The Weston Family Conservation Centre at the Waterton Park Front
Visiting the Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail (Photo by Liz Saunders)
Come visit us!
Join the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to experience one of Alberta’s most beautiful and ecologically significant landscapes! The Waterton Park Front is a haven for a rich variety of plants and animals. Species such as grizzly bear, trumpeter swan and Columbia spotted frog coexist with cattle in this working landscape, located approximately 250 kilometres southwest of Calgary.
One of the largest private land conservation initiatives in Canadian history, the Waterton Park Front is situated along the border of Waterton Lakes National Park. Since 1997, NCC has conserved more than 30,000 acres (12,141 hectares) of private ranch lands that "front" on Waterton Lakes National Park in collaboration with several local ranching families, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and John and Barbara Poole and family.
The Weston Family Conservation Centre and Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail give visitors the chance to discover for themselves some of the stunning wildflowers, exciting wildlife and inspiring views that make this area so special.
Cost: Admission is free.
The Weston Family Conservation Centre
This is a nature centre featuring interactive displays and activities for all ages. Measure how your arm span compares with the wingspans of local birds. Follow the life-sized footprints of wild animals. Learn the stories of local livestock brands and try creating your own.
Kids will especially enjoy spending time at the table full of nature activity and colouring sheets, track rubbing stencils, games and books. Families are invited to borrow a nature art, birdwatching or animal tracking backpack for exploration on the Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail. Check out a new display showcasing wildlife photographs captured on remote cameras on local NCC lands!
Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail
The easy, one-kilometre trail allows visitors to explore ecological and cultural connections of the Waterton Park Front. Both adult and family/youth-oriented self-guided brochures are available at the trailhead. Small signs along the way point out natural history features of interest. With spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains joining the prairies, hikers of this loop trail can take in a vital landscape that has been conserved for future generations.
The Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail has received a rave review from the Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies blog.
Hours: Guided walks take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays from late May through August, or are available by prior arrangement. Dogs, on leashes, are permitted on the trail.
An exciting feature near the Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail is the Waterton Park Front Conservation Cache; part of an outdoor adventure game played by adults and children around the world. Visitors can bring their own GPS device to find a hidden box or "geocache,” where they can share their reflections on how they can contribute to the important cause of conservation. The location of the Waterton Park Front Conservation Cache is posted in The Weston Family Conservation Centre and here.
Click on the brochures below to access a printable version of both adult and youth trail guides:
Some comments from our Trail Head guest book:
"Beautiful trail which shows both the big (mountains) and the small (flowers). We hope such initiatives will get more appreciations - thank you!"
"We thoroughly enjoyed learning about the native species and all the great work the NCC is doing."
"I am spellbound by the variety of birds and flowers here!"
Hours of operation
The Weston Family Conservation Centre is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., May 19 to June 30 and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., July 1-October 13th.
Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail is open year-round; however, the access road is unmaintained in winter and subject to snow drifting.
Both facilities are located at Waterton Springs Campground on the east side of Highway 6, immediately north of Waterton Lakes National Park (3.3 kilometres north of the Waterton Lakes National Park entrance gate, or 16.4 kilometres south of Twin Butte Store and Restaurant).
The Weston Family Conservation Centre is located adjacent to the campground office in the main campground building (watch for the signs).
The Waterton Springs Interpretive Trail head is located at the east end of the campground; follow the road past the main campground building to the base of the small hill and watch for the trailhead kiosk.
Click below for poster
For further information, call 403-632-9267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Disclaimer: All visitors to NCC properties do so at their own risk.)