Elk Island Park, Edmonton AB

Elk Island National Park is located 45 minutes east of Alberta's capital city, Edmonton; The Park is bordered by Strathcona County and the County of Lamont. Elk Island Park protects the Southern Boreal Plains and Plateau Natural Region - a transitional ecological zone straddled between the aspen parkland and the boreal forest.

Located less than an hour west of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park of Canada protects the delicate aspen parkland, which is one of the most endangered habitats in Canada. This beautiful park is home to herds of plains bison, wood bison, moose, deer, and elk.

Elk Island is part of what is called the Beaver Hills landscape. Elk Island is next to the north of the Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Grazing area, which is also known as Blackfoot, Canada's first national forest reserve - established in 1899.

Elk Island was established initially as a game sanctuary in 1906. It became an official Dominion Park in 1913.
In the late 1700’s, populations of elk were abundant in Elk Island National Park. The almost total depletion of the elk population occurred with the subsequent European settlement and the overwhelming need for both subsistence and commercial meat. By 1894, the elk were practically extinct.

Elk Island National Park is Canada's only entirely fenced national park. It is 194 square kilometers.
Visitors to the Park number 200,000 people annually. The extensive variety of habitats and enormous wetland area provide a unique opportunity to view more than 253 species of birds.  It’s a bird watchers paradise! There are also 224 archeological sites inside the park.

Remember, when visiting Elk Island National Park, have a vehicle. There are no tour guides and there is no public transportation to the Park.

Entrance fees in Elk Lake Park apply as in all National Parks in Canada.

Whether its wildlife viewing, hiking, cross-country skiing, picnicking or overnight camping, there is something for everyone at Elk Island National Park.

TIP: Watchable Wildlife Tours Group (a private company) offers guided tours to Elk Island Park:

http://www.birdsandbackcountry.com/

For more information on Elk Island Park, go to:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/elkisland/index.aspx

Melissa Montgomery