The skiing at Mount Sima was fantastic on the last weekend it was open this winter, but besides the excellent snow conditions and weather, the energy was buzzing and the hill was incredibly well prepared. Mount Sima just has to remain operational all year round.

Whatever happens to Mount Sima, the hiking trail will be there. Last year the staff at Sima wanted the trail to be free to hike — so this year, just tell the staff you are going up. You can also pay for the lift and hike down the trail.

It takes about an hour to hike up following Pokey and at least an hour to hike back down. There are many beautiful views to enjoy. If you want to hike all the way up to the observation deck, it is longer again. What I love about the trail is that you can go up after work and have a good workout, but you could just as easily turn it into a day trip.

Last summer I worked as a volunteer and I really noticed the positive atmosphere among the staff.

One staff member said to me, “We’re family. We all love working here.”

I offered to work on an interpretative hiking trail showcasing our native wildflowers. The idea was met with enthusiasm and I got all the support I wanted.

On my first afternoon there, I hiked up with Sam, my boss. We had similar ideas about the trail and the way we could deliver it.

We hiked up the mountain and did some flagging, marking a route towards the bigger lake.

From that point on I worked mostly by myself to get the trails ready, occasionally getting help from a friend.

When I started going up in August, I found blooming fireweed, yarrow, hawksbeard, fleabane, gentian, parnassia and sweet clover. On the Pokey run, just below where the trail starts for now, I found a single moonwort, which is a spore bearing plant, it’s actually a fern.

Higher on the slopes there were blue berries, and on the trail, moss berries, but I didn’t have time to do much picking. After all, there was the trail to work on — looping around the northwest side, through the spruce forest.

The trail is clearly marked with orange flagging tape, which eventually will be replaced by more permanent signs.

And if you feel brave, the bike trails are awesome. One day after cutting some trail, I rode up on the lift to try what a trail maker named Austin called the easiest biking trail, which was tough enough for me but still great fun and very beautiful.

So please check out trail after the weather warms up and the snow melts.