Heard it from a Scout: Exploring Alberta trails
There are many trails in Alberta to explore in a variety ways, including hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and much more. Trails are in national parks, open-to-the-public conservation areas and all around us. While there are probably hundreds, even thousands, of trails in Alberta, I am going to tell you about my and my fellow Scouts’, favourite ones to explore.
The best thing about trails is that, depending on the area’s regulations, you can explore them year-round. However, it’s important to be cautious of trails that close for safety issues, such as snow, mud or wildlife activity. Trails are a great opportunity for everyone, from seasoned hikers to beginners, to get outdoors.
Table Mountain, Pincher Creek – 10 kilometres
The hike at Table Mountain takes a full day, but once you see the amazing view you will realize it’s well worth it. You’re in the trees for about an hour, then you’re out in the open as you hike up the mountain. The trail is quite steep, but halfway up there is runoff that you can drink from (just remember to filter the water first).
Ha Ling Peak, Canmore – 3 kilometres
This trail is beautiful, and runs through lush green forests. Towards the last 30-45 minutes before reaching the peak, the trail changes from dirt to shale, a mud- or clay-like foundation. Once you have reached the peak, you get a spectacular view of the town of Canmore and the river — making it well worth the hike.
Lac Beauvert, Jasper – 4 kilometres
This is a great hike for beginners: an easy hike with no elevation that will take about one to two hours. It is a fun hike to enjoy, with the clearest waters you will ever see nearby.
Beaver Boardwalk, Hinton – 2 kilometres
This boardwalk offers an opportunity to explore and look for pond life, with signs telling you about the wildlife and plants in the area.
Fullerton Loop, Kananaskis Country - 6 kilometres
This is a great trail for beginners and is about an hour-long hike (depending on which route you choose). Well covered under a tree canopy, it’s the perfect area to submerse yourself in nature and explore.
Anyone can explore the trails; it does not matter if you’re young or old.
There truly are trails for everyone and there are many ways to explore them, such as biking, hiking, cross country skiing, off-roading and even horseback riding. It is a good way to enjoy the outdoors while getting a little bit of exercise.
If you are thinking “When should I go?” well, the answer is anytime. You can hike year-round. I like to hike because it helps to clear the mind, allows you to get fresh air, to enjoy the views and to meet other explorers. You can even go with your friends to make the trails even more fun.
A good reason for you to go this year is because it is Canada's 150th anniversary and you can apply for a Parks Canada Discovery Pass that can be used at National Parks across Canada. There are many trails that you can explore, even if you don’t live in Alberta, but if you do, try the ones I suggested. You won’t regret it!
"Heard it from a Scout" is written by members of Scouts Canada’s Youth Spokesperson program. This post was authored by Brooke Countryman.