Thompson Natural Area - #115 in Alberta Discovery Guide and 59.9 km from Red Deer. Right off of Highway 605 going east towards Bashaw. There is a gate on the south side of the Highway that leads into the property, do not block it and park to the side to still allow access.
This natural area does not disappoint, it offers beautiful grassland areas, trembling aspen and balsam poplar forests with numerous wetland pockets. I heard and saw 31 different bird species while there, including a nesting pair of tree swallows within a natural excavated tree cavity. There are a number of beaver lodges within the wetland areas and signs of moose, deer and coyotes.
There are some trails that meander through the property mostly game and old cattle trails but there is a vehicle trail that leads into an oil lease.
Always be aware of wildlife, tripping hazards under the grass, and be cautious around open water and changing weather conditions.
The partner that manages this area is Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Stay safe and happy exploring!