Middle Battle River Hike to Fidler’s Monument

Thirteen people came out to hike the trail from the old Duhamel campground going west to Fidler’s Monument.

The trail has a tremendous variety of landscapes, starting with an old spruce forest. Unlike most forests on the Waskehagen Trail, this one lets in much dappled light to support a vast green undergrowth of ferns, mosses, bunchberries, strawberries, and raspberry and elderberry bushes.

Coming out of the forest, we arrived at a pond that was formerly a gravel quarry. With its backdrop of spruce trees, one would expect to see a moose here standing in the water. We always stop at this pond to linger a while on the way back.

Another point of interest is the oxbow lake, formerly part of the Battle River, but cut off from it with continuing erosion and silt deposits at the bow’s ends.

As you would expect in the middle of June, the flowers were abundant. These included columbines, shooting stars, buffalo bean, prickly rose, lungworts, and Solomon’s seal. At the monument, a tree swallow protectively blocked the hole in its nesting box.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Lee for scouting and leading the hike, to Trail Maintenance who put in a lot work to clear the trail, and to the landowners for their continuing support. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Discover where we’re hiking next.

Hastings Lake and Allen Nature Trail

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, fourteen people came out to hike out to hike the Hastings Lake Trail. We started at the north end of the trail section, which took us in and out of woods and around a small lake.

Crossing the train tracks and then Wye Road, we made our way to St. Margaret’s Church where we met up with the Allens and three others for a hike on the Allen Nature Trail.

The Nature Trail has had some unusual wildlife activity this past year. From the trail you can peer into the woods and see the skeleton of a moose that had died this winter. Also, a fisher was spotted three times on camera. Fishers are in the same family as wolverines. They are elusive but abundant in Alberta, according to the Wilder Institute.

From the edge of peaceful Allen Cove, you can see water birds with binoculars. If you look closely in this photo, you’ll see three swimming birds in a row.

Two mallards and a Franklin gull

Flowers and blossoms seen on this hike include sandworts, lungworts, blue-eyed grass, silverweed, bracted honeysuckle, gooseberries, wild currants, saskatoons, chokecherries, pincherries, and the blossoming heads of baneberry.

Thanks to Anita for scouting and leading the hike, the Allens for hosting and leading us on their trail, Trail Maintenance, and the other landowners for their continuing permission. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

Where we’re hiking next.