A couple of weeks ago Marc and I took a mini holiday to the Sunshine Coast. We did several walks (as always) but the hike to Triangle Lake was the most interesting. Well, although this hike is one of the 105 hikes, it was a little less impressive than most of those hikes. However, although the scenery wasn’t particularly epic the forest floor was covered in mushrooms. Marc and I have never seen such a huge variety of fungi on one walk! We made the most of it, and spent lots of time searching for the mushrooms and taking photos of them all.
Triangle Lake trail – the basics
Distance: 8 km (both ways)
Elevation gain: 185m
Highest Point: 210m
Time: 3 hours (It took us 4 hours, but we were going super slow for photos!)
What to bring:
Waterproof clothes! Camera (if you like mushrooms)
The ten essentials
There is a loo at the beach, before you get started.
Yep, but they need to stay on a lead.
How hard is it?
Triangle Lake trail map
Sunshine Coast – getting there
You need to take a ferry to reach the Sunshine Coast. It is about 40 minutes from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. From there, you just need to drive along the sunshine coast highway. Once you’ve driven through Sechelt, you need to turn off on Redrooffs road to reach Sargeant Bay Regional Park. There is a road down to a car park by the beach, but it is not on google maps, so you’ll just have to trust me that it is there.
Triangle Lake trail – getting started
Once you’ve found the car park at the beach, follow the path back up to Redrooffs road. Cross the road, and then continue to follow the path North into the forest. When we were there is was soggy but beautiful.
Teeny tiny mushrooms
We found quite a few teeny tiny mushrooms. I have no idea what they are, but it is fun to spot them in the moss.
Polypores – bracket mushrooms
There were quite a few trees that were covered in bracket mushrooms. We found a whole range of colours and shapes of them.
Some of them take over whole tree trunks.
These peach coloured polypores look amazing when I crouched below them and looked up at the light shining through them.
Again, I have no idea what this mushroom is, but isn’t it pretty!? The top of the mushroom had a slight purple colour, but it was even more pronounced when I crouched down for a closer look.
I might be wrong, but I think I found a bunch of honey mushrooms too.
You can’t really tell from photos, but there was such a variety of sizes of these mushrooms. This one was so large that its weight made it fall over onto its side. It was bigger than my face!
I have no idea what these are actually called, but I call them trident mushrooms. They look like a mixture of tiny tridents or pitch forks! I have never seen anything like these.
Gorgeous walk through the forest
After seeing all these fungi, we realised that we had spent an hour in the forest, but we’d walked for less than one kilometer. Oops. So we sped up a little and only stopped when we spotted really remarkable fungi.
Huge Artist’s Conk
Some of the polypores stay on the trees for years, growing larger and larger. This one was huge (about the size of both my hands.) When we went on a wild mushroom foraging tour last month, we were told the dew on these is really tasty if you lick it. This one was really high up the tree though, so I couldn’t get near it.
I love the look of these conks too. The first photo was another massive fungi. The second photo shows older conks that had died and then had moss grow all over them.
Different trees = different fungi
One area of the forest was full of evergreen trees. So the fungi we spotted looked quite different again.
This was a few meters away from the two mushrooms above. It’s one of my favourites because it looks so fluffy and beautiful. We’ve found this a few times on the North Shore of Vancouver. Isn’t it gorgeous.
The scenery changed again in the next part of the walk. The floor was now covered in moss and lichen. This meant the mushrooms all changed again.
I loved these three fungi. They made their own teeny forest view.
We also found quite a few of these puffball mushrooms. These are the ones that are like marshmallows to start with, then they dry out and fill with spores. If you squish them, they’ll poof and spew out their spores into the surrounding forest.
We’d sped up by now, and made it up to triangle lake. I hate to say it, as normally I love high points and lake views, but triangle lake itself was not particularly impressive. It’s a bit of a bog, rather than a lake. Still, there is a pretty, moss-covered path around it.
This was the next frilly mushroom on our walk around triangle lake. It looks like as the mushroom ages, it folds up upon itself.
Marc thinks these cool little fellas aren’t fungi, but some sort of mold. Whatever they are, I love the bright colour!!
How bright can mushrooms get!?
These last couple of bright mushrooms were the last couple that we spotted on our way home. I think the first one is witches butter. I have no idea what the orange spindly fungi are!
The walk back to Sargeant Bay was a lot faster than our slow meander up the triangle lake trail. The light was starting to fade, so we couldn’t really take more fungi photos! We made it back to the beach just in time to see the sky turn pink and pretty. We also had a gorgeous far-off view of Mount Baker, framed by the islands just off the Sunshine Coast.
Hiking on the sunshine coast is quite different to the other walks we’ve done in the Pacific North West. There is minimal elevation gain, so these hikes are easier, but they are still beautiful. We also explored:
- Smugglers Cove
- Mount Daniel