The Strathcona Wilderness Institute offers amazing hikes through the alpine.

Oh, those delightful whiskey jacks

Learn more about those clever, and hungry, mountain birds with the Strathcona Wilderness Institute

  • Aug. 15, 2013 9:00 a.m.

It has been an amazing summer for hiking in Strathcona Park.

The guided hikes and nature programs continue at the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows. The centre, operated by the non-profit Strathcona Wilderness Institute, is adjacent to Mt. Washington Resort’s Raven Lodge.

New this year at the Wilderness Centre is the lecture, “What Happened to the Tsolum?” by Jack Minard of the Tsolum River Restoration Society. The lecture happens this Saturday at 1 p.m.

This is a timely topic given the possibilities of increased mining in the Comox Valley area. Pre-registration is not required for this talk but be aware that there is limited space for the indoor presentation.

On Sunday, Julian Brooks guides a hike to Johnston and Panther Lakes. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Wilderness Centre for this strenuous 20-kilometre, eight-hour hike.

Pre-registration is required by e-mailing

Also on Sunday, at 1 p.m., the institute hosts the return of Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society with presentations on whiskey jacks and owls.

Learn about one of the mountains’ most charismatic residents, the whiskey jack. These inquisitive, year-round birds are fast learners and have a reputation for begging food from people. Come and learn about what makes these birds so special and how you can help them thrive.

Nature walks and hikes will continue into September. For the full schedule visit

For all activities: dress for the weather, wear proper footwear, bring lunch or snacks, water, bug spray and sun protection. No pets unless otherwise noted.

Programs are free, although a donation of $5 –10 is appreciated to help with the institute’s ongoing activities.