Ministik Berg Hike: Blossoms and Beavers

Twenty people came out to hike on our warmest day yet. The aspen leaves are still emerging, so most of the time we were only in dappled shade.

The Ministik Bird Sanctuary is a beautiful, undisturbed plot of land. The trail, which is narrow and discrete, wanders from pond to pond through aspen woods, up and down hills, and over boardwalks. We saw ducks, geese, and coots, and listened to the call of chickadees and warblers.The biggest impact on the land here is clearly the beavers. We even walked across a beaver dam.

Fruit trees are in bloom now. We saw saskatoons, pin cherries, red currants, and hazelnuts.
Saskatoon blossoms
The mushrooms are starting too. We spotted a false morel.
False morel

On our return, we watched a muskrat swimming in one of the ponds.

It was an amazing day for pictures. Have a look on Flickr.


Hiking Source of the Blackmud

Last Sunday’s hike is definite proof that you should never, ever, hold out for “better weather on another day,” when you can hike the “Source of the Blackmud” in the middle of May.

Emerging sage

For if you did postpone, you would miss the cool fresh air on your face…the excitement of swallows shooting in and out of nest boxes…and the dazzle of emerging green foliage, early blue violets, and yellow buttercups.



Twelve hardy people participated in the hike. It was a pleasant day out for all of us.

Lunch was spent on a lovely hill overlooking the north end of North Coal Lake.

East Battle River and famous features

Twenty-one hikers came out to discover the famous features of the East Battle River section of the trail.Prairie Crocus

At the base of the plateau, we stumbled upon the cacti. After scrambling to the top of the plateau, we enjoyed the sweeping vistas and stepped around the prairie crocuses (Anemone patens).


Just as famous as the crocuses is the hill, “Rest and Be Thankful” where we climbed straight up to have our lunch, and actually rest.

On our return, we examined an animal spine and skull, and almost stepped on a garter snake.

Total distance was around 9 km.

View our pictures on Flickr

Rest and Be Thankful