Devon Trail Hike Starts the New Year

Devon’s ravine trails was our first hike of 2020. Fifteen people came out for this established winter favourite. Starting at the parking lot at the river’s edge outside the Lion’s Campground, we walked east along the North Saskatchewan and turned into the ravine. The long walk has steep but manageable climbs. Normally we never see other hikers when we come out here, but this time we met up with two large groups plus a few individuals. Was it New Year’s resolutions to be more active in 2020? Or a desire to work off some of that eating and sitting around over the Christmas break? Probably both.

The trail through the ravine ends at the top on the Pileated Woodpecker Trail. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a woodpecker here, but the stands of old trees obviously make a perfect home.

Exiting the trail, we walked through the town’s park system until we got to the Dale Fisher Arena, our usual lunch spot. With the hockey tournament going on, it was too crowded to stay inside. Fortunately, it was warming up considerably, and we discovered the bleachers overlooking the skating rink on the west side of the building. It was ideal for our large group.

We resumed our hike on the Trans Canada Trail through the woods above the river. It was a little challenging only because the trail had been groomed for cross country skiing, and we were trying to avoid stepping on the tracks. The hike finished at the river’s edge, where the parking lot was now very crowded.

Thanks to Lee for scouting the hike, and the town of Devon for maintaining such an inviting trail system.

You can find more photos on Flickr.

Sunday Evening Stroll Down Candy Cane Lane

Every Christmas, the residents on 148th Street have been voluntarily decorating their yards and houses in a riot of lights, props, and sculpture for enjoyment by citizens and visitors to Edmonton. This spectacle, dubbed Candy Cane Lane, has just completed its 51st year. Back in the ‘70s, people used to get in their cars and drive slowly down the long street. Now we’re more likely to get out and walk, or ride on a decorated horse-drawn wagon. Each year, the displays have gotten more detailed, more whimsical, and more beautiful, so that you really want to keep pausing to take it all in.

A visit to Candy Cane Lane after dark is one of the great old Christmas traditions in Edmonton. And that’s why the Waskahegan Trail Association has made the Candy Cane Lane stroll one of our traditional winter “hikes”.

Thanks to Lee for “scouting” the logistics and leading the seven of us on a magical evening. And a great big THANK YOU to the people who live on 148 St. for their unwavering hard work, creativity, and dedication in continuing this much-loved tradition.

You can find more photos on Flickr.

Snow Valley to John Janzen Nature Centre

Ten people came out to hike the Snow Valley Trail in Edmonton’s White Ravine. The day started out rather cold and overcast. As we walked by the Snow Valley ski hill, we noticed that Edmonton has a lot of hardy skiers.

A highlight was seeing again the trio of lush spruce trees decorated for Christmas. This seems to be an annual tradition. A big thank-you to whoever is responsible.

After a short stop at the Alfred Savage Centre, the hike continued for a loop around the Fort Edmonton Park and back to Alfred Savage for lunch.

Gradually the skies cleared and the day warmed up. What a treat it was to have the sun on our faces when the days are so short.

Thanks to John for leading the hike. You can see more photos on Flickr.