The Park Less Visited

Sir Winston Churchill Park, up near Lac La Biche, Alberta, is a park less visited by photographers.  I did a quick search on google for images of the park but did not turn up anything spectacular by photographers.  Although locals know of its lush scenery and potential for recreational activities (hiking, boating, skiing and camping), it seems this little park is another one of those secret gems scattered throughout Alberta.

Although I only had a short visit this past week, I was amazed at the diversity and density of the vegetation in Sir Winston Churchill Park.  The park is actually an island in the middle of Lac La Biche, a large lake perpetually coloured battleship grey.  Accessible by a man-made, 2.5km causeway, the isolation of the park, and protection from forest fire, has preserved an old-growth, mixedwood forest of incredible beauty.  Rabbits darted through the undergrowth, and startled deer bounded off the winding road as I slowly drove through the small park.  Even black bears have made a home here.

For many nature lovers, the more than 200 bird species is sure to be a big draw.  With viewpoints toward the bird colonies set at various locations around the island, you can watch the busy activities of waterbirds such as pelicans, caspian terns and double-crested cormorants.  Or listen to the voices of warblers, owls and eagles as you stroll a quiet path in the woods.

I plan to return to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park soon for a more in-depth, photographic study.  If getting up to Lac La Biche is not in your immediate plans, head over to Nature Photographers Network for my cheat sheet on shooting around Banff.  But I would love to hear from anyone who also knows of a little park less visited on their doorstep!

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~ by Samantha on June 5, 2010.

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