It is evident that you could spend several days exploring this 125 km network of trails. The route I have chosen, comprising many equally relaxing trails, is almost a two-hour loop that skirts the lower western boundary of the system and comes home down the middle of it.
Heading north out of the parking lot, with the lodge on your right, you will immediately come to a fork in the road. Take the left split, called Metford Rd. (the right-hand fork is Larch Hills Rd.).
In the first 10 minutes, a couple of roads join Metford Rd., but the way is obvious. At the 10-minute mark you will pass a yellow steel gate on the left directing you in to Bilbo’s Bog. Stay on Metford Rd.
From the gate, over the next 10 minutes, Skyview and Raven’s Ridge trails approach from the left. Once again, stay on the main road.
Look closely for Mushroom Fantasy Trail as it departs Metford Rd. to the right, 2 km, or 30 minutes, from the trailhead. Follow Mushroom Fantasy for about 1 km until it meets Ermine Frolick Loop about 15 minutes later. Take the left option to travel along Ermine Frolick Loop. From here on, the trail widens substantially.
Continue along the main road – it’s unmistakable. This very wide, grassed-over road is a welcome respite from the many narrow, single-track trails in the Salmon Arm area. This is a fantastic way to walk through the woods; all this openness is rare in a forest stroll.
The Jay Walk path departs from Ermine Frolick Loop on its right side and will cut about 10 minutes off the trek. It is a lesser trail that cuts through the forest and reconnects with Ermine Frolick Loop about five minutes later. Alternatively, stick to Ermine Frolick Loop and make the full round of about 1 km.
Five minutes beyond the Jay Walk link with Ermine Frolick Loop, the trail travels through a rather large field. In the midst of this field, Ermine Frolick Loop goes both left and right; take the left option.
A few more trails continue to attach themselves to the main road for another 10 minutes until you reach the top of a steep downward hill. Don’t worry, you’re not going the wrong way on a one-way route, nor is it necessary for you to stay to the right side of the road. Those instruction signs are for the benefit of cross-country skiers.
Just beyond the bottom of the hill is Larch Hills Rd. Take the right fork to find yourself back at the parking lot within 5 to 10 minutes.