Discover a Little BC Logging History on the Flume Trail
The small town of Chase was established as an industrial town in 1908 to service the Adams River Lumber Company’s new mill. The mill was the first major industry to be established in the interior of BC following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. During the first three years of operation, all the logging took place within half a mile from shore. Two loggers using seven to ten foot crosscut saws cut down the trees often employing spring boards to get above the waste wood such as hollow butts and large splayed root systems. During 1912 timber near the shoreline of Adams Lake became scarce making it no longer possible to move logs to the lake with chutes or tote roads. The company then embarked on a most interesting mode of log transportation.
In the Bear Creek Valley there was a small lake located near the bulk of the timber. A dam with and a V-shaped flume was built in order to float the logs 11 miles to the lower Adams River. In order to maintain a constant flow of water in the flume, it was necessary to follow a very steady grade. Often the flume was carried on trestles 50 to 80 feet above the ground to cross gullies. Logs could travel the 11 miles in only 15 minutes. By 1925 many of the methods and machinery were obsolete. Lumber produced in the mill cost the company $25.00 per thousand FBM (foot board measure). The same lumber was selling on the prairie for $10.00 per thousand. The company had operated for nearly twenty years, but succumbed to economics and ceased operation in the fall of 1925.
From left to right: Bob Balmer hand falls a cedar tree twenty miles north of Adams Lake on the Adams River. A flume used by Adams Lake Lumber Company to transport logs to the Adams River, near Bear Creek, BC, circa 1910.
The trail is separated into two parts, the upper trail which follows Bear Creek and the lower trail that brings you to Adams River. The upper trail has an upper and lower loop, to do both takes approximately 2 hours. Be sure to check out the display showing a re-created section of the flume beside an old section of the original flume.
HOW TO GET THERE...
From Kamloops drive past Chase and take the turn off to the North Shuswap. Turn right onto Holding Road where the sign points to Adams Lake. Drive a few minutes down the road until you see the sign on the left that says Historic Flume Trail...park there.