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.

Goldbar and Tiger Goldstick Park Hike

It was one of our finer days of mid-autumn. Thirteen people came out to hike the trails at the Goldbar and Tiger Goldstick Parks on the east side of Edmonton.

We did the cross country ski loop in the morning and then did a loop over to Rundle Park, then west along Ada Blvd and then back on the 50 Street Bridge to Gold Bar Park.

Under a deep blue October sky, the sun lit up a landscape of golden grasses, leaf-covered paths, unshaded woods, and rust-coloured footbridges.

Here’s a spot to sit and browse a book from a little lending library.

Thanks to everyone who came out and to Michele for the photos. You can see all the photos on our Flickr album.

Rest and Be Thankful here

This was the coldest hike yet but 20 people showed up for our hike at East Battle River to Rest and Be Thankful Hill.

Thanks to the fellows with strong muscles, we managed to get the gate open so 20 of us didn’t have to pass through the barbed wire.

There was a patchwork of snow. In places, there were multiple trails so we had fun exploring different paths. There was little fear of getting lost, as the scenic Battle River valley was close at hand.

There was no mud because it was frozen, but we did find a few slippery icy spots! Separation break was a challenge, as there were few leaves for cover.

There were no flowers but there was an interesting old shed, a couple pieces of antique farm equipment and a couple remnants of antique automobiles the way we came back.

We got back in good time—at that temperature people weren’t tempted to tarry long for lunch!

Thanks to everyone for coming out to the hike, to Trail Maintenance for clearing the trail, and to Michele F. for photos. You can find more photos in our Flickr album.