The Mount Lorette Ponds in Alberta’s Bow Valley Provincial Park haven’t all the time been in existence. At one level they have been an oxbow (a u-shaped bend) on the Kananaskis River however have been minimize off when Freeway 40 was upgraded. As an alternative of letting the ponds die, somebody acknowledged their potential and tapped right into a groundwater supply that replenishes the ponds a number of instances a yr. Now they’re a scenic spot for nature viewing, fishing, picnicking and even a brief paddle.
It took me years of driving Freeway 40 earlier than I made a decision to cease on the Mount Lorette ponds. I used to be all the time heading out on a hike and simply couldn’t be bothered. That was a mistake. They’re merely stunning from early spring till late fall when you may catch a mountain reflection within the pond. And within the winter the simple hike across the ponds (on a snowy path) would put you in a fantastic state of mind. They’re a superb vacation spot as a day-trip from Calgary or Canmore.
Mount Lorette Ponds – and what you are able to do
The ponds have been busy after we visited on a spring weekend. Many households had gathered to take pleasure in a picnic both beside the pond or near it. Younger youngsters have been rollerblading and enjoying close to the water. There have been a few adults placing in inflatable kayaks to strive their hand at fishing – because the ponds are stocked, primarily with rainbow trout and brown trout thrice a yr.
John and I had come to take pleasure in a picnic lunch on a bench with a view. After that we wandered the kilometre or so of trails admiring simply what number of personal picnic spots there are. I didn’t depend what number of however there need to be not less than a dozen websites – many with firepits.
Birding on the ponds
We noticed a shocking variety of hen species on our most up-to-date go to. A few widespread mergansers (a sort of duck) have been swimming within the ponds. A belted kingfisher flew lengths up and down the pond, making its presence recognized. Overhead you may see ravens and across the sitting space have been dark-eyed juncos and red-breasted nuthatches.
In accordance with one hen report I learn, the next birds have been seen over the past two weeks of April: Barrow’s goldeneye, ring-necked duck, northern flicker, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, boreal and mountain chickadees, American robin, bald eagle, Canada goose (no shock there), American widgeon, bufflehead, American dippers, American pipit, diverse thrush, and savannah sparrow.
That’s only a fraction of the hen species which have been sighted right here over the course of a yr – with a great deal of warbler species coming by means of within the fall.
Who would take pleasure in a go to?
The ponds are family-friendly and can enchantment to these with youngsters in strollers and toddlers although not one of the youngsters we noticed by means of to about 12 years outdated – regarded in the least bored. With asphalt paths, its straightforward to push a stroller – or wheelchair across the 700 m lengthy essential loop. There may be an extra 230 m loop – so you may rise up to a full kilometre of strolling – albeit all flat.
Actually anybody needing a dose of nature and a few quiet time would profit from a cease right here.
Different issues to do and see close by
The Mount Lorette Ponds are located between Kananaskis Village and Barrier Lake.
At Barrier Lake you may merely wander the shoreline and if enthusiastic, do an out and again on the Stoney Path, situated on the north facet of the lake. Or you may hike the Prairie View – Jewell Go Path.
One other family-friendly hike is the brief outing to Troll Falls – accessed off the street to Nakiska Ski Space.
In case you’re into the pond expertise, drive one other 10 minutes south on Freeway 40 to Wedge Pond. There’s one other 1.0 km loop that’s not troublesome. This place is spectacular within the fall with the mix of yellow leaves and mountain reflections.
Location of the ponds
The ponds are roughly 18 km south of the Trans-Canada Freeway by way of Freeway 40 . There may be good signage on the freeway. You’ll discover a big car parking zone with bogs on the east facet of the freeway. From Calgary it’s solely about an hour’s drive.
Notice that efficient June 1, 2021 there will likely be a $15 cost per day per automobile to go to anyplace in Kananaskis Nation. You’ll additionally be capable to purchase a yearly Kananaskis Conservation Go for $90. Extra data right here.
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