Landowner Rights & Trail User Responsibilities

The Waskahegan Trail is a unique resource that exists only because of the generosity of landowners. Before you set foot on the trail, know the landowner rights and the trail user responsibilities.

South Saunders Stroll

Eleven people came out to hike the trail along Saunders Lake from the south end. The day was pleasant, with varying degrees of cloud cover. By the afternoon, the weather had turned quite warm and humid, so the breezes from the lake were very welcome.

It was a great day for wildlife-spotting. We saw a fritillary butterfly, fledgling red-winged blackbirds, swooping black terns, a catbird, a kingbird, a tiny chatty bird with a long beak, a muskrat swimming, and a doe.

Greater Burdock

As for plants, we spotted a variety of uncommon ones, from massive burdocks…

…to yellow evening primrose, delicate meadowsweet, and blue lettuce.

A surprise element was the wasps on the path in two places. As we also discovered at Stoney Creek two weeks ago, you really have to pay attention to where you’re stepping this summer. Keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to make a wide detour around these creatures.

In spite of insects, these hikes are worth it—especially when we get to enjoy everything else nature has to offer, along with the conversation and friendliness of like-minded fellow hikers.

Thanks to Stella for leading the hike and to Trail Maintenance for clearing the way. You can find more photos on Flickr.

North Hastings Lake and Allen Nature Trail Hike

Eleven people came out to hike North Hastings Lake and Allen Nature Trail. The day was cool and grey, which was very refreshing, and the smoke drifting from the B.C. wildfires was lingering only lightly in the air.

At the Allen Nature Trail, we spent some time watching the birds across the cove through binoculars on tripods.

Below are two unusual flowers at the edge of the cove. One flower is Northern Grass-of-Parnassus, but does anyone know what the other is? The green “bulbs” on the stalk appear to be the flowers.

[Edit: We have learned from a botanist that the mystery plant is a Northern Bog Orchid, near the end of its flowering stage. Thanks to everyone who replied!]

Thanks to Anita for leading the hike, to Trail Maintenance for clearing the trails, and to Jeff and Marja Allen for hosting us and for the cattails! There are more photos on Flickr.

Stoney Creek Hike from Camrose to Hoodoos

Nineteen people came out to hike the Stoney Creek Trail south of Camrose and into the McGee Basin. Starting from the Valleyview neighborhood in the south end of Camrose, we headed into the city’s largest green space, the Stoney Creek Valley. A short while later, the paved path ended and we were on a narrow track, surrounded by stunning vistas and wide fields of fragrant clover and intriguing wildflowers.

Indeed, the area is rich in native plant life we don’t often see on the Waskahegan Trail, probably due to the sandy nature of the soil.

The main reason that we schedule this hike in mid-July is to see the cactus in bloom at the hoodoos in McGee Basin. The blooms had been open when the trail was scouted earlier in the week, but they seemed to be finished by the time we arrived.

However, the foot of the hoodoos make a perfect spot for lunch.

Thanks to Elizabeth for scouting and leading the hike. You can find more photos (44!) on Flickr.