Pipestone to Bigstone Hike: Better than the Nature channel

The Pipestone Creek trail is a favourite of moderate fitness enthusiasts, but at the height of midsummer it’s an absolute BONANZA for those of us who like flowering plants.

Pipestone CreekTwenty people from Edmonton, Beaumont, Hay Lakes, Wetaskiwin, and Camrose met on a quiet road at the bridge over Pipestone Creek. Immediately we entered the dark and mossy forest of towering old spruce that edged along the right bank. Soon we came out to open and flowered meadows that overlooked farms to the south.

We went up and down the slopes, in and out of gulleys, and stepped over many strange fungi, not to mention numerous stiles.

 

Plant lovers

The weather was humid and mostly overcast but the frequent breezes kept back the mosquitoes. We were concerned that the dirt slopes would be sticky after the rain we had, in the city anyway, almost every day this week. We were relieved to find the slopes dry.

 

 

Lunch was long and leisurely on the bank of the Pipestone where it meets the Bigstone Creek. The cows on the other side watched us and we watched them. “Better than the Nature channel,” said Kirsten.

Cows

On the way back, a violent splashing got our attention. We stopped to watch a juvenile duck beating the water with its wings, propelling itself along the surface, as it tried and tried to lift itself off into flight.

Hairy Golden Aster?

Hairy Golden Aster?

Brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan

Hyssop

Hyssop

Fleabane

Fleabane

Large mushroom

Large mushroom

Coral mushroom

Coral mushroom

michele3

We are deeply grateful to the Trail Maintenance crew for the fine work of mowing back the lush growth, the clearing of fallen trees, and the excellent trail signing that made this such an enjoyable hike today.

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See more photos at the Waskahegan Trail Flickr account.

 

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Maintenance: Meeting the challenge

Yesterday nine of us set out with a plan of 3 building projects along different parts of the trail . As is often the case, the plan is challenged with reality when we execute it.

We started in North Miquelon gaining access through an empty lot at Sanctuary Estates. Luck was with us as a house build was in progress with the basement being dried so no workmen were around. Using a barely visible overgrown path leading to the bridge built previously, we finished it with ramps and a few boards saving much time and effort as its location is in the middle of a 5km section of trail.

We then drove past Miquelon Park down Rabbit Run road to another section of Miquelon where 300 meters from the road last year we covered a wet area with a 5 section boardwalk. It now sits in the middle of a lake! So we carted down all of the wood we brought and built as many more sections as possible but were unable to place them without rubber boots. It is a task easier done when the water is lower.

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With no materials left to build a new bridge at Kopp lake we were forced to call it a day and go for coffee! Thank you to the 8 volunteers out!

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Pipestone A50 to Bigstone Creek hike rescheduled

We have postponedĀ  the Pipestone A50 to Bigstone Creek hike that was scheduled for July 10th to July 17th due to the thunderstorm expected throughout the day.

The Fort Ethier A48 to A48D hike originally scheduled for July 17th will now occur on August 14th.

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