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Five family friendly hikes to do in Alberta this summer

Plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to explore
Grassi Lakes
Grassi Lakes Photo credit: Jack Borno, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Social distancing and restricted travel may be in the cards this summer, but there are still plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to explore. Enjoy a nature-filled season in the sun as you take advantage of these five family-friendly hikes in the beautiful province of Alberta.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary – Devon Region

Just 33 kilometres southwest of Edmonton is the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary where visitors can experience 348 acres of protected marshland, meadows, and forests. You can easily get up close and personal with nature thanks to raised boardwalks and viewing platforms, making this hike safe and easy for visitors of all ages. Bring a camera to capture images of the sanctuary’s many birds, trees, and wildflowers.

Grassi Lakes – Canmore

One of Canmore’s most popular hikes features two routes – an easy one with a gentle incline, and a more robust trail that is 4 km long. Both trails feature an immersive nature-filled experience, but the longer trail takes you past a waterfall and provides stunning views of Canmore and the Bow Valley. The reward waiting at the end of the trails is a shimmering turquoise lake. Bring a camera to capture the peaceful scene.

Moraine Lake Lakeshore – Lake Louise

Nestled into Banff National Park is the hamlet of Lake Louise. Here you’ll find a variety of day hikes, many of which are easy and suitable for families with young children. The Moraine Lake Lakeshore trail starts with your arrival at Moraine Lake and includes views of Mount Fay and the Fay Glacier during the 45 minute, 1.5 km walk.

Douglas Fir Trail – Calgary

Experience nature while visiting one of Alberta’s most iconic cities. The Douglas Fir Trail is a 2.5 km walk located in Edworthy Park. The gravel and dirt path includes lookout points, and the trail is edged by impressive, soaring Douglas fir trees – some are more than 500 years old! Chipmunks, red squirrels, crossbills, and kinglets are just some of the animals and birds that frequent this area.

Midland Provincial Park – Drumheller

Drumheller is known for its famous hoodoos and the Royal Tyrrell Museum, but it’s also home to many daytime trails, like the one in Midland Provincial Park. The trailhead is accessible from the east side of the museum and takes you in a single kilometre loop. Interpretive signs along the way explain how the glaciers helped to sculpt the badlands.

Safe Hiking in Alberta

As with any hike, be sure to check the weather and any local guidelines before embarking. Bring water, wear sunscreen, and always let someone know where you are going and when you are returning. Practise social distancing and respect the area by not leaving trash, touching the animals, or breaking branches. With a few safety precautions, everyone can enjoy the beautiful trails Alberta has to offer.

Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Great West Newspapers. This story was funded by the Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 Program via the Local Media Foundation.

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