The trailhead is right at Birch Brook Chalet which has made this one of the most popular routes and the various shortcuts back to the chalet allow the route to be done in segments.
During ski season, a fully serviced chalet is available. Snowshoe trail fees apply.
Snowshoe trail A1 branches off Robin's Route
behind the chalet. An easy route through black spruce forest leads to the intersection of A2 where the route continues (the continuation of A1 and return to the chalet is the first shortcut). Continue along A2 past the intersection of B2 (the second shortcut back to the chalet) and on to Games Trail
and across. After crossing Games Trail
, A2 begins a gradual ascent through previously burnt forest grown back in immature birch and aspen.
Vegetation starkly changes after a briefly steep incline to reach the ridge. Regrowth after the fire has resulted in very patchy slow growing spruce and there are very few substantial trees for displaying markers so watch carefully for the flagging tape. The route stays along the ridge right to the end of A2. At the intersection of B1, watch for the sign that indicates the third shortcut back to the chalet (this portion of the snowshoe route is also good in all seasons).
Continue on B1 to the infamous ravine where there are two crossing options to consider. B1 has ropes to help with the climbs down and up. Turn instead onto B3 which does not have ropes. The slope is gentler but it's a good work out all the same! Climb up the bank of the escarpment to find B1 again. Continue left and follow the trail all the way around the edge of the escarpment, then cross Gosling View
Trail and up onto another ridge. B1 merges into D3 (which can be a direct route back to the chalet via D2, D1, and C1) but for additional distance and scenery, follow D3 onto D2 and then follow all of D5 beneath the tall birches rejoining D2, then D1, a bit of Rabbit Run
and then C3 and E1 back to the old log cabin.
Watch for white willow ptarmigan on the coldest days when wind is swirling the snow! If you follow the trail from the chalet to the B1 intersection and back to the chalet in early summer, enjoy fields of wildflowers. It's lovely to see the early leather leaf flowers so full of bees!