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.

The Amazing and True Story of Building the Bridge Over the Battle River

With snowmobiles in the winter…rafts in the summer…limited power equipment…and lots of heavy lifting—they achieved the impossible

In September 2017 we said goodbye to one of our crowning achievements—the bridge over the Battle River, also known as Low’s Crossing. After many years of service, the bridge was about to fall into the river. With a lot of planning and labour from our Trail Maintenance team, plus generous support from the landowner and his equipment, the bridge was taken down and moved over two Mondays. We told you the story here.

But how—and why—did the bridge get built in the first place?

If you were at the AGM in 2017, you would have seen the excellent presentation on how the bridge was built. It was presented by Gene Miskiw, the man who was involved at every stage and took all the photos.

Now Gene has written the complete story of building the bridge, and you can read it here.

This is a story about

  • Reuse and recycle: Where did all the bridge materials come from?
  • Safety with ingenuity: How Gene managed to transport the thirty-foot rods with just his van—and attract the notice of the highway police.
  • Wrestling with nature: From mosquitoes and bloodsuckers, to dangerous slopes, high water, and the freak snowstorm that obliterated their tracks and threatened to leave them stranded.
  • The wonder of nature: The moving story of a herd of deer.
  • Fun and adventure: How they had talk Stan into putting on a life jacket before getting on the raft.

Could a bridge like this be built today? Read Gene’s story and decide for yourself.

Blackfoot Staging Area Hike

It was the final hike of the “Summer” hiking season. Ten people came out to enjoy the bracing, fresh air on a walk around the Blackfoot Recreation Area, starting and ending at the Blackfoot Staging Area on the east end of the park.

One of the joys of hiking in this park is the chance to have lunch around a campfire.

On this visit, we discovered a unique memorial bench dedicated to a Cole Thomas Lawrence. The bench hardware includes old tractor wheels and iron saddlery pieces (bits, rings, and horseshoes).

You can find all the pictures on Flickr.

Mill Creek Ravine: Nature with Poetry

It was a beautiful fall day for our hike of the southeast portion of Mill Creek Ravine. Fourteen people came out to the hike.

The hike started on the north side of the ravine. We soon stumbled upon the Meadows Poetry Pathway “Love Letters to the World” (www.themeadowscommunity.ca).  We took our time here, entertained by the poems engraved on the sidewalk. Here are some of them.

Following the bank on the north side of the ravine to west of 34 street, we entered the ravine and descended down along the creek. We followed the creek to 50 street and over to Jackie Parker park where we had lunch.

We returned along the southern trails through Millcreek Ravine, taking a few side trips to explore interesting small winding trails.

Have you ever been in one of Edmonton’s ravines, with the many exits out to the neighbourhoods, and wondered what exit goes with what neighbourhood?

We discovered that the many bridges we crossed back and forth over the creek were all identified with a small numbered metal plaque. If you kept a list of these numbers with a map, it might help you identify the neighbourhoods that the exits between bridges lead to. As we all know, the ravines in Edmonton are long and deep with many entrances and exits—knowing where you are can be quite confusing.

We saw one downy woodpecker and a lot of magpies. Almost all the trees are bare; the fallen leaves have lost their colours—fading into dull browns, but still crunchy to walk on.

You can find more pictures on Flickr.