Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest overlooks Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country.
Following a long, relentless winter, the awkward time arrives between snowbound and good trail, fair weather hiking. Without knowing exactly what to expect the drive west from Calgary turns south on Highway 68, the Sibbald Creek Trail. A short drive south encounters the first spectacular view of snow-capped Moose Mountain.
Along the Sibbald Creek Road, a family of mule deer are grazing in the sun at roadside.
The land is not as wet as anticipated and the short side road into Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest is rough but navigable. The gate to the lookout and exhibit is open and allowing the short drive directly to the log cabin on heavily rutted road.
Several placards, in an open air shelter, explain the dynamics of ranching, oil and gas exploration and public access to this recreational wilderness area.
Sporadic gunfire emanates from the Alberta Provincial Rifle Association, Homestead Rifle Range a few kilometers away.
The rustic cabin walls are lined with the story about the Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest. This log cabin, resting at hilltop on a clear area, affords a magnificent view over the forest directly towards Moose Mountain.
There are several easy hiking trails beginning from the viewpoint and loop roads on the north and south side of Sibbald Creek Trail educate those who choose to venture through the forest.
The Jumpingpound Demonstartion Forest is a beautiful place to spend some quality, peaceful time while learning more about the unique nature of Alberta forests and how they are shared and managed. Nature provides a welcome escape.