Devon’s river trails hike

Fifteen people came out to hike the Devon Trails. It will be January before the North Saskatchewan River freezes over, so at this time of year you can still enjoy the contrast of the “ice flowers” floating in the frigid blue water.

The Voyageur Park area has a section of trail that is part of the Trans Canada Trail System. From the moment you leave the boat launch area, the paths are wide and easy along the river’s edge.

Here’s a sight that stopped us in our tracks.

It could be mistaken for an art installation, but it’s actually an effort to stop erosion. These tree segments (possibly willows?) have been planted into the ground, directly in front a culvert outlet. Eventually these sticks will take root and grow into bushes.

Then the trail turns toward the slope, where we encountered the “Stairs of Fire”. We all took the challenge, and quickly discovered our personal fitness levels.

From there, it was up and down the wooded trails.

As we got closer to the golf course, we found ourselves on trails set with cross-country ski tracks, and we had to walk carefully to not mess them up.

At Lions Campground, everything had been “put away” for winter, such as these meticulously-stacked benches. The pavilion shelter, however, was left open and we took advantage of that for our lunch.

Then it was back up to the top of the hill and we returned via a leisurely walk along the woods’ edge.

Thanks to Lee for scouting this hike and to the town and people of Devon for the well-maintained trails. You can find more photos on Flickr.

Trail Maintenance Wraps Up for 2020

This week, Trail Maintenance wound up for the year at Hughston Stopover at Coal Lake. There was a hike and a campfire with marshmallows. Sightings of wildlife included white tail deer, swans, beaver, rabbit, and grouse. It was a good day.

Fall is such a perfect time for trail maintenance—reasonable temperatures for working outdoors, no mosquitos, and a lot of great scenery.

Visit the Flickr album to see more of Sherry’s photos taken at Trail Maintenance this month.

Many thanks to coordinators Ellen and Sherry and to everyone who came out for this year’s work parties.  

Kopp Lake Hike

Eleven people came out to hike the Kopp Lake trail, one of the oldest sections in the Waskahegan Trail system.

The conditions these days are ideal for hiking: not too warm but not yet cold, and no mosquitoes. We can see not only the start of fall colours, but fat juicy cranberries ripening on bushes, a greater variety of birds as they make their way south, and huge perfect orbs of grey paper fashioned by industrious wasps.

Thanks to Helen for scouting and leading the hike and to Trail Maintenance for the great work in clearing this trail. You can find more photos on Flickr.