East Battle River Hike

A dozen hardy hikers drove through the fog to check out the new route on the section of the Waskahegan trail from the Battle River valley near Duhamel to the top of the valley at the famous Rest and Be Thankful hill. It took until noon for the fog to lift, the sun to come out and the hikers to shed a layer of clothing,

The hike crosses six river lots before climbing out of the hill. River lots are narrow, surveyed pieces of land stretching from the river and extending back from the river to give the farmers access to good land, wooded area and water. The area was settled in the late 1880s before Alberta was a province and the prairies were divided into its more common quarter sections.

In the last few years many of the river lots on the north side of the river have changed hands. Houses have built and fences have been erected. Luckily for us, the new land owners have happily let us continue hiking over their fields and pastures with a few minor changes. In September two stiles were built over the new fences and a new route was built to hike from the river valley to the top of the hill. This section of trail now has five stiles to climb over.

It was on this Rest and Be Thankful hill we ate our lunch in the sun and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather. On our hike we saw plenty of geese flying overhead and saw evidence of a beaver, or beavers, building a resort along the river.

Thanks to Trail Maintenance for building the stiles and to the landowners for their continuing permission. You can find more photos on Flickr.

South Miquelon Lake Hike

On a perfect fall day, 14 people came out to South Miquelon Lake for a wonderful wander. This shallow body of water has not had any outflow for the past century, due mainly to climatic conditions and because the southern creek is diverted to supply water to Camrose. It is spring fed and high in sulphates and nutrients. The salinity levels keep it quite clear and free of algae, but also of game fish, which it used to have.

South Miquelon Lake “Extended Summer” Hike

The sunny, warm weather seemed like a gift. John led us on the blue route to the stile and back, about 9 km.

The surrounding area is mostly wildlife sanctuary. While the size of our group is not conducive to many sightings, we did see a small flock of geese flying overhead.

On the way to the lunch spot we spied something in the woods and investigated on the return hike. We decided it was a pile of lumber that would soon be turned into a hunting blind, but right now it is just sides and a roof yet to be assembled.

There was a lot to enjoy on this hike—the peaceful quiet setting, the varied trail terrain and views, the warm conditions, and the opportunity to connect with old and new friends.

South Miquelon Lake hike lunch time

Thanks to John S. for leading us on this “extended summer” hike and to Mary M. for contributions to this post. You can find more photos on Flickr.

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