September 1, 2014
by KapteinK
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Summer Visitors

The month of August was the busiest ever at the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows, with over 3600 visitors assisted.

Visitors so far have come from 11 provinces & territories in Canada; 29 states in the USA; 18 countries in Europe; and 22 other countries around the world including every continent (except Antarctica!)

The autumn season is just beginning though – the Centre will remain open until Thanksgiving in mid-October, as long as there are volunteers to staff. Check the calendar on this website for staffing dates as well as upcoming program activities.

August 31, 2014
by KapteinK
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Misty Mountain Hiking

With mixed weather over the Labour Day long weekend, clouds have been drifting over the mountains of the Forbidden Plateau area. There is enough blue sky however that hikers are not deterred!

Croteau Lake Hikers

Croteau Lake Hikers


The SWI hike to Croteau Lake yesterday was enjoyed by an energetic dozen.

Misty Castlecrag

Misty Castlecrag


“The weather was cooperating,” said hike leader Jana. “ We had a good view of Castlecrag – even the glacier showed up later.” Thanks Marrilynn for the photos!

Today as well, the lighting on the mountains as viewed from the Centre was intriguing, with great detail in the rocky slopes.

Sooty Grouse

Sooty Grouse


Yesterday’s group also saw a Sooty Grouse by the roadside.

The partly cloudy weather today along with damp foliage was actually quite good for photography.

Meadows Boardwalk

Meadows Boardwalk


Autumn colour is just starting in Paradise Meadows – the bright leaves of Indian hellebore are golden accents in the meadows.

Flame Grasses

Flame Grasses


Some of the grasses are a rainbow of flaming colours.

Blueberries & Mosses

Blueberries & Mosses


The blueberry leaves are starting to turn colour – here the dark red leaves of dwarf blueberry contrast with the pale bog blueberry, leaves still green – contrasting further with lime-green moss and liberally accented with various shades of berries.

August 28, 2014
by KapteinK
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September Hikes

The next Strathcona Wilderness Institute guided hike is scheduled for Saturday Aug. 30 . Meet at the Wilderness Centre at 9 a.m. for a dog-friendly hike to Croteau Lake lookout with Jana Tomanek. Pre-register at coordinator(at)strathconapark(dot)org for this 14 km, 6-7 hr. slowly-paced hike. Leashes are required for pets in this area, and well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome.

Kwai Lake & Castlecrag

Kwai Lake & Castlecrag


Several hikes have now been added to the schedule for September, thanks to volunteer guides! On Saturday September 6, join Mary Finnan for a guided hike around the Kwai Lake Loop, an 8 hr, 16 km long hike. Registration is limited to 12 people - contact coordinator(at)strathconapark(dot)org No pets please on this outing which will start at 8 a.m. from the Wilderness Centre.

Woolly Chanterelle

Woolly Chanterelle


On Sunday September 7 starting at 1 p.m., expert naturalist Alison Maingon will guide a Mushroom ID Hike around the Lake Helen Mackenzie Loop. “I will give a short intro to mushrooms outside the Centre then set out to Battleship Lake,” says Alison. “The forested slopes above Paradise Meadows have a wealth of fall mushrooms potentially visible along the trails to Battleship Lake and around to Helen McKenzie- for example the Gypsy mushroom (Rozerites caperatus) or the Woolly chanterelle ( Gomphus kauffmanii).” The round trip is about 8.5 km and will take about 3 hours including stops.

More hikes are on the schedule – check the calendar or sign up for our E-news for upcoming details.

For all SWI activities, dress for the weather, wear proper footwear, bring lunch or snacks, water, bug spray and sun protection. All SWI activities are by donation, $5-10 suggested. Donations are appreciated to help with the delivery of the programs & the staffing of the Centre.