Elk Island National Park, is located about an hours drive west of Edmonton and it is well worth the trip. The park encompasses three large lakes and several small lakes, there are camping sites, picnic areas & boat launches. You can swim, bird watch, hike, cross-country ski, or pretty much anything else you can think of there. It is also a Dark Sky Preserve.
One thing you must do though is look for bison!
They will hurry to get out of your way, sometimes.
Unfortunately this early in spring the paddock isn't open, so you can't drive right beside them and have them ignore you as they graze.
However, from the paddock, you can almost reach out from your truck and touch them - not that I would in any way recommend that you try.
This is Astotin Lake, still covered in snow and ice on April 6th!
But the trees were showing encouraging signs of spring!
There are a couple of islands in Astotin Lake.
At the top of the paved trail at Sandy Beach, they had a fire going, just in case we were cold. Or had been doing something silly like exerting ourselves and wanted to rest ;)
Kalon didn't need the fire, just to get his feet off the pavement (and out of the bison droppings)!
They seem to have cleared the snow off of the beach, no idea why, maybe so that they don't lose too much sand in the melt?
Astotin Lake again, from beach side.
At Astotin Lake, near the parking lot and picnic areas, is the Ukrainian Pioneer Home.
In the middle of a smaller body of water, you might see a beaver lodge - then again, that may not be one in the photo. (it just doesn't quite look right)
This trip would be the first time I have ever been to Elk Island Park and have seen an Elk (or two).
That is really at the end of the range of my camera, but the closest one is very young by the looks of him/her.
This is Tawayik Lake, the second of the large lakes on the north side of the hwy that divides the park. It is apparently better for viewing waterfowl that Astotin Lake.
As we were heading home, these fellows decided to stand by the fence along the hwy for us.
He was just being a bit anti-social.
All in all it was a glorious day and I didn't get the camera wet when the snow gave out under my feet, just the knees of my pants.
Hopefully we will get back a few more times over the summer and I can give you a better idea of how beautiful it is. The third lake is on the other side of Hwy 16 and I am pretty sure it is not accessible by vehicle, you would have to hike, or exert yourself in some manner to get there ;)
This is a map of the park and here, is a map of where in Alberta you can find the park.
This was My Town Monday - hosted by the multi-talented Travis Erwin, click over to learn more about other towns and places around the globe.
Have a good day all.