The Echo Valley trail is one of my absolute favourites. I’m always looking for an excuse to return and since this weekend we had a couple of newer hikers with us who had never done the trail before, I had the perfect excuse.
I’ve written about the trail before in my very first post here, so I won’t go into too much detail on the route itself. The cloudy conditions this weekend gave the hike quite a different feel though, so I felt that it deserved a revisit.
The first hour or so of the hike was as beautiful as it usually is. While not quite as colourful as it was back in the heart of spring there was still plenty of pretty flowers to admire.
After a while we started approaching the clouds that were looming so ominously above us. I’ve never hiked this trail in this sort of conditions before and was quite excited for the experience. Normally these sort of conditions would be cause for concern. I’ve hiked this trail multiple times and am quite familiar with the route though, so navigating it was not an issue.
The clouds provided a moody backdrop that contrasted perfectly against the bright flowers.
You can see the tiny droplets forming on the hairs on the buds
The part of the trail I was most looking forward to seeing in the cloudy conditions was the Spes Bona Forest. It is always a treat getting to walk through the gloomy forest, but it was just perfect with the clouds adding that extra eeriness to the experience.
Once we emerged from the forest we unfortunately didn’t get the gorgeous view of the ocean from the valley. Instead we were greeted with endless grey with sprinkles of pink and yellow among the greenery. I’m not quite sure which view I prefer to be honest.
After a short scramble we reached the top where we were greeted with the view of a bunch of white buds that sort of looked like lit candles in the mist.
The way back down was fairly uneventful except for a few slips on the wooden walkways in the Echo Valley Forest. Be really careful on those when they are wet, make use of the hand rails where you can.
The clouds gradually dissipated as we descended and we got some really cool views of the bright, sunny bay while still being partially covered by the heavy, grey clouds.
I’m really glad that I got to return to Echo Valley, it is such an beautiful place. It was especially beautiful in the cloudy conditions and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the weather reports to try and spot an opportunity to experience it like this again.