Gold Country Barnes Lake Trail
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Part of the ongoing Gold Country GeoTourism Program. All the fun of geocaching with an added tourism twist; discover tales of our pioneers, unearth geological wonders or reveal magnificent sites of beauty. If you enjoyed this adventure look for more in this series. Collect a sticker from 24 caches of Phase 2 and redeem for a prize. Check goldtrail.com for more details.
Barnes Lake Trail
It’s a cold winter day and a school bus full of children crashes onto a frozen lake. Fourteen people are reported dead among them 12 school children…
A frozen Barnes Lake became the setting for this scene from The Sweet Hereafter. The Academy Award nominee (Best Original Screenplay) Canadian Director/Screenwriter Atom Egoyan filmed the pivotal scene of the school bus sliding out of control off Barnes Lake Road and towards the ice covered lake on location. However, the sequence when the school bus stops on the ice covered lake and breaks through the ice and sinks was accomplished through the use of special effects. It was determined that as a stunt it would be too risky, and that having a bus going into the lake was environmentally unsound. Also, it would be logistically too difficult to retrieve the bus.
Ian Holm stars as Mitchel Stevens the lawyer who descends on the grieving community with promises of retribution. Stevens soon discovers that beneath the surface of the small town all is not as it seems. Other cast members include; Sarah Polley and Bruce Greenwood. The school bus driver was portrayed by renowned Canadian actress Gabrielle Rose who was born and raised in Kamloops, BC.
Other scenes from The Sweet Hereafter were filmed on Highway 8 (between Merritt and Spences Bridge), Spences Bridge and Venables Valley. Flower & Garnet is a powerful story of a broken family. A father’s inability to cope with the death of his wife during childbirth affects his relationship with his children, Flower and Garnet. Jane McGregor gives a solid performance in the role of Flower as she takes on the care of Garnet. When a teen-age Flower becomes pregnant and decides to keep her baby it creates more anguish in the family. The emergence of Ed’s girlfriend and a BB gun he buys for Garnet add to the plot.
Barnes Lake is where the father Ed, portrayed by Canadian Callum Keith Rennie, gets frustrated fishing and throws the boat motor into the lake. From the production stand point, it was vital that the boat motor be absolutely stripped of any fluids or residue in order to prevent pollution so they had a second motor especially prepared for the scene. In other words the boat motor had a ‘stunt double’. The boat was situated very close to the shore, although the viewer couldn’t tell, a cord was attached to the boat motor for easy retrieval. A saftey diver was also present.
Flower & Garnet was written and directed by Vancouver’s Keith Behrman. For this film Behrman was awarded the Claude Jutra Award for outstanding achievement by a Canadian director in a first theatrical feature. Ten year old Colin Roberts as Garnet also received a Genie nomination for Best Actor. Scenes from Flower & Garnet were also shot in the nearby town of Ashcroft as well as Walhachin and Savona.
In 2010, the winding Barnes Lake Road provided an excellent backdrop for a Harley Davidson commercial because the road projects the open road and allure of motorcycle riding. More information regarding the history of Barnes Lake can be found in GeoTourism Adventures Field Guide Volume 1- Barnes and Williard Lake Gravesite
|Detailed access information:
Barnes Lake Trail Nearest Community: Ashcroft, B.C.
Ownership: Crown Land
Accuracy: 1 meter
Access Information and restrictions:
Shared Crown Land, close gate behind you.
From Ashcroft, follow Hwy 97C south to Barnes Lake Rd.
Note: Trail runs beside main road – gate is at Pole #37.
Parking advice: Pull off main road and park where it is safe- heavy truck traffic. Walk to trail head gate.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum