though clearing is minimal and no improvements - such as bridges at creek crossings, or stairs on steep sections - have been made on the route.
This route was cut and marked in 2004, and is bound to be a favourite trail for visitors and residents of the islands. This route goes through an isolated wilderness area, and hikers should prepare themselves appropriately, should something go wrong. Because you are surrounded by trees, it is strongly recommended by posted signage that you STAY OUT OF THIS AREA DURING HIGH WINDS! In addition, flooding after heavy rains can make access impossible in some areas.
This loop route follows the main stem of the lower Tlell River for 6 km, and goes through mixed forest and peat bog for 3.5 more kilometers. There are many ancient trees along the river, as well as beautiful places to sit and enjoy the tranquility of this rare and relatively undisturbed riparian area on Haida Gwaii. There is even a designated swimming hole should you feel so inclined.
The trail has not received maintenance in some time and is, therefore, extremely rough. Keep an eye out for the blue markers to help guide your way.
To hike the entire 10km loop, it takes an average time of approximately 6 hours, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of daylight.