A loop of old roads and bike trails, climbing through the forest to a series of lookouts over Kootenay Lake. Enjoy the shade and watch out for mountain bikes.
Distance, round trip: 8km
Season: April to November
Trailhead and Driving Directions
Cross the Harrop-Proctor ferry and then follow the main Harrop-Proctor Road 10.2km all the way through the area, continuing as it passes the Proctor General Store and turns into Proctor Road East. Be sure to stop at the Proctor Village Cafe for an epic cinnamon bun to fuel the hike.
At the very end of Proctor Road East, reach a turnaround circle with room for parking. This area is signed “Kootenay Lake Village”.
Park in the circle and then walk back up the road a minute to come to Lexington Avenue where the trailhead is marked with blue signs:
Which way up?
There are 2 main trails that intersect in multiple places. The “old road” which the mountain bikes use as their ascent, and then the official “Proctologist trail” where the bikes rip down. You can hike a loop or a figure-eight on this trail network, but be very aware on “Proctologist” sections to watch and listen for bikes. You can also consult the Trail Forks app for an additional map of the area.
Through the Forest
We accessed the trail network just before Lexington Ave to get on the old road right way. The old road climbs at a more gentle grade and has the spurs leading off to Lookouts 1-5. Some of the lookouts are overgrown, but others have worthy views.
We hiked in a figure-eight, up the old road until we intersected the Proctologist bike trail at 2.0km. This allowed us to do the big climb before lunch and then descend back on the old road to reach Lookouts 4 and 5 for lunch.
At the top of the trail network, the old road plateaus through the forest and is a bit overgrown.
The big views
Lookouts 4 and 5 are at the top of the old road and offer the biggest views of Kootenay Lake. Look for Mount Loki on a clear day and the Kootenay Lake Ferry far below.
Both Lookouts 4 and 5 have benches and picnic tables. Lookout 4 offers a shelter for rainy days.
If you’re descending the Proctologist Trail, be careful navigating the lower sections as it turns into a network of shortcuts and side trails, some connecting back to the old road. This area has big stands of Skunk Cabbage in May as well as Pink Lady Slipper Orchids.