Statistics: Each trail is less than 1 km roundtrip with minimal elevation gain.View map (canoe)View map (golden spruce)Download GPS track (canoe)Download GPS track (golden spruce)
The Golden Spruce and Haida Canoe are two very short separate hikes accessed by the same logging road. The road is passable by car, but some sections require caution.
The trailhead for the Golden Spruce is 3.5 km from the end of the main paved road through Port Clements. It is the most popular hike of the two and was once the primary tourist destination for anyone passing through Port Clements. The short trail through old growth forest led to an incredibly rare sitka spruce whose needles were brilliantly gold in color. Unfortunately, in 1997 an eco-terrorist cut it down in a weird, counterintuitive protest against the logging industry. Several grafts were taken and new trees have been planted in hidden locations, but it will be 300 years before they're similar in size to the one that was cut. The only one you can see is near the museum in Port Clements and is protected by a high barbed-wire fence, but for some reason we didn't detour to see it. The walk to the former site of the mother tree is still worthwhile, however, as the old growth forest is gorgeous in this area.
The Haida Canoe is less popular, but is still signed and the trail is in good condition. The trailhead is 7.8 km past the Golden Spruce trailhead, or 11.3 km from the end of the paved main road in Port Clements. A huge sign indicates the beginning of the trail along an old road. Follow this old road for a few hundred meters, crossing a bridge along the way. When the old road appears to end, visible to the right is what appears to be an old cedar log split in half that, judging by the foot traffic in the area, many appear to mistake for the canoe. It isn't. The actual unfinished canoe is at the end of a short, well constructed trail to the left that is a bit grown in near the beginning. The canoe is at the end of this short trail. As a bit of background, the Haida were expert canoe makers and would construct a canoe by hollowing out a huge cedar log and expanding the cavity using steam. The resultant canoes were very sea worthy and were used to trade with the mainland and for fishing. For unknown reasons, the canoe on this trail was not finished.