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Elk Island National Park

Hiking

You stroll through a shadowed landscape of a black spruce bog; the tangy smell of spruce trees mixes with the earthy scent of moss and peat under your feet. All seems quiet and still as you climb a small hill, but then the shade of the spruce trees opens up to a bright and sunny aspen forest canopy. The trail narrows as the mossy ground gives way to wild rose and beaked hazelnut shrubs. Lose yourself in the sound of autumn leaves crunching under your feet then thrill at the haunting sound of the bugle of a bull elk in the distance. Hike at Elk Island National Park: new scents, sights and sounds await you all year round.

Elk Island has a number of trails of varied lengths winding through the different habitats found within the park. Elk Island is not mountainous and the trails found here have very few steep inclines. Each trail contains many wildlife viewing opportunities, from two different subspecies of bison to a multitude of songbirds.

# Trail Distance Time Difficulty
1  Hayburger Trail
Spruce bog, aspen forest and meadows. Good for viewing bison and moose.
 12.2km (loop) 3 – 4 hours Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
 Moderate 
2 Simmons Trail 
Aspen forest, meadows and beaver ponds. Good for viewing bison, moose and elk.
 5km (loop) 1 – 2 hours Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
 Moderate 
3 Shirley Lake Trail 
Aspen forest and meadows. Good for viewing bison, moose and elk.
 12.5km (loop) 3 - 4 hours Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
 Moderate 
4 Moss Lake Trail 
Mixed wood forest. Great for viewing beaver, waterfowl, elk and bison.
 13km (loop)  4 hours Level of Difficulty:  Moderate
 Moderate 
5 Amisk Wuche Trail 
Boardwalks through marsh and forest. Rich in birds and aquatic life.
 2.5km (loop)  1 hour Level of Difficulty:  Easy
 Easy 
6 Lakeview Trail 
Poplar and spruce forest, great views of Astotin Lake, islands, beaver and waterfowl.
 3.5km (loop) 1 – 2 hours Level of Difficulty:  Easy
Easy 
7 Beaver Pond Trail 
Aspen forest and sedge meadows. Good for viewing bison, moose, beaver and waterfowl.
 3.5km (loop) 1 – 2 hours Level of Difficulty:  Easy
 Easy 
8 Living Waters Boardwalk 
Floating boardwalk and exhibits. Great view of Astotin Lake, islands, beaver, waterfowl, and aquatic life.
 300m (loop)  30 minutes Level of Difficulty:  Easy
 Easy 
9 Tawayik Lake Trail 
Aspen forest and meadows. Great for viewing elk, plains bison and waterfowl. A portion of the trail is shared with Shirley Lake Trail.
 16.5km (loop) 4 – 5 hours Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Difficult 
10 Shoreline Trail 
Mixed-wood forest, good view of islands, beaver and waterfowl. Beaver Bay picnic area found on peninsula with good view of the lake.
 3km (one-way)
6km (return)
 2.5 hours Level of Difficulty:  Easy
 Easy 
11  Wood Bison Trail
Aspen forest. Great for viewing wood bison, moose, elk and birds.
 16km (loop) 4 – 5 hours Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Difficult

Hayburger Trail Hayburger Trail Simmons Trail Shirley Lake Trail Moss Lake Trail Amisk Wuche Trail Lakeview Trail Beaver Pond Trail Living Waters Boardwalk Tawayik Lake Trail Shoreline Trail Wood Bison Trail Simmons Trail Shirley Lake Trail Moss Lake Trail Amisk Wuche Trail Lakeview Trail Beaver Pond Trail Living Waters Boardwalk Tawayik Lake Trail Shoreline Trail Shoreline Trail Wood Bison Trail