Kopp Lake Blue Skies

Nine hikers enjoyed the Kopp Lake hike on Sunday.

Tea break

The trail, located on the hillsides of the Gwynne Valley, winds its way through spruce, aspen and birch forest. It was particularly lovely with all the fall colours.

 

 

beaver-lodge-on-kopp-lake

The day began cloudy but it cleared to blue skies.

We enjoyed a “coffee break” at the beaver lodge. We saw no beavers but admired their work. They have been busy—even since the work party passed through.

 

 

We saw two white-tailed deer, a few geese and a squirrel or two. We discovered some flowers blooming—something we didn’t expect in September.

lungwort
Lungwort
bladder-campion
Bladder Campion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new wooden walk installed by the maintenance crew received its initiation. Thanks to the maintenance crew for a well-prepared trail.

Thanks also to the landowner(s) who allow us to share their land for this hike.

hikers

See the pictures on our album on Flickr

2016-09-18 Hike: Kopp Lake

Pipestone Creek Stroll

We circled the Pipestone Creek Edmonton Area Trust Land (http://www.ealt.ca/conservation-lands/) on undulating mowed paths strolling at an easy pace. pipestone-trust-land-6

With lovely vistas of the Pipestone, a glimpse of a charcoal white tailed deer, and a rich pallet of colour in the trees & bush we were comfortably hiking,  tucked away from the worse of the wind.  pipestone-trust-land-7The trail was new to explore and not as long as the usual 10km Sunday hike. So we went around the corner of Coal Lake via Hwy 13 and took a look at the re-opened South Coal Lake park by the dam and another branch of the Pipestone creek. coal-lake-damNearby at the boat launch we followed a trail that ended abruptly, looking out at the white caps on Coal Lake. dock-coal-lake-2Rain held until we were homeward.

Trappers Lake to Oster Lake

For the first time, in all the years of our collective hiking, the ten of us on this day saw Trappers Lake as an actual “lake.” Yes, the trail guidebook clearly shows a big lake on the map, but all we ever saw was a field of grasses—up to now. We have had so much rain this year that the body of water has risen high enough to reveal its shining self.

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The 11.5 km hike began with a walk through the lush pasture. A herd of cows in the distance ahead of us stopped their grazing and looked up. Suddenly they rushed toward us, bellowing. It was alarming, even nerve-wracking, but Anita assured us that they were just very friendly. We slipped through the large crowd of gorgeous red-brown beasts, thankful we were not causing them to stampede.

Friendly cows

Woodpecker
Farther on, two woodpeckers swooped down and landed on some trees in front of us. One was a majestic Pileated Woodpecker, the other was a smaller version, possibly a Hairy Woodpecker. They bounced around the tree trunk, knock-knocking here and there, then took off as quickly as they came.

It was supposed to be our first cold day, just 10 degrees after a long warm summer. But the air was dry and still, and the walking kept us feeling warm even though the sky was mostly cloudy. The mosquitoes seem to be finished.

The Park put up a new high fence and built a new ladder for us. It’s even higher than the old ladder.

New ladder

The trail inside the park was rich with varieties of fungus. We took pictures of nearly every kind. The flowers at this moment in the season are mainly asters and goldenrod. The only sighting of a bison was by Michele, from the top of that high ladder.

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Lunch was on the vast lawn at Oster Lake. Our conversation was punctuated by the honking of the geese as they flew back and forth above us.

See the rest of our pictures on Flickr