Have you been to Chickakoo Lake in Parkland County, Alberta? It’s one of my favourite places to go: it’s not far from where I live, and you can’t hear traffic whatsoever because you’re completely immersed in forest with a whole bunch of lakes around!
This place has hiking for every skill level, from a nice flat little jaunt around lake which is accessible from the lower parking lot, to some nice hills that will make your legs burn! I’m there in every season, and I usually have a family member or friend in tow with me. I’ve been taking my girls there since they were born, and then eventually I would have them ride their bikes and I could go for a run and they could keep up. It’s a fantastic place to take kids no matter their age!
Before you head out, a few things. I mentioned the hills, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re wearing sturdy hiking boots or shoes. Some seamless socks would serve you well also (I like the Icebreaker brand, they have no seams and they’re fitted to your foot. Plus they make different types for different activities like hiking, skiing, etc.) Watch for a future blog post where I will be sharing day hike essentials, but for the purpose of this post I will assume you’re all set to go.
Chickakoo is home to a lot of wildlife, so it’s a good idea to bring some bear spray during the non-winter months. You’ll also see lots of deer, moose, coyotes, and beavers. Another critter that lives in this wilderness paradise is cougars, however (fingers crossed) it’s highly unlikely that you will see them.
My favourite activities to do here are hiking, biking, kayaking and running. There are quite a few trails to choose from and although it’s around 11 kms total, you can cut across and go back and forth and really make a day out of it. In the winter they track set for cross country skiing (I’ve been here to do this a few times but I’m not very good and the hills are kinda scary! Lol) and there’s lots of opportunities to go snow-shoeing. A heads up about the snow shoes – the trails are very well used, it’s a popular place to go, so they’re often quite packed and therefore the snow shoes are useless. If you want to enjoy this activity more, wait until after a big snowfall and then get there early to take advantage of the nice, fresh powder! In the summertime you will often see horseback riders here as well!
My advice for having your best day here is to arrive early, pack a lunch and snacks, and take advantage of the picnic tables and free firewood.
So have you been out here yet, or have I sparked your interest in going? I’d love to hear about it!
You can also let me know about your favourite hiking spots in the Edmonton Area!