winter drive: alice lake loop

A few weeks ago, we took a scenic drive known as the Alice Lake Loop. We read there were various short hikes and natural attractions along the way. We may have missed some stops or turn-offs, as it really was mostly driving and very little walking.

On the other hand, in an area that is trying to reinvent itself as a tourism destination, any attraction, no matter how small, is included in the guidebooks and websites. So I don't know if the Alice Lake Loop is of mild interest, or if we missed some stops, or maybe a bit of both. I think we'll try again later in the year, and try to find more points of interest along the way.

The drive itself was interesting, as it is all on logging roads. That means minimal paving, lots of gravel, huge ruts and bumps, and very slow going.

Here's a sample of what we saw.

Tracks on a frozen lake.

Tiny waterfalls standing still.

Lakes like mirrors.

The area is known for karst, formations formed by water working on certain kinds of stone. It's an area full of caves, underground springs, and cenotes, which are natural sinkholes that contain water. We saw cenotes in Mexico, and the ancient people who lived in what is now Petra, Jordan, created them to store water after flash floods.

One noted karst formation is called Devil's Bath. It wasn't easy to photograph. It's a large cenote, visible from the logging road.

Another example of karst is called the Eternal Fountain. It was a lovely, quiet area off the main road, with several underground springs.

We saw many trees growing in this elbow shape. We don't know why trees do this!

Walking even a few metres from the road, you can feel that you're deep in a rainforest. Everything is covered in moss and ferns.

Every so often you come upon an area that appears to be freshly logged, not yet replanted. It has a look of brutal destruction, although much of the forest has been logged and re-grown.

The forest is so beautiful. All my life, I have found being in the woods so rejuvenating and restorative.

Diego likes the woods, too. Especially with yummy snow on top.

More photos from the Alice Lake Loop are here on Flickr.


James Redekop said...

The bent trees happen when a young tree gets knocked over, but not entirely uprooted. It ends up pointing at an angle, and as it continues to grow, it tries to grow vertically -- but its roots are stuck at the angle. I've seen trees where this has happened a couple of times -- makes for some odd shapes!

johngoldfine said...

Not to argue with James, but I think they grow that way just to look sexy and lord it over the blah trees who have no sense of style.

Jay Farquharson said...

Bent trees are a product of the logging process, when saplings and young trees are runnover and “bent”

Amy said...

I have no opinions on how those trees grew that way, but they are sure fascinating! Lovely scenery, Laura.