The "Dover Trail", named after a Sandspit lady of Haida ancestry, aka the "Louise Dover Memorial Trail", aka the "Haans loop", is located just out of the community of Sandspit, close to the marina. The trail goes through the Damaxyaa Heritage Site and Conservancy area and is maintained on a regular basis, mainly by locals. Please note that because it is user maintained, the path can sometimes be hard to follow, have some trees across the main trail, and be muddy and slippery.
This hike is also listed on the Guide to Recreation sites and trails of Haida Gwaii
As you are heading to the ferry, the trailhead is located immediately after the Haans creek bridge, on your left. The Sandspit Community Map will show you where the trailhead is located.
This trail can be wet, muddy and slippery at all times of year. Appropriate hiking shoes are mandatory. It is a good idea to wear proper hiking clothes as well, and carry some water with you. This trail, though only about 5 kms long, usually takes about 2 hours to complete, going at a moderate pace.
The trail first follows the right bank of Haans Creek before crossing the stream, and making a loop through more hilly terrain.
This is one of the few trails on islands that will take you into an old-growth forest: a forest that has not been extensively logged. The trail will first lead you through a typical river habitat, where tall Alder trees grow. If you decide to do the loop clockwise, the path then goes through a stand of giant Spruce, before going through a part of the forest with a predominance of Red Cedar and will finish by passing through a grove of Hemlock.
There is a chance that you may come across some wildlife while hiking this trail – there is always the possibility of coming across a bear or deer. The endemic species of black bears of Haida Gwaii (Ursus Americanus Carlottae) are not known for being aggressive and tend to steer clear of any interaction with people. Salmon season, from late August on, increases the chances of sighting bears. They are wild animals and you should not attempt to get close to them.
There are many different types of birds that you may come across, as well. Among the many birds that you may spot or hear, these would be the most common: warblers, woodpeckers, creepers, robins, thrushes and wrens. There are also, of course, ravens, crows and eagles.
Haans creek flows along the side of the path for a part of trail. There are young salmon growing in this creek, so it is important that the creek does not get disrupted in any way.
Approximately half way through the trail, a difficult, steep and slippery side trail, only about 400m one way, will take you to a very scenic waterfall. This waterfall is actually not part of Haans creek, but is a separate creek that flows nearby.
Though this trail is usually well marked, please remember that blowdown, floods etc. can change the trail's appearance.