The hike to Poland Lake is a moderate day hike through the varied terrain in E. C. Manning Provincial Park with a great reward. This trail is also popular with equestrians and mountain bikers. Tucked away behind the Manning Park ski resort sits the peaceful Poland Lake. This relatively easy trail is perfect for those looking for a quick overnighter up in the mountains. Follow the road past the Lightning Lakes area and continue toward the ski resort until you see the signs for Strawberry Flats. Park in the designated zone and cross the road, you’ll find the trailhead for Poland Lake almost instantly.
The trail starts off fairly flat for the first kilometer until it merges onto a wider trail and starts to climb. You’ll wind your way up the side of the mountain for a while, eventually emerging into an opening on the ski hill. From here you have a great view of the surrounding mountains and the entire valley. Continue to follow this trail as it winds it’s way up the ski runs. As you cross under the red chair, you’ll see a smaller trail leading up to your left. Many hikers choose this trail as an alternate route, but it eventually links up with the main trail at the top.
After reaching the top of the ski hill you’ll begin your journey around the back of the mountain and toward Poland Lake. A large portion of the elevation gain is climbed during the first half of the hike, making the second half a little easier and more casual. Eventually you’ll end up at a fork in the trail where you'll want to stay right to find Poland Lake.
Bikes and horses can be left at the hitching post before you continue to hike the trail around to the opposite side of Poland Lake to access the camping area. There is a large meadow with lots of places to set up camp along with a few designated areas, fire pits, an outhouse, and even a back country shelter.