Adventures for Wilderness
 
 

2022 Adventures for Wilderness

Date/Time Event

28 May
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Kid’s Citizen Science Adventure (May): Grizzly Bears
with Sean Nichols

This Kid’s Citizen Science Adventure is about Grizzly Bears. An iconic species of our mountain and foothills areas, grizzly bears represent the untamed and bountiful wilderness that characterizes Alberta. In this adventure you will learn all about this magnificent animal, and get some hands-on experience learning about how to cast a grizzly paw print! (Pssst…. they’re huge!)


28 May
9:45 am - 3:00 pm
Unicorn hunt in the Whaleback – come wander with Kevin Van Tighem
with Kevin Van Tighem & Lindsey Wallis
M.D. Ranchland No. 66, Alberta

As an Alberta-born writer and conservationist, who spent much of his working life in Alberta’s mountain parks, Kevin Van Tighem has a few stories to tell. Some of these have ended up in his many acclaimed books about the wild places and creatures of Alberta. Spend a day with this award-winning author as you explore the ridgetops of a place close to his heart, and hear stories of the importance of this place to him and to all of us as Albertans. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for unicorns (if you don’t get this reference you should pick up a copy of his book “Our Place: Changing the Nature of Alberta”).


29 May
Lesueur Ridge Hike
with Heinz Unger
Rocky View, Alberta

We will hike up to a ridge through aspen woods, Douglas Firs and open fescue meadows to a sandstone ridge with amazing views. After a rest to take in the views to the East, South and West, we head down into the valley and hike still somewhat above Lesueur Creek back to the trailhead through more aspen woods, Douglas Firs and lovely meadows.


1 May - 31 May
May Mum Day Challenge
with Lindsey Wallis

It started as Monday Mum Day for two mums who needed a day away from kids, away from work and away from the city to recharge and reconnect with themselves and each other in nature. This year we are inviting every mum to join us over an entire month to find time to find yourself in the wild places near you, share the stoke and raise money for a great cause. And of course…THERE WILL BE PRIZES!


4 Jun
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Ice, Glaciers, Gravel and Oil – Cochrane North Field Trip (June)
with Tako Koning
Cochrane, Alberta

This Saturday adventure, which begins in Cochrane, is a road trip where we will see various forms of magnificent glacial geology in the Cochrane & Lochend areas and also see a rapidly developing program of hydraulic fracking for oil in the Lochend area. We will drive through and stop at locations in the deeply incised glacial melt water channel which runs from Cochrane to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park and onwards into the northwest Lochend area. A similar melt water channel also occurs just south of the small village of Dog Pound. We will also see areas covered by glacial moraines characterized by knob & kettle topography and glacial drumlins. Small creeks and ponds occur in these channels and provide habitat for abundant water fowl. We will stop and discuss the numerous oil well pads, which produce oil from the tight Cardium sandstone oil play. Long distance horizontal wells combined with hydraulic fracking have led to the success of this oil program. Drilling and oil production is now occurring in an area of approximately 200 square kilometers and in some cases has had significant environmental impact on ranches, farms and acreages in the area. We will also see some active large gravel mining operations and the sites of a couple of planned gravel pits which will significantly impact the area. Gerry Bietz, President, Bighill Creek Preservation Society will tell us of their efforts to protect this environmentally unique and fragile area.


4 Jun
Wainwright Dunes: Birds and More Tour
with Cliff Wallis
Provost, Alberta

Join AWA and Cliff Wallis for a unique hike and birding tour out among the grasslands and wetlands of the Wainwright Dunes Ecological Reserve, northwest of Provost. Situated adjacent to the southern boundary of the Wainwright Canadian Forces Base, this protected area is a unique combination of ecosystems. Aspen groves and sand dunes are interspersed with marshy bogs and the valley of Ribstone Creek. The Ecological Reserve has a diverse bird life representing the interface between boreal and prairie including both upland and wetland habitats.


18 Jun
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Discovering 450 Million Year Old Fossils in the Tyndall Limestone, Inner City Calgary
with Tako Koning
Calgary, Alberta

This is a half day urban field trip where we will look at buildings clad in fossils-rich limestones of the Tyndall Formation which is quarried at Tyndall, Manitoba. The Tyndall is Ordovician in age which is equivalent to 450 million years old. The field trip begins downtown Calgary where we will visit some historic buildings clad with Tyndall. Thereafter we will see ten blocks of Tyndall in front of the Safeway store in Kensington which allows us to see the Tyndall in three dimensions. Then we will go up to SAIT where a wide variety of fossils (corals, sponges, nautiloids, algae, pelecypods, brachiopods) are exquisitely preserved in the limestone which extensively clads the Senator Patrick Burns building. This field trip is family friendly; kids are welcome.


24 Jun
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
A Changing Wilderness – Hiking Banff’s Cascade Valley
with Kevin Van Tighem & Lindsey Wallis
Banff, Alberta

As an Alberta-born writer and conservationist, who spent much of his working life in Alberta’s mountain parks, Kevin Van Tighem has seen the Cascade Valley go through many changes since his first trip there in the 1970s. From positive changes stemming from good management strategies to concerning changes caused by the larger forces of climate change, this valley is a study in human impact. Join the acclaimed author of “Wild Roses are Worth It” on an easy wander along this old fire road in Canada’s oldest “protected” area. Kevin will share stories of his past adventures in Alberta’s mountain parks and thoughts on the future of Alberta’s wild places.


25 Jun
Jumpingpound & Hounds Hike
with Kate Van Pernis
Kananaskis Improvement District, Alberta

Calling all lovers of mountains, wildflowers, hikes, and dogs! Join us for a moderate trek up Jumpingpound Summit in Kananaskis. Dogs (on a leash), children, and adults who are children-at-heart are all invited to enjoy the woods, wildflowers, summit views, and company on this favourite jaunt.


25 Jun
Hiking White Rock Coulee to the South Saskatchewan River
with Heinz and Kris Unger
Cypress County, Alberta

Join us on a unique opportunity to access and see a remote, rarely visited Provincial Natural Area, with beautiful rock formations. A trip to Medicine Hat in the spring, probably with an over night stay, is an extra bonus. The hike leads down one branch of the White Rock coulee, then along the South Saskatchewan River across from the Suffield National Wildlife Area and back up through a different coulee. We will return to the vehicles hiking across the prairie.


2 Jul - 3 Jul
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Bikepacking the Cowboy Trail
with Sean Nichols
MD Ranchland, Alberta

This weekend-long bikepacking trip will take us from Calgary south to the Porcupine Hills along the Cowboy Trail. In this two-day adventure we will spend a day taking in the fantastic views and history of Alberta’s front ranges. Then we’ll camp overnight among the wildflowers of the Porcupine hills before returning to town the second day. The adventure will be led by an experienced bikepacker and we will have support on-hand to cover any eventuality.


16 Jul
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Rae Glacier
with Chris Saunders
Kananaskis Improvement District, Alberta

This hike will take us very close to or onto 2 small glaciers on the north side of Mount Rae in the Elbow Lake/Highwood Pass area. The first two thirds of the hike is on clear trails, the last third is on scree and is stony underfoot. The scenery in the area is spectacular.


17 Aug
Hiking into the Headwaters of Meadow Creek
with Heinz and Kris Unger
MD Bighorn, Alberta

Join us for a day-long hike among the remote and a beautiful upper reach of Meadow Creek in the Ghost Wilderness area. These headwaters encompass en extensive set of wetlands with some new beaver dams. The views of nearby Black Rock Mountain and Devil’s Head are amazing.


21 Aug
Black Rock Mountain
with Heinz and Kris Unger
Municipal District of Bighorn, Alberta

As a former fire lookout, Black Rock Mountain offers amazing views into the high Rockies and Banff NP, as well as out east into the foothills and all the way to Calgary. The hike is relatively short in distance and low in effort considering the rewards. The hike also leads through a pine & spruce forest that burned during the 2020 Ghost Wildfire; it offers an opportunity to see how natural regrowth is progressing after two years.


27 Aug
8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Orphan Oil & Gas Wells and Foothills Geology – Southern Alberta Field Trip
with Tako Koning
High River, Alberta

This field trip is an all-day road trip beginning with visiting Frank Lake, near High River, which is a shallow water slough where hundreds of bird species have been identified. We will then drive past and view the nearby large abandoned Mazeppa gas plant. Driving southwards and then westwards of Stavely we will visit the Pine Coulee Reservoir and the beautiful Willow Creek Municipal Park nestled in the valley of Willow Creek. In the Porcupine Hills, we will stop by the site of an orphan gas well assigned to the Orphan Well Association for abandonment and site remediation. The trip will continue westwards over the crest of the Porcupine Hills, reviewing the underlying geology and enjoying stunning views in all directions. The trip ends in the village of Longview viewing oil-producing sites and discussing issues related to future wells abandonment and wellsites environmental remediation.


7 Sep
Hiking the Springs of the Ghost
with Heinz and Kris Unger
Municipal District of Bighorn,

Enjoy this hike down along the slopes into the deep valley of the North Ghost River. The loop hike leads into an almost unknown area, rarely hiked but with beautiful vegetation, scenery and great views, and many small watercourses to cross. Depending on the weather the early fall will probably be on display.


17 Sep
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Ice, Glaciers, Gravel and Oil – Cochrane North Field Trip (September)
with Tako Koning
Cochrane, Alberta

This Saturday adventure, which begins in Cochrane, is a road trip where we will see various forms of magnificent glacial geology in the Cochrane & Lochend areas and also see a rapidly developing program of hydraulic fracking for oil in the Lochend area. We will drive through and stop at locations in the deeply incised glacial melt water channel which runs from Cochrane to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park and onwards into the northwest Lochend area. A similar melt water channel also occurs just south of the small village of Dog Pound. We will also see areas covered by glacial moraines characterized by knob & kettle topography and glacial drumlins. Small creeks and ponds occur in these channels and provide habitat for abundant water fowl. We will stop and discuss the numerous oil well pads, which produce oil from the tight Cardium sandstone oil play. Long distance horizontal wells combined with hydraulic fracking have led to the success of this oil program. Drilling and oil production is now occurring in an area of approximately 200 square kilometers and in some cases has had significant environmental impact on ranches, farms and acreages in the area. We will also see some active large gravel mining operations and the sites of a couple of planned gravel pits which will significantly impact the area. Gerry Bietz, President, Bighill Creek Preservation Society will tell us of their efforts to protect this environmentally unique and fragile area.

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