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Hiking the Henry MacLeod Trail in Jasper National Park

If you hike the Henry MacLeod Trail - beginning at the far end of Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, you're in for a treat. But unless you're camping at the Coronet Creek Campground, accessibility is a huge issue. Certainly mountain climbers make it into a multi-day trip but your average Joe isn't about to paddle 21 kilometres, hike 16 kilometres and paddle 21 kilometres out again in a day. However, it's a great hike…

Lake Agnes In The Summer

A Hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House at Lake Louise

Yesterday did not start well. Chock that up to a longer than anticipated drive to Lake Louise from Calgary, the longest lines I've ever seen to get into Banff National Park (I have a yearly pass but our guests did not and spent 30 minutes waiting for one), unbelievable crowds at Lake Louise and parking nightmares. But there was a reward for our troubles - the hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House above Lake…

Kayaking Majestic Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park

BEAUTIFUL!! I just wanted to scream those words. I was so blown away with the Maligne Lake scenery.It was much, much grander than I expected. Maligne Lake is only 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the town of Jasper. It's an incredibly popular spot to take a boat cruise - which I highly recommend doing but only if you're not inclined to canoe or kayak. John and I were keen to kayak the length of the…

An Outstanding Shoulder Season Hike Near Banff, Alberta

I was looking for a good shoulder season hike - something that would offer up great scenery but wouldn't take me into snow. The other factor was that my brother was visiting and he hadn't been to Banff National Park for over thirty years. And he wanted wildlife. The trail along Lake Minnewanka, just 15 minutes from downtown Banff delivered on both accounts. I can highly recommend it as a great shoulder season hike -…

Discovering Elk Island National Park Over A Long Weekend

On Friday I wrote a blog entitled Thank Heavens for Long Weekends. And I can now say that after two nights away from the routine of the house and garden plus unplugging from the computer I feel somewhat rejuvenated. If only all weekends were long weekends - perhaps that will happen in my old age. John and I took two days to explore and discover Elk Island National Park, located just 45 minutes east of Edmonton.…

The Beauty of a Visit to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park

Calgary was the place to be this past weekend boasting temperatures in the double digits for the first time in over six months and beautiful blue skies. In fact I saw shirtless rafters floating down the river (the ice has just left) and enough picnic baskets to make Yogi Bear happy. I also discovered one of Alberta's newest provincial parks - Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park - between Calgary and Cochrane, no more than a forty minute drive from…

26 Weird, Wonderful and Useful Facts About Edmonton

Edmonton is the provincial capital of Alberta and not a place I knew much about until I started researching for this blog. I thought of it as a city with nothing but big box stores, because that's all I'd ever seen as I drove through. And I knew it was bloody cold in the winter. But now I've been to the city on numerous occasions and love what it has to offer - especially the…

Backcountry Skiing to Skoki Lodge via Boulder and Deception Passes

Backcountry skiing to Skoki Lodge via Boulder and Deception Passes can be challenging but only under whiteout conditions. Otherwise it's straightforward. I have already written about what awaits you when you finally get to Skoki Lodge - but first you're going to have to get there. In the winter that means you need to backcountry ski or snowshoe eleven kilometres in from Temple Lodge at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, accessed via a gondola ride…

Cross Country Skiing Trails in Peter Lougheed Park

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country has an amazing set of cross country ski trails. Last weekend we finally had a day that was clear of obligations and a weather forecast that was favorable. The mountains had been calling for some time and it was time to heed that call. Our destination was Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, about 90 kilometres west of Calgary along the Kananaskis Trail. Even the drive to get there was beautiful. Before…

A Hike to Lillian Lake – A Real Singing Lake

An October hike to Lillian Lake in Kananaskis Country was a visual and surprisingly, an auditory treat. It seems that Lillian Lake in the Kananaskis area, under the perfect storm of circumstances is really a singing lake. Let me explain. We arrived at Lillian Lake about noon yesterday. The sun was shining but it was still freezing outside - probably about -5°C and Lillian Lake was covered in about two inches of ice. Initially all…

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