One of the best hiking trails on the North Island is the Merry Widow Mountain trail. At 1500 meters high, Merry Widow Mt is not only a great hike but also offers stunning views for photography. To get to the Merry Widow trail it’s best if you have a 4X4 vehicle with good tires as the road up to the trail head is fairly steep but has been graded recently. The turn off to Merry Widow Main is just after Benson Lake along the Alice Lake Loop. Heading up Merry Widow Main keep to the left all the way up to the trail head. The hike to the top of the mountain takes an hour or more depending upon how many breaks you take and another half hour or more along the top of the mountain to the peak. The last part of the trip to the peak is a steep narrow trail that may not be for anyone with a fear of heights. On a clear day, the peak offers a view south towards Zeballos like no other. Bring a tripod for panoramas, sun glasses to protect from snow blind (there are pockets of snow here and there) and lots of water and of course a camera. Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain and quite often in August you may see a river of fog flowing through the Benson valley below.
Douglas Bradshaw has lived in the North Island for 33 years. He is a Landscape and Wildlife photographer based out of Port Alice B.C. His website is portalicephoto.com follow him on YouTube and Facebook at Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw