Our Blog



An ongoing series of informational entries by us, not very good at blogging but getting better :)

Also find us at: http://hintontrail.blogspot.ca/ and https://my-hinton-trek-trail.tumblr.com




Sometimes you just have to have the nuts!

October 2012

Meet our little thief. The Blue jays love the peanuts and come around on a daily basis however, today, someone else feels the need to help themselves. I am sure there is going to be a showdown when the Blue jay appears.

All snowflakes are different

March 17 2013

I managed to capture these snowflakes before they melted today. They are truly beautiful and so amazingly intricate. Nature is truly an amazing thing.



 

Honey! There's a moose on the lawn

May 17, 2013

You know when something just wakes you in the early hours? Well for some unknown reason I felt the need to get out of bed at 4.30am and look out the window, camera is always close by. This female brought her calf along for a wander, it was great to watch the two of them for 10 minutes before returning to my slumber.


Don't breath and don't move

October 2013

So we all have the training to deal with Bear, Cougar, Wolves, Coyotes but nothing, I said nothing, prepares you for a Skunk!

We were out cycling and around the corner was this little (really big, huge, menacing, wild, killing machine) cute skunk looking for insects and things along the roadside.

Luckily for us he was so intent in what he was doing we could sneak by.

There isn't enough tomato juice in the world to help you with the smell from a skunk.


 

Storm clouds over the prairies

July 2014

Everyone was feeling exhausted after a two week tour and we were heading back to the hotel on the last day. This group had packed a lot in and we had been all over including down on the prairies to some of the museums. Everyone was feeling pretty sad as tomorrow we were heading back to Calgary and flights would be caught and the holiday an ever lasting memory when we saw this. Canadian Prairies are the most beautiful places and you can see some real amazing storms (even tornadoes) here. We even managed to see a cloud the same shape as the SS Enterprise!  


 

You can't see me :)

January 2015

We were heading back from the historical mine tour with our tour group and just happened across this little guy. It was amazing to watch as he wandered about his business searching for critters in among the berry bushes. Just managed to snap this shot at the right time and get the most amazing picture.


 

Hot Date

July 2016

Here we are out in the wilds and suddenly out of know where lands this guy with shorts :) It was a great experience for our friends on the wildlife tour, up close (maybe a little too close) with inquisitive Marmots, even managed to catch a siting of the grizzly bear and cubs on the way back to Hinton.

 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Sunny Days Ahead

March 25 2017

Today the sun is just beating down here in Hinton, Alberta. The snow is slowly melting and it's just going to be a fabulous week ahead.

The bears are starting to wake up, nothing much to eat so they might as well sleep some more.

It's great to see the birds again and I can't wait to see who visits us at Hinton Trek & Trail first. The chickadee's are pretty on it and we have had some woodpeckers pass by, but no one has actually come to the feeder yet, we will keep watching.

The little birds are pretty savvy around here because of the bald eagle that's resident with us all winter, always watch above you never know who's watching you.

Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail

 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours,

Sunny Trip to Edmonton

March 27 2017

Well we had a great day travelling to Edmonton & Back, heading along the Cowboy Trail rather than the highway takes us right along parallel to the mountains and then straight down to the airport through beautiful countryside.

It was great to be on the migration path of the arriving birds, we saw Canada Geese, swans and other migratory birds returning after the snows of winter and it won't be long before we see the Snow Geese and cranes are passing by.

The Bald Eagle was busy near Edson which is always great to see.

Down near Edmonton Airport we saw Harris Hawks, Northern Harriers, and a Rough Legged Hawk.


So much to see and do.


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail


http://www.canadianraptorconservancy.com


 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours, Pip

Newest Member of the Team

March 29 2017

We would like to introduce you to the newest member of our Team here at Hinton Trek & Trail. Pip is 8 weeks old (born January 19th) and started her new job on March 27 2017.

What a very intelligent puppy she is, a Pyrenees/healer X, she is going to be great out on the trails assisting us to have a safe and happy summer.

Training started immediately and was she was taught the knowledge of:

Travelling in a car for long periods, meeting the vet, wearing her uniform (collar and leash), going for walks, playing in snow, being introduced to another dog and socialising correctly.

This morning we have acquired some new skills:

Being calm before being greeted, waiting patiently for the door to open, allowing a more senior dog and owner out first, just because a door is open we don’t leave, clothes are not play things toys are, and we only eat our food.

So she is progressing nicely for a new employee :)


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail


https://www.cesarsway.com/


 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Fabulous Eco-Tour 

March 31 2017

We had a great day out on March 31st. We travelled along Highway 2 discussing rocks, rivers and mountains. We were lucky enough to see the elk and big horn sheep. Bald Eagles are starting to pair up and we could watch these on the tour it was awesome.


We meandered into Jasper for lunch and always have to visit the Bears Paw for a cappuccino before heading up to Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake.


Snowy and cold still but I am sure it won't be long before we are up there in t-shirts and shorts.


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Hike on Brule Mountain 

April 4 2017

So we set off up the rail pretty early today. A little ice on the trails still at lower elevations but once you have climbed a couple hundred feet your walking in alpine snow and clear trail paths at times.


Looking ahead this week with the temperatures changing to the teens here in Hinton, Alberta, Canada the snow is going to start melting and the ground will start warming now.


As we set out we were bombarded by chatter from the local squirrels. The Red Squirrels here in Alberta are pretty territorial and let you know if your stepping out of line.


Next we were met by two beautiful white tailed deer. It didn't take them long to figure out they didn't want to hang out with us and bounded away through the brush. One minute we saw them, the next disappeared, before the cameras where even thought about.


One we went further into the forest the covers this beautiful hike from view. Along the way we chatted about the different tree's, pine beetle (which is a big concern here in Alberta) and other flora and fauna that is currently around, coming into view as the snows melt. 


We got a real treat as we came across two ruffed grouse, the dappled, grayish or reddish Ruffed Grouse is hard to see, but its “drumming on air” display is a fixture of many spring forests. It can come as a surprise to learn this distant sound, like an engine trying to start, comes from a bird at all. This plump grouse has a cocky crest and a tail marked by a broad, dark band near the tip. Displaying males expose a rich black ruff of neck feathers, giving them their name. One flew high into a tree and watched as we passed by as still as the branch it sat on.


The old growth tree's have amazing sculptures on the bark and growing from them - diamond willow, shelf fungus and black know fungus.


Wandering through Lodgepole Pine, Tall, slender conifer, with little taper and straight trunk. Bark orange-brown, somewhat scaly, the branches curve upwards; self pruning in pure stands. Jackpine which is a small shrubby conifer more often on open sites, somewhat taller in dense stands. The lower branches are wide spreading (Christmas Tree). White Spruce , which is a more dense conifer with a straight, tapered trunk, and the branches are horizontal and Black Spruce which have branches that are upturned at ends forming a distinctive club-like shape at the crown. 


At our feet and along the tree trunks are an array of mosses and lichens, too many to list. Passing rocks, tree's and old mining sinkholes we eventually hit our goal. After enjoying the vista's and the odd snack and sandwich we make our way back to the hamlet ready for our next adventure.


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Beaver Habitat Eco Tour

April 6 2017

Today we set out on the Beaver Trail. Knowing where some of these beaver homes are hidden allows us to get up close and personal without impacting on their daily lives. Our group was small so we decided to head out into the back country to do the tour today.


We swear when we left the sun was shining, it is spring here in Alberta so weather is mixed, the locals say "wait 5 minutes", and it tends to be true.


We travelled along the trail and through some bush along river banks and up hills and eventually came to the ponds.


Beavers live near rivers, streams, ponds, small lakes, and marshes. They build lodges of sticks and mud on islands, on pond banks, or on lake shores. Beaver dams are domed-shaped and can be up to ten feet tall.


There are three different family colonies located within a sq km here so it's easy to take a look at all three areas and see how the beavers have adapted the different areas of the ponds to create their perfect habitat.


The ponds here don't freeze as there are natural springs a little higher in the river just above the lodges, these springs are producing warmer water.


One beaver lodge sits on the edge of the pond just below the river line, the second sits at the river exit and has dammed the river to keep the pond high, the third is in the centre of the pond.


Obviously the first beaver colony is clever as they are using the exit colony to maintain the level of the dam. We are sure they all probably work on the dam. 


The beaver is North America's largest rodent and is built for life in the water. Adults can be up to four feet long and weigh over 60 pounds. The beaver has webbed hind feet and a large, flat, nearly hairless tail. It uses its tail to help maintain its balance when it is gnawing on trees. 


We saw many examples of beaver activity in among the tree's around the area and as you cans see from the picture, the colony has plenty of reserves stored coming out of the winter.


The beaver has short front legs with heavy claws. Their rear legs are longer, and they use their rear webbed feet help propel themselves through the water. 


Not all beavers build lodges; some beavers build burrows in the banks of rivers.


We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon out and look forward to returning one evening at dusk to watch these guys out and about.


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Hidden in the forests of Alberta

April 9 2017

Today the sun is shining, and it's warm on your face here in Hinton, Alberta. Today we are off to Switzer Provincial Park for an Eco-Tour hike to see what is happening on this beautiful spring afternoon.


We set off along the path and all you can here is happy bird calls, Chickadee and other small birds that you can't see all calling and singing. The American Robin has appeared this week and is joining in the calls.


A Bald Eagle sours high above the lake, sadly too far away to even get a picture, but great to see all the same. Bald Eagles are resident all winter here in Hinton and we often see them searching along the banks of the Athabasca River in search of critters that venture out onto the snow. However, today the snow is melting happily in the sun and is soft underfoot.


We wander through the forest and you can actually smell the pine fragrance, the lake is still covered in ice but the colour is changing as the ice thins. No longer safe to skate on or play hockey and no more ice fishing here this season. 


We find a quiet opening and watch a display of courtship between the Blue Grouse. In Alberta, blue grouse occur only in the foothills and mountains. They spend their winters in high coniferous forests near timberline. In spring, blue grouse move down to lightly wooded mountain valleys or foothills.

Choosing an open area, the male sets up a territory, strutting and hooting to announce his presence and attract females. Yellow-to-orange eye combs are enlarged, and tail feathers are fanned. White-based neck feathers are raised revealing bright yellow or purple skin patches.


he was certainly on display, and he had an adoring female watching his every move. We quietly moved on as not to disturb the courtship.


Meandering down to a small bridge that connects the bank between two lakes we come across another resident, a beautiful red squirrel, going about his business but has time for a photogenic moment with us. 


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

What a difference a week can make.

April 21 2017

Today the sun is shining, and it's warm on your face here in Hinton, Alberta. 


It's hard to know what to do first, but we still have some snow around. We have had a mixed week weather wise so it's been hit and miss but most days we have been lucky and only seen the weather change once back from our adventuring.


We have had some great adventures over the last 12 days and even though we did not spot an early bear wandering about, we were lucky enough to see some fantastic prints in the snow.


The snow came and went over a couple of days so the footprints didn't hang around for long, a bear passing through on it's way to find some food source. The grass is just starting to turn green and in many places there are some nice young shoots, Hopefully the bear won't be hungry for much longer.


There has been some print sightings in Hinton too, Fisheries & Wildlife now have their work cut out closing down some of the trails.


We have also managed to get some awesome shots of Mule Deer this week, they have been quite happily grazing on the forest edges and if your quiet and calm enough, they will allow the odd photographer a moment.


As we headed back to Edmonton, always sad to be leaving the fantastic mountains of Alberta. We followed the Cowboy Trail from Entwistle to Drayton Valley and then continued onto Leduc. The Prairies shared a wealth of delights for our passengers and it's an excellent opportunity to see how the mountains flow into the foothills and the foothills into the praires.


We saw Osprey (early), Northern Harriers and Rough Legged Hawks in abundance, three moose grazing on the side of the road on some yummy willow, and also white tailed deer, Merlin, Snow Geese, Canada Geese. different waterfowl and much more.


So the next time you travel from Edmonton Airport, follow the road across from Leduc to Drayton Valley onto the Cowboy Trail to Entwistle and you will be rewarded with some awesome sights.


I am the lucky one to get to come back to the mountains everyday to live, work and play, happy to share it with anyone who wants the Canadian Experience.


Remember, not everything is seen in the mountains.  


Have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

Hinton Trek & Trail, Hinton, Alberta, Canada, Historical, Cultural, Eco-tours

Been out and about this week.

April 27 2017

IF YOU EVER

If you ever, ever, ever meet a grizzly bear,

You must never, never, never,

Ask him where he is going,

Or what he is doing,

For if you ever, ever, ever, dare,

To stop a grizzly bear,

You will never, never, never,

Meet another grizzly bear. Anon


But we did not! In fact we saw tracks in the snow this week of the black bear. As the saying goes "small toe back means black".


We visited various places to look at tracks in the snow this week. On some occasions the sun shone and it felt nice and warm on your face. I sometimes just take a moment, close my eyes and feel the warmth and listen to the sounds of the mountains and the forests. In fact if you are feeling a little down then this is the perfect rejuvenation for mind, body and soul.


Anyway back to the blog! 


So we went out on a search, the usual culprits were out and about, squirrels, white-tail deer, moose, mice and mule deer and then we found the bear tracks so that was a bonus for the trip out. Squirrels, if you didn't already know, are quite photogenic, in fact some, as you will see from our picture galleries and Facebook page @hintontrail that they can sometime go out of their way to have a picture taken.


We saw many birds this week, juvenile Bald Eagles, American Robbins, Dark-Eyed Junco's, American Kestrel, Northern Harriers, Blue Jays, Canada Geese, Mallards and Golden-eye's just to name but a few.


Also on the list of see's Elk, Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer, Coyote's and a few other surprises.


So it's time my friends to start thinking about equipping yourselves correctly for the outdoors and start thinking about wildlife safety, carry bear spray, whistles and bells and always tell someone where you are going.


Be Safe and have a great day!

From all of us at Hinton Trek & Trail




 

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