On Sunday, August 20, sixteen WTA members were joined by eleven new hikers from our Hike the Waskahegan Trail Meetup group to hike the 16 km Wood Bison Trail in Elk Island National Park. This lovely trail is less visited than other Elk Island trails because it is a single long loop located by itself on the south side of the Yellowhead Highway.
This part of the park is where the Wood Bison are kept separate from the Plains Bison to avoid interbreeding. The wood bison, as their name suggests, preferred the more wooded norther parts of the province, while the smaller plains bison preferred the open grasslands.
A day with a high temperature of 20 degrees and no rain made for very pleasant hiking with few mosquitoes. We divided up this long hike with two refreshment breaks, one at 5 km and one at 11 km. By prearrangement, one of our 27 hikers turned back at the 5 km point and the rest of us carried on to the end of the 16 km loop. We finished the hike in four and one-half hours, including rest stops, averaging 4.2 km per hour while walking.
We saw some bison, flora and fauna and lots of natural beauty. All-in-all, it was another great day out with fine people, as you can see from the following pictures….
View more pictures on Flickr.