Lakeview Trail – Elk Island NP – Hiking Alberta

Elk Island National Park, east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is a wildlife sanctuary, aspen parkland and boreal forest reserve.  This unique and ecologically active park is Canada‘s first wildlife sanctuary.  Elk Island National Park manages Plains Bison and Wood Bison conservation recovery herds and provides bison to other parks around the world.  Currently, there is an initiative underway to establish a buffalo herd in the northern part of Banff National Park.  Mel and I begin our hike from the north parking area of the Astotin Lake Area near Sandy Beach Campground.  We ascend the trail to outstanding views over Astotin Lake.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Click on the image to enlarge for reading, then on the browser back button to return to the post.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Lakeview trail ascent from the north parking area at Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A view over Astotin Lake from the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A view over Astotin Lake from the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The initial portion of the hike is on old, narrow pavement which leads to the trail kiosk.  From lofty views above Astotin Lake, the trail descends gradually, on good trail, into dense wetland.  The Lakeview Trail is a 3.5 KM (2.2 mile) hike over gentle terrain with access to a loop in the dense evergreen forest called Spruce Woods.  Behind the trail kiosk, a sign on the cattle guard gate advises to be on the lookout for free range bison roaming in the area.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Paved trail to the Lakeview trailhead in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The trail map at the kiosk for Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The cattle guard gate warns of roaming buffalo along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lots of fireweed along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The official flower of the Province of Alberta is the Wild Rose.  Plenty of the simple pink flowers are featured along this trail through a wide variety of terrain.  Level trail crosses occasional boardwalks in the transition through lush marshland from one pond to another.  Mel and I hear evidence of heavy animals, either moose or bison, nearby but the thick foliage conceals them.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Possibly my favorite photo of an Alberta Wild Rose blossom, captured accidentally, along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Robust multitudes of wetland plant life along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Boardwalks transition over wet sections to dry trail along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dense plant life conceals activity of moose or bison in nearby marshland along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Trail through Aspen forest is frequently interrupted by wetland terrain.  Periodically, a glimpse of Astotin Lake peeks through dense forestation until we enter Spruce Woods where old viewing platforms have been denied their vision by dense overgrown forest.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Low level wetland section on Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

An occasional view of Astotin Lake on the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A viewing platform without a view, perhaps a rest area, along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

In Spruce Woods, uprooted trees provide evidence of blow down.  Seldom do you see the rapid transitions between substantially different forest zones mixed in with lake views and wetlands.  The detail is a different and very satisfying experience.  A cluster of park benches reside inexplicably in the forest.  One shows evidence of long-time neglect.  The trail returns to marshland and there are excellent views of beaver dams in nearby ponds.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Uprooted trees along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Back into boreal forest along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

An old bench being consumed by forest along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Return to wetlands along Lakeview trail at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beaver dams at Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The trail passes a derelict viewing platform and more boardwalk over marshland before returning to the loop junction.  The marshland is active with a variety of birds of many shapes, sizes and color.  Seldom have I seen this much wildlife in one small area.  Along the return route, the trail offers a choice of paved trail.  Mel and I choose to ascend on our original path for better views of Astotin Lake.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A broken down and overgrown viewing platform near the end of the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Branch and boardwalk assistance over wetland in Lakeview trail at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Trail through lush forest near the end of Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

One of the larger birds in the marsh along Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Trail decision on the Lakeview trail return at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Scenic views over Astotin Lake share a mild cooling breeze on a rapidly warming day.  There are several evenly spaced benches along the ridge summit with spectacular, relaxing vistas over the lake and the beautiful forested islands it hosts.  The appearance of Sandy Beach is welcome.  Mel and I have earned our late lunch at picnic tables in the shade.  We are joined by a variety of birds, several squirrels and one snowshoe hare.  The south end of the Astotin Lake Recreation Area contains the Astotin Theatre, the Visitor Interpretation Centre and a well-appointed playground for the children.  Two other trails begin from the south end of the Sandy Beach area.  They are the short, but fascinating, Living Waters Boardwalk which Mel and I hiked the previous year and the longer Shoreline Trail which we will hike in the future.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Benches at ridge top with spectacular views over Astotin Lake along the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The island view across Astotin Lake from the Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sandy Beach on Astotin Lake marks the end of Lakeview trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Near our shady lunch spot at Astotin Lake there is a short trail leading up to the Ukrainian Pioneer Home.  This pioneer cabin replica was constructed in 1951 to recognize Ukrainian immigrant pioneers who settled in this area.  The Ukrainian Pioneer Home in Elk Island National Park is the first historic site dedicated to Ukrainian immigration to Canada.  Ukrainian Pioneer Home is declared a Canadian Historic Place.  Nearby is the outstanding Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The trailhead to Ukrainian Pioneer Home near Sandy Beach at Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Approaching the Ukrainian Pioneer Home replica at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Pioneer Home replica at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Pioneer Home replica at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A monument memorial at the Ukrainian Pioneer Home replica at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Pioneer Home replica at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lakeview trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A pioneer well near Ukrainian Pioneer Home exhibit at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Elk Island Park was granted federal park status in 1913, followed by recognition as a  National Park in 1930 when the National Parks Act passed.

Elk Island National Park and Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area are part of a 300 square KM (187.5 square mile) area east of Edmonton, Alberta which is dedicated to maintaining dark sky.  Many animals and plants benefit from maintenance of historic nocturnal patterns.  They may be seriously compromised by light pollution.  The study of the effects of darkness on biology is known as scotobiology.

There are currently seven Dark Sky Preserves in Canada and three of them are in National Parks.  They are:

Dark Sky Preserves are established to:

  • increase visibility of the night sky
  • promote protection of nocturnal habitat, and
  • encourage public access to, and awareness of, the night sky.

Dark Sky Preserves are maintained by a variety of practices which include:

  • downward directed lighting or sensor-triggered lighting
  • the use of more efficient and effective lighting technology, and
  • ensuring a balance between needs, safety, efficiency and reduction of light pollution.

Dark Sky Preserves information was obtained from the Elk Island National Park Visitor Centre.  An informative brochure is available.

Photographs for the Lakeview Trail post were captured on July 15, 2014 in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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Amisk Wuche Trail – Elk Island NP – Hiking Alberta

‘Amisk Wuche’ in the Cree Indian language means ‘Beaver Hills’.  This short, easy 2.9 KM (1.8 mile) trail has a bit of moderate grade and one brief section which could be considered steep by some.  There is a wide variety of terrain throughout the glacially-created knob and kettle landscape.  It is a typical trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Amisk Wuche trailhead near Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trailhead sign in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Click on the image to enlarge for reading, then on the browser back button to return to the post.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beautiful wildflowers capture sunbeams along the Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The short access trail picks up the loop which wanders through dense aspen forest with borders of thick shrubbery, tall grass and spectacular wildflowers.  A good quality boardwalk curves into the crossing over a large pond with shoreline marshland.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Amisk Wuche trail through aspen forest with lush shrubbery borders in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A curved boardwalk leads to a large pond crossing on Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A long, beautiful boardwalk across a large pond on Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Marsh to the left along the boardwalk in Amisk Wuche trail at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Marsh to the right along the boardwalk in Amisk Wuche trail at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The pond hosts a plethora of avian, aquatic and amphibian life.  Still air harbors insects. Dragonflies do their best to protect us but it is important to keep moving.  The pristine pond hosts several beaver dams and during our boardwalk crossing, a family of geese cruises past one of them.  The beauty of the moment approaches surreal.  As Mel and I approach the other side of the pond, the sun bounces off nearly black water whose surface is alive with bubbles from beneath.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A family of geese swim by a beaver dam along the Amisk Wuche trail boardwalk in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dark water, alive with bubbles, along the Amisk Wuche trail boardwalk in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Swamp and a beaver dam along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beautiful flowers along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sun reflections of floating plant life on the pond along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

At the end of the boardwalk, several branches, placed on the trail to assist in keeping feet dry, have been occupied by a legion of baby frogs.  We must step carefully so everything has time to escape our interruption.  The good quality trail continues and alternates between aspen and boreal forest.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Baby frogs sunning on the logs at the end of the boardwalk along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Tall grass and marsh borders at another pond along the Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Typical path along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Transition into boreal forest along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dense, lush shrubbery along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

On the return side of the loop on the Amisk Wuche trail, which Mel and I are hiking in the recommended counter-clockwise direction, we encounter another large series of ponds which contain beaver dams.  Near the end of the loop, the final long boardwalk hosts a water flow control dam and a viewing station which could benefit from a bit of repair.  This is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Marshland ponds, dense with aquatic plants, along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beaver dams in ponds along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Another view, from slightly higher ground, of the same beaver dams in ponds along Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The last, long boardwalk near the end of the loop on Amisk Wuche trail at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Amisk Wuche trail, Elk Island National Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A viewing platform and water flow control dam on the last lengthy boardwalk along the Amisk Wuche trail in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Amisk Wuche trail is a typical short hike with a bit of elevation in Elk Island National Park.  In this ‘Island of Conservation’ there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the activity of avian, aquatic and amphibian life in forests, meadows, marshland and ponds.  Very relaxing.  Potentially therapeutic. Photographs for this post were taken on the Amisk Wuche trail on July 15, 2014 at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village – Hiking Alberta

The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is a short distance east of Elk Island National Park on the historical Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  There is an admission charge for most visitors.  Special events are hosted throughout each summer but Mel and I are here on a quiet, warm Monday afternoon.  The village is one of Alberta’s Provincial Historic Sites which represents the significant contribution Ukrainian immigrants made to the development of Western Canada in the late 1800′s and early twentieth century.  There are guided tours which provide broader access and information than Mel and I will achieve on our informal walk around this fascinating historical complex.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

From the Admissions Booth, Mel parks in the shaded parking area and we make our way past a beautifully preserveded dwelling called ‘Muster Point’, which I find a bit odd.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

‘Muster Point’ at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Entrance to the Visitor Reception Centre is via wooden-covered walkway past the courtyard containing a 1980 Leo Mol bronze sculpture titled, ‘Pioneer Family’.  At the reception desk an attractive young woman in historical pioneer clothing provides Mel and I with an interpretive map and information about guided tours.  Following a brief foray in the adjacent gift shop, we make our way to the Visitor Reception Centre exit and walk along the Causeway, through a forest tunnel, which crosses the marsh-lined shores of Goose Lake.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The wood-covered promenade leading to the Visitor Reception Centre at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Entrance to the Visitor Reception Centre at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The map on the wall behind the reception desk is nearly the same as the large paper map provided to us at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Click on the image to expand for marginally possible reading, then on the browser back button to return to the post.

The views from each side of the Causeway, across the strikingly beautiful, marsh-lined shores of Goose Lake, provide a hint of the pioneer building structures which are spread over a fairly large area.  All the pioneer buildings has been relocated to this site, acquired by the Alberta Government in 1975.  The representative, early-settlement buildings, acquired from a vast area of east and central Alberta, are arranged by chronological periods of pioneer development and structural types.  It will make more sense when you get there.  In hindsight, I would recommend one of the guided tours included in the price of admission.  During our afternoon visit there are people on walking and horse-drawn wagon tours.  Apparently, if you place a child on a horse-drawn wagon, there is a good possibility of a mile-wide smile.  On our right the Bellis Home Grain Company Elevator (circa 1925-1930) soars into the sky.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

To the left, a view of the marsh-bordered shore of Goose Lake from the Causeway at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Off to the right an old grain elevator rises into the sky from the marsh-lined shore of Goose Lake at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Past the Causeway and over the railroad tracks, the Townsite (1925-1930) commercial or community support structures dominate the landscape.  Mel and I hang a left past the old Alberta Lumber Company Office to observe work underway in the Demchuk Blacksmith Shop.  At the high point above surrounding building is the visually striking Saint Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox ChurchThere are four functional churches on the property.  Escorted entry may be provided on guided tours.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Commercial and community support buildings on the other side of the railroad tracks in Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Demchuk Blacksmith Shop to the left of the Alberta Lumber Company building in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Canadian National Railway Station and the Grain Elevator were relocated from the east-central hamlet of Bellis and now reside at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church behind the Radway Postmaster’s Garage at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek orthodox Church (circa 1925-1930) at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

At the Demchuk Blacksmith Shop, a young man is forging a large closed ring for one of the harness structures on the horse drawn carriages.  The shop is well equipped with all  tools of the trade for the era.  The pungent, pleasant odor of the superheated forge, fed by hand operated, mechanical bellows, permeates the shop.  Behind the blacksmith’s shop, which serves the real needs of this pioneer community, is the similarly functional Woodworking Shop where another live demonstration is underway using completely authentic and manual woodworking tools.  Buildings to the south of the blacksmith’s shop are either under construction or locked, except for guided tours, so Mel and I walk past the Demchuk House towards the impressive St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church at the top of the hill.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Demchuk Blacksmith Shop at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Work underway at the Demchuk Blacksmith Shop at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Demchuk Blacksmith Shop at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Woodworking Shop at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Beautiful wildflowers accent the Demchuk House behind the Demchuk Blacksmith Shop on the road to St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Wostock Hardware Store is across the street from the north facing entrance to St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church.  Further up the road at the west perimeter of the village, Hewko House is under development near the Chernochan Machine  Shed and the Kitt Threshing Machine Shed.  The photographic potential here is huge.  South sun into the camera compromises my attempt at capturing a horse-drawn plow tilling soil in front of false-fronted Kew Hall.  All the good light is on the other side of the horses.  Mel and I continue north on the road past the Luzan Grocery, (store at the front, dwelling at the back), and the Luzan Post Office to the predominantly Farmstead section featuring pioneer structures circa 1900 to 1919.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The north-facing front of St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Wostok Hardware Store across the street from the entrance to St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Hewko House is under development near the Chernochan Machine Shed (circa 1925-1930) at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Kitt Threshing Machine Shed occupies the photo right foreground.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A horse-drawn plow tilling the field in front of Kew Hall at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Luzan Grocery with the Luzan Post Office in the background at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Right away we encounter the pigsty with the Slemko Barn behind.  Near the Slemko Barn there is a tall, unusual cross at roadside which puzzles us.  It appears to be a normal cross with an extra slanted cross beam added at a lower level.  It is the only feature I do not photograph.  Later, I discover it is a roadside shrine.  It would be interesting to hear the story behind it.  I have titled the following building names as accurately as possible but my confidence is less than 100%.  Apologies, if necessary.  The experience is fascinating.  It is like travelling back a hundred years in time.  All the sights, sounds and odors belong to rural pioneer life.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The pigsty and the Slemko Barn at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Slemko Barn at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Lakusta Barn at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Lakusta Granary with the Hlus Chicken Coop in the background at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A horse-drawn carriage passing the Grekul Barn at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Lakusta Granary at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Grekul Barn at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Lakusta Granary at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Possibly a long lens view of the Hlus Chicken Coop at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Grekul House at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A working clay oven (traditional pich) is an interesting feature among the relocated and restored pioneer buildings.  It is amazing to time travel like this on a gorgeous day with a light breeze to buffer the warmth of the sun.  On the return side of the loop through the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, we encounter a burdei beside a large, immaculate, vegetable garden with sporadically placed flowers, probably sympathetic partners to reduce disease and infestation naturally.  I have a feeling the people who look after this garden have forgotten more about horticulture than I will ever know.  A burdei is a shelter with half of the structure beneath ground level and a roof above ground.  This one has plants growing tall in the sod roof.  A metal stovepipe sticks out from the top.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A traditional pich (clay oven) at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Rozwiyczuk Granary at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Makowichuk Barn at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Old wagon providing shade for the chickens at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A black sheep at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A Burdei adjacent to an immaculately kept garden at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Cool, sheltered forest trail leads from the burdei, used by newly arrived immigrants (circa 1900), to the back of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.  The pristine church resides in a field of tall grass competing with densely populated wildflowers.  A short walk down the church entrance road reveals the other side of the Bellis Home Grain Company Elevator which greeted the beginning of our walk.  Across the road from the grain elevator is the Andrew Alberta Provincial Police Post.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A pleasant forest walk between the burdei and the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Back at the other side of the Bellis Home Grain Co. Elevator in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Andrew Alberta Provincial Police Post at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Andrew Alberta Provincial Police Post at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Walking towards the Bellis Canadian National Railway Station, there is an excellent view uphill to the Hilliard Hotel.  Walking along the railroad tracks provides an excellent look at the detail of the Bellis Canadian National Railway Station.  All the buildings are kept true to their original décor and furnishings.  A lot of dedicated people have done a good job of creating and maintaining this special historical village.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Hilliard Hotel at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A front view of the Bellis Canadian National Railway Station at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A last look back at pioneer building beyond the marsh-lined shoreline of Goose lake at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Returning across the Causeway over Goose Lake to Visitor Reception at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Brilliantly colored planters at the Visitor Reception Centre at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

As Mel and I leave the Visitor Reception Area for ice cream at Food Services in the ‘Silska Domiwka’ Hospitality Centre, I notice two buildings we missed on the way in.  Mel proceeds to ice cream while I check out the overlooked properties.  The first is Yurko House and the second larger property is Hawreliak House which hosts a large, fenced chicken coop.  As I approach, all the chickens race over to the corner closest to me.  I feel badly I have no chicken feed to share with them.  Fond memories of Scoudouc in New Brunswick.  On my way to join Mel for ice cream, I pass the bust of Dr. Jósef Olesków and the Centennial Pioneer Monument.  Really focussed on ice cream now, I pass by the formidable structure first seen at arrival.  Just for the record, I made a little joke about it being called `Muster Point`.  It is Pylypow House, and it is the muster point for groups to meet for activities.

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Yurko House at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Hawreliak House at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Either very friendly or starving chickens at Hawreliak House in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Centennial Pioneer Monument at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Pylypow House at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is NOT called `Muster Point`.

On this visit, Mel and I did not get it all done.  On a subsequent visit there are other buildings and features to explore.  I would be inclined to take a guided tour for background and history.  There is an excellent Online Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Guided Tour in English and Ukrainian for those who might be interested.  For information on special events, reference Ukrainian Village and for other upcoming events reference Friends of the Ukrainian Village.

The Ukrainian people have made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and, for that, they deserve a lot of credit and appreciation.  I would be remiss if I did not mention there is also evidence of poor treatment towards some Ukrainian people.  A historic marker for the Castle Mountain World War 1 Internment Camp can be found at a memorial along Highway 1a west of Castle Junction in Banff National Park and another internment camp is documented on interpretive panels at Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park.

Photographs for this post about the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village were captured on Monday, July 14, 2014 east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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