Although the cold weather and frequent snowstorms have made it feel like spring has been delayed, the earth is starting to awaken! With the full glory of spring soon bursting forth, now is the time to get outside to enjoy the many beautiful local natural areas in Central Alberta.
This month, I’d like to recommend three areas northeast of Red Deer, in the Bashaw area.
Three rural areas to explore in April:
This dramatic 318-acre site consists of wetland, grassland and native Aspen Parkland habitat. There are no maintained trails, but an oil well road provides access deep into the property. From the oilwell site, follow a trail to the southeast, which leads to a very high hill, affording good views in all directions. Navigation assistance is recommended to explore the rest of the property.
To access, go west of Bashaw on Highway 605 for 7 km and watch for large sign on the south side of the road. Park to the side of the oil well access approach.
Partners: Ducks Unlimited Canada https://www.albertadiscoverguide.com/site.cfm?grid=E3&number=115
Windsor Lake is a beautiful little pond that is perfect for quiet wildlife watching, canoeing and kayaking. Despite its small size and being surrounded by farmland, it supports a surprising diversity of wildlife, including an active beaver colony as well as a wide variety of shorebirds (including White-faced Ibis) and waterfowl. It is an ACA stocked pond and has a well-provisioned day use area, including a boat launch, outhouse, picnic tables and garbage bins.
To access, go west of Bashaw on Highway 605 for 8 km, north on RR 223 for 1.1 km, then east into the site.
Partners: Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Environment and Parks, Camrose County https://www.albertadiscoverguide.com/site.cfm?grid=E3&number=1
This 118-acre site consists of native Aspen Parkland interspersed with small wetlands. There is a road along the south edge of the property which provides access. Follow game trails to explore the rest of the property. Navigation assistance recommended.
To access, go west of Bashaw on Highway 605 for 9.6 km, north on RR 224 for about 1 km. Watch for sign on east side of the road. Park to the side of the approach.
Partners: Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Environment and Parks