Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

Trip Date: May 2014

I was selected to attend Inside Education's Living on the Landscape professional development program in the Lac La Biche region of the province.  While we were there we had the opportunity to spend some time in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park.  To read about the entire professional development program please visit my other blog by clicking here.  Although we didn't have a lot of time to explore the park I was able to get out for a short hike.  

Map of Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park
Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park is located approximately 545km northeast of Calgary in east-central Alberta.  It is Alberta's only island park and it's located in Lac La Biche Lake.  To access the park you have to drive the 2.5km causeway from the town of Lac Lac Biche.  The park is covered by a 300-year-old forest and the shoreline is made-up of beautiful sandy beaches.

Beach day-use area in the park
There are a few trails within the park, but I chose to hike along the north shore on the Old Growth Alley trail.  The trail was beautiful with some great views of the lake.  There were signs of moose (tracks and scat) all over the place, but I didn't see any of them.  

Small sections of the trail had boardwalks that crossed swampy marshland
The park is a birder's paradise.  It provides habitat for more than 230 species of bird.  I spotted a few during my hike, but I heard the songss of countless others.  Here are a few photos that I managed to get of a couple of different species.

I think this is a female Red-Winged Blackbird
There were a lot of Gulls flying around
This Pelican was soaring over the water looking for it's next meal
One of the two Pelican Islands just off the shore of the park
I saw this sign as I started the Boardwalk Trail loop.  I'm glad I didn't run into the Cougar.
A section of the 1.5km Boardwalk Trail
The trail lead to this secluded beach
The day was cloudy, but very warm
Back at the beach where I started
Although I would have liked to explore more of the park, it gives me a good reason to come back to this part of the province in the future.

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