Middle Battle River Hike

Fifteen people—seven from Camrose area and eight from Edmonton area—came out to hike the Middle Battle River from Duhamel. Some of us continued on as far as Fidler’s Monument.

Most of the trail was wooded, giving protection from the sun but not from the mosquitoes!

As we sang Happy Birthday to Darlene, the mosquitoes joined in the celebration by feasting on us…even though we’d put mosquito spray on before starting! How fortunate for the ones who had mosquito head nets. And then there were the few lucky hikers who don’t get itchy from mosquito bites. 

We enjoyed some respite from the mosquitoes when we hiked along the nice gravel pit pond, the gravel road to Fidler’s monument, and while we were eating our lunch at the landowner’s campground. However, the wasps joined some of us for lunch. 

Other natural life seen on this day included a big patch of toad-flax aka butter-and-eggs—a noxious weed in Alberta, as well as an edible mushroom, gaillardia, a snake, a rabbit, a frog, a squirrel and a blue heron.

Also, there were lots of raspberries. But, we didn’t sample many because the mosquitoes kept us moving along. On the return, some of us wanted to walk faster because of the mosquitoes. Peggy and Mary, who were very familiar with the trail, volunteered to stay with the slower ones. Thank you Peggy and Mary.

Thank you to everyone who came out, to trail maintenance for their outstanding work on clearing the trail, and to the landowners for their continued permission. You can find more photos on Flickr.

Where we’re hiking next.

Wanisan Trail to Meadow Shelter

Attendance was light for the Wanisan hike, as it also happened to be Mother’s Day. It was a beautiful spring day with the early greens all around. With the shade of the trees and the breeze, we did not get too hot.   

One outstanding thing was how very much the water has receded in the wetlands. Some lakes were dried up.

On the trail we saw violets, strawberry and saskatoon blossoms, a water calla lily, wild sarsaparilla and cattails.

We heard a white-throated sparrow, a sora and gulls. We also saw a red-necked grebe and a blue-winged teal.  Using the Merlin app, we were able to identify the sora by sound. 

The butterflies are everywhere—we saw a swallowtail butterfly, spring azure butterflies and cabbage white butterflies. 

There were e-bikers as well.

Our destination was the nice Meadow Shelter, complete with tables for lunch, and toilets.  We met joggers, another Waskahegan hiker, a fourth Waskahegan hiker and four hikers with dogs.  One dog had chewed through his leash, so we were able to assist with safety-pins. 

On the way back, we stopped at the Wanisan shelter. It was outfitted with with chairs, cooking tri-pod, cooking utensils, golf balls, etc.  

The quality and condition of the Waskahegan boardwalks was impressive as usual.  

Thanks to John for scouting and leading the hike. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Where we’re going next.