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Canada: Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation Wildlife and Grazing Area
Posted on Wednesday, January 24 @ 13:55:09 CST by iljiana

Horse Camping & Trails 57104 East Gate Post Office
Sherwood Park, Alberta,
Canada, T8A 5L7
Phone: 780-922-3293

With over 172 km (108 mi.) of cross-country ski, hiking and equestrian trails, dissecting forested hills and fields, the park offers tremendous opportunities for sightseeing and wildlife observation. Mountain biking and hiking are an important part of the outdoor activities available. Note: Cooking Lake water body is not at this location.

Activities and Adventures

Winter Description: Ski trails range from areas for the gentle novice skier to some challenging slopes in the back-country. Trails are double track set for a total of 65 km and 35 km renovated only trail to be used for Ski-joring, Dog Sledding or other winter trail activities. These exhilarating trails extend challenges to Hikers and Snowshoers. This area is also the venue for the Annual Canadian Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Event on the second Saturday in February.

Outdoor Winter Activities and Adventures: Dogsledding, Ice Skating, Northern Lights, Skiing - Cross-country, Snowshoeing, Wildlife Viewing, Other Winter Activities

Activity/Adventure Description: This area offers over 86.0 km of equestrian trails and 85.0 km of hiking, cycling and multi-purpose trails and is a great location for Outdoor Enthusiasts. Hunting takes place for Migratory and Upland birds from early September until mid- December. Large Game (Elk, Moose and Deer) are hunted during Mid- October until November end annually. First Nation Hunting may take place at any time of the year. Access for hunting is restricted to muscular power only and also requires a Discharge Permit issued by Community Development, Parks and Protected Areas. Attendance at a Safety Orientation is a necessary part of the hunting within the area. Snowmobiling permitted only after 25cm settled snow on the ground, and in selected areas only. This area has now been designated as a Dark Sky Preserve along with Elk Island National Park by the Royal Astronomic of Canada. One of two sites in Alberta (Cypress Hills in the south).

Outdoor Spring/Summer/Fall Activities and Adventures: Canoeing/Kayaking, Cycling, Hiking/Climbing, Horse - Trail Rides, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, Other Spring/Summer/Fall Activities

Open: Trails are also available for Dog-Sledding and Free-Style skiing. Should there be sufficient settled snowfall (25 cms) some areas are opened for snowmobile use. This would include some pasture areas and the Central alleyway from Waskehegan to Central Staging Areas.

Cost: No charge

Restrictions: All access within the area is muscular powered only with the exception of some snowmobiling after there is 25 cm of settled snow - not fresh fallen. This is to protect the pasture growth areas.

Equipment Provided: There are no equipment rentals available.

Facilities/Services Onsite: Free parking, Motor coach/RV parking, Restrooms

Highest Elevation: 771 meters

Snowmaking: No


Type of Attraction: Major Attraction, Natural Attraction

Detailed Description: This is a ruggedly beautiful outdoor recreation paradise. This unique reserve, the result of an innovative project in integrated resource planning and management, was developed from a private association in conjunction with several Alberta government departments. The Blackfoot Grazing Association joined with these Government Agencies to co-ordinate the facility. It is now managed by Community Development - Parks and Protected Areas. During the Spring, Fall and Summer Seasons, the total 171 kilometers of the trail system are used for Mountain Biking, Hiking or Equestrian activities. Trails are all designated as to Equestrian use or Mountain Biking/Hiking use.

Open: Year-round 7:00 am-11:00 pm, daily

Cost: No Charge

Suggested Length of Visit: Day Use Area

Facilities/Services Onsite: Free parking, Motor coach/RV parking, Restrooms

General Info

Directions: 32 km (19 mi.) east of Edmonton on Highway 16 (west side of Elk Island National Park - watch for signs) and turn south on Range Road 210 for 7 km (4.2 mi.).

Season: Summer, Spring/Fall, Winter

Wheelchair Accessibility: Partial access only

For more information email:

Related Links
· USDA Forest Service
· Veterinarians
· More about Horse Camping & Trails
· News by iljiana

Most read story about Horse Camping & Trails:
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