September 8, 2012: Elk Island National Park Entrance Sign
Elk Island National Park, established in 1906, is situated 35km east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway 16 in the Beaver Hills area—a region, as the name suggests, abundant in beaver at the 19th century. However, beaver were virtually eliminated from the Beaver Hills by the 1830s due to commercial hunting and fur trade. In order to provide sanctuary for wildlife from uncontrolled hunting and loss of habitat, a protected area surrounding the lake locally known as Island Lake (now known as Astotin Lake) was proposed. The lake is dotted with numerous small islands—Lamont Island, Archer Island, and Elk Island to name a few. Lamont Island was named after the local community, Archer Island bears the name of a prominent local physician, and Elk Island was named for the elk which swam out to the island to calve. On September 3, 2006, Elk Island National Park became part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve and is a popular area for star gazers and northern lights watchers due to its minimal light pollution.
Winter activities include unserviced camping, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and wildlife gazing. Summer activities include hiking, golfing, kayaking/canoeing, wildlife gazing and unserviced camping. Swimming is not recommended due to risk of contracting Swimmer’s itch.
September 8, 2012: High Island in Astotin Lake.
September 8, 2012: The year 2006 marked the 100th Anniversary for Elk Island as the first national wildlife preserve in Canada. During the park's first century, the park evolved in many ways while the vision remained the same. Today, it continues to be a place for nature and for people. A hundred years have come and gone, and with that vision, an incredible legacy began. Imagine what the next hundred years will bring...
September 8, 2012: Behind me is the Tourist Information Centre for Elk Island National Park where visitors can buy the park pass.
September 8, 2012: Astotin Interpretive Centre provides park history and exhibits of some real specimen of wild animals typically found in the park.
September 8, 2012: Exhibits inside Astotin Interpretive Centre
September 8, 2012: Living Waters Boardwalk provides a nice short hiking trail into Astotin Lake. The boardwalk is located right next to Astotin Interpretive Centre.
September 8, 2012: Living Waters Boardwalk on Astotin Lake
September 8, 2012: Directly behind me is Archer Island. To the right is High Island.
September 8, 2012: Look at the waves on the lake. The boardwalk is not for weak hearts when the wind is strong!
September 8, 2012: This section of boardwalk is much safer for little children.
September 8, 2012: This boardwalk will be prettier if there isn't any tall grass or cattails!
September 8, 2012: A heritage house in Elk Island National Park
September 8, 2012: outdoor pioneer museum
September 8, 2012: Another entrance sign for Elk Island National Park
Map & Driving Direction
Exact location of Elk Island National Park Tourist Info Centre is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map.
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