Cucwéll te Melámen (Medicine Trail)

As the name suggests, this trail along the hillside over Sugar Cane is an excellent place for foraging traditional Secwépemc medicinal plants. The exposed, south-facing slope means it gets plenty of sunlight and provides excellent views (especially as the sun is rising or setting). The grade is gentle, making it a favorite for everyone from youth to Elder. Please remember that the Secwépemc are the stewards of all WLFN Traditional Territory. This may be a favorite place for WLFN members to forage for plants, but visitors should check in with WLFN before harvesting or foraging from WLFN Traditional Territory.


Autumn is a favorite time to go for a walk, run, or bike along the Medicine trail. Catch the sunrise around 7-8am, or the sunset around 3:30-5:00pm. The fresh autumn air and soft colour palate of the landscape is calming and beautiful.

While most berries may be past their prime, the evergreens like spruce, douglas fir, and juniper go strong right through the winter. Fall is an excellent time to harvest juniper berries. Rosehips are sweeter and more nutritious when harvested after the first frost.

Deer, coyotes, grouse, badgers, occasional moose and even elk (rarely!) have been spotted in the area. Remember that bears are most active in the fall months as they fatten up for hibernation. Let the bears know you’re around by keeping the conversation rolling or wearing a bear bell. By now the woodpeckers will be making themselves heard. Watch for pileated, harry, and downy woodpeckers, along with red shafted flickers.


A bright, sunny winter day is a fantastic day for a walk along the medicine trail. Bust out the snowshoes or cross-country skis if the snow is too deep!

The rosehips may have shriveled down to nothing, but the evergreens are still going strong.

Keep an eye out for deer, coyotes, grouse, badgers, and occasionally moose and even elk! By this time of year, all the bears will be snoozing, so they are not a concern. Cougars, however, have occasionally been spotted in the general area, and do not hibernate. Cougar sightings are very infrequent, so don’t let them scare you away from taking in the beautiful views of the medicine trail! The eastern end of Williams Lake, where Borland Creek connects, is a favorite spot for eagles and osprey.


Given it’s bright, sunny exposure, the medicine trail tends to dry out relatively early in the season, while many other trails are still snowy or muddy. Please take caution if it’s still mucky and slippery out!

Kinnikinnick, balsam root (the yellow, sunflower-like flower), and wild roses will be starting to show themselves. Saskatoons bloom early, with their delicate, white flowers.

The usual deer, coyotes, grouse, badgers, and occasional moose can be seen along the medicine trail. In the springtime the bears start waking up and rubbing their eyes, so let them know you’re around by keeping the conversation rolling or wearing a bear bell. Spring is when the pelicans start coming back to the Cariboo! They have a regular spot at the eastern end of the lake. Bring your binoculars and look to the nearest end of the lake to see if they are here yet.


The hillside can get sunny and hot in the long days of summer. Don’t forget to prepare with a hat, shirt, and sunscreen. Bring lots of water and take a break at the shaded viewing deck.

Early summer is the best time for picking berries — just make sure to catch them when they’re plump and juicy. Keep an eye out on the trail for sxusem (soapberries) and speqpeq7úw̓i (saskatoon berries) along the trail. The rosehips may be appearing, but they will not be ready to pick for some time, so let them grow.

The bears will have mostly retreated further into the woods by summertime. There have been rare moose, cougar, lynx, and elk sightings along the hillside. Much more common are coyotes, grouse, chipmunks, and squirrels. Eagles and osprey are frequently circling over the east end of the lake and Borland Creek. If you brought your binoculars, look down towards the eastern tip of the lake to see if the pelicans are at their favorite hangout.