One with nature
Eco tourism offers visitors the opportunity to:
- Discover natural areas, while preserving the integrity of the space
- Learn about the natural and cultural sense of place
- Gain respect for the environment
Eco tourism also reflects sustainable business practices and creates socio-economic benefits for the community, while recognizing and respecting local and indigenous cultures, traditions and values.
Strathcona County is a bird watcher's dream! There are over 230 species of birds in the County, including trumpeter swans, pelicans and bald eagles.
Nature buffs and bird watchers can enjoy the County's numerous nature spots including:
- Ministik Bird Sanctuary
- Collingwood Cove
- Hastings Lake
- Kawtikh Retreat
- North Cooking Lake
- North Bruderheim
- Astotin Lake
- Baseline Pond
- Bretona Pond
The Edmonton Nature Club offers local field trips, nature walks, Sunday drives and more opportunities for adventure. You do not have to be a member to participate. For a listing of events you can pick up a copy of Nature Network's newsletter at the Wildbird General Store or by calling 780-439-7333.
Hiking and wildlife viewing
Elk Island National Park
Elk Island National Park is just 20 minutes east of Sherwood Park on Highway 16. This 195-square kilometre (75-square mile) park was established in 1906. It is home to 2,000 beavers, 1,800 elk, 800 bison, 375 moose and 350 deer. Explore the park on 100 kilometres of hiking and cross-country ski trails. Some of the Park's exciting features include:
- a nine-hole golf course
- a 78-site campground
- numerous picnic areas
- a theatre
- outdoor exhibits
- a bison paddock (of course!)
For more information, call 780-922-5790 from May to August or year round at 780-992-2950.
Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area
Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation, Wildlife and Grazing Area is location 23 kilometres (14 miles) east of Sherwood Park, immediately south of Elk Island National Park. This 97-square kilometre (37-square miles) area is a provincial multi-use site. The area integrates cattle gazing, wildlife management and public outdoor recreation activities such as cross-country skiing, mountain-biking, canoeing, hiking, picnicking, horseback riding and snowmobiling.
For more information, call 780-922-3293.
The Waskahegan Trail
The Waskahegan Trail is a 235 km long volunteer managed trail allowing excellent day hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The trail is open to the public all year! The Waskahegan Trail Association organizes weekly Sunday hikes throughout the year. Hikes are on different trails each week and usually go for about 10 km or 6 to 7 hours. Walking schedules are published on the Waskahegan Trail Association Website .
Strathcona Wilderness Centre
This popular hiking and cross-country skiing spot features 550 acres of natural serenity and 12 kilometres of trails that wind their way through the aspen parkland forest and along the shore of Bennett Lake. The Centre is also a great location for overnight camping, orienteering, geo catching and nature interpretation. Visitors can "rough it" in basic campsites, eight-person bunkhouses or stay in the Centre's modern pine lodge. Strathcona Wilderness Centre also provides a variety of programs for people of all ages, including residential retreats and school programs. The Wilderness Centre is also wheelchair accessible. View the Centre's resident wildlife up close and personal.
The Strathcona Wilderness Centre is located 16 kilometres (10 miles) east of Sherwood Park on Baseline Road (Township Road 530) and Range Road 212.
For more information phone 780-922-3939.