Winter Hike from Wanisan to Meadow Shelter

Ten people came out to Wanisan Lake for the first hike on our trails. The weather was bright and sunny, and not as cold as we expected.

From the first boardwalk, Wanisan Lake is just past the trees

The hike started with a switch onto the snowmobile trail, because that allowed us to get close to the lake. This is a diversion we could never do in the summer.

We made our usual stop at the Wanisan Stopover. Evidently it’s a popular spot with hikers, skiers, and snowmobilers. A few years ago, someone added a guestbook, and the pages are filling up. This year, someone added Christmas decorations—including some clever handmade items.

After crossing the two boardwalks and walking through the well-used trail, we reached the Blackfoot Recreation Area ungulate gate and walked along ski trails to the Meadow Shelter for our lunch.

Thanks to Lee for scouting the trail and leading the hike and to Brad for skiing ahead of us to build a fire in Meadow Shelter. You can find more pictures on Flickr.

Where we’re going next

Laurier Park to Hawrelak Park Hike

Twelve people came out to hike Edmonton’s River Valley from Laurier Park to Hawrelak Park. This is a traditional hike for us at this time of year, because the Silver Skate Festival is on at the same time.

We started our hike by crossing the Quesnel Bridge and walking along the right bank through Laurier Park side.

Bald eagle

We soon came upon a rare site—a bald eagle perched high on a poplar branch, facing the river. Just once, he turned to look at us.

At Hawrelak Park, it was warm enough to have our lunch at the picnic tables outside the pavilion. Then we toured the ice sculptures, which were fascinating and innovative as always.

For the return, we decided it was too icy to take the path down along the river. Instead, we climbed the stairs up to Groat Road, and connected to Saskatchewan Drive. We walked along the top of the river valley and turned down at Keillor Road.

Thanks to Lee for scouting and leading the hike, to the Silver Skate Festival organizers for their dedication, and to the ice sculpturists for their beautiful art and imagination. You can see all the photos on Flickr.

See were we are going next.