Stoney Creek Hike

South of Camrose lies the McGhee Basin, the home of Stoney Creek. Jerry Shaw showed us on satellite images how the creek has shifted since the map in the trail guidebook was drawn decades ago.

Shifting and rerouting is something that all creeks do. But do you know what never changes? The fact that you’re going to find oddities every time you visit this unique wild terrain.

Nineteen people from Edmonton and Camrose area came out to discover the Stoney Creek trail. Twelve hiked straight through to Camrose, and the remaining 7 explored a 7 km section at the “Smell the Roses” pace.

We trekked through leafy woods and the salt marshes up to the hoodoos topped with prickly pear cacti.

Debbie, a sharp-eyed hiker and photographer in the Smell the Roses group, spotted the one cactus flower (Opuntia) that was in bloom. The yellow flower was up high on top of a hoodoo. A quick scramble to the top and we managed to capture the photo.

The surprise discovery on this hike was a large patch of bee balm (Monarda). We had not noticed it on previous hikes. The hot, humid air was permeated by the blooms’ woodsy-spicy scent.

You can find more photos on our Flickr album.

Battle River A61 to A60+ Trail Cleared

The nine of us tackled the A61 to A60+ section of the Battle River Trail. The section between A61 to A60 was a piece of work with a lot of downed trees.

The section from A60 to the “site of the old house” was relatively easy by comparison.

At the margins of the forest we found bee balm (Monarda) and shooting stars (Dodecatheon)  and so we were careful to work our way around them. Alas! no pictures…had to keep moving. We will look for these flowers on the hike on July 22.

But sometimes we do have time for pictures. Here are two of our volunteers. Visit our Flickr album for more.

Mix-Cloverlawn Hike

Twelve people came out on this sunny, breezy Sunday of the July long weekend.

Our route was from A39 north to Stan’s Bench. Then we crossed the road and continued north along Mud Lake. Lunch was at a picnic table (courtesy of the landowner) with a view of the lake in the broad valley.

Wild Strawberries

We walked through a mix of hay fields, pastures, and woods. Here and there, we found the striking native wood lilies (Lilium philadelphicum) also the provincial emblem of Saskatchewan.

Along the way we encountered a luscious strawberry patch and a saskatoon patch at the start of ripening.

Also spotted today were a deer and a fox.

There are many more photos on Flickr.