Amisk Wuche Trail - Elk Island NP - Hiking Alberta

 

'Amisk Wuche' in the Cree Indian language means 'Beaver Hills'

 

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

 

This short, easy 2.9 KM (1¾ 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 on this 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.

 

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 from mosquitoes 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.  Approaching 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

 

Several branches have been placed on the trail at the end of the boardwalk to assist in keeping feet dry but the impromptu assist has have been occupied by a legion of baby frogs so careful steps are expedient so everything has time to escape the 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 is being hiked in the recommended counter-clockwise direction, another large series of ponds contains more 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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Comments

Elk Island is one of the favourite spots for my husband and I (we're in Calgary). You are always guaranteed good animal sitings and we have hiked and found bison lying on the trail! Must step carefully around them of course. :-) We have done day hikes and camped there and always enjoy it.

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