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Elk Island National Park

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Summer fun at Elk Island National Park!

If seeing a bison in person isn't on your bucket list, then it should be. Check it off at Elk Island National Park this summer
© Parks Canada

Hoof Beats and Homesteads

L: A visitor observes a herd of bison
© Parks Canada
R: A visitor makes perogies with an interpreter.
© Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Create your own day-trip to Elk Island National Park and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village! Spend a summer day exploring Alberta’s natural and cultural history with Elk Island National Park and the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village!

Start your morning with a tranquil canoe trip or a guided hike in the gentle wilderness of Elk Island National Park. Learn about Elk Island’s conservation legacy and perhaps even see some wildlife! For lunch, enjoy an authentic Ukrainian meal just 5 minutes down Highway 16 from Elk Island at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. After lunch, spend the remainder of your afternoon learning how to make pyrohy (perogies) or challenging yourself in the ‘It’s an Amazing Race’ program, an adventure inspired by the experiences of Alberta’s Ukrainian settlers.

Tours can be booked for Thursday, August 4th, 11th & 18th, 2016.

Contact the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village to reserve your perfect day-trip!
Bookings must be made at least a week in advance.
Tel (Information): (780) 662-3640

oTENTiks have arrived at Elk Island National Park

A family discovers the joy of camping in a Parks Canada oTENTik
© Parks Canada

Five oTENTik structures have been installed in the Astotin Lake Campground. A cross between a tent and a rustic cabin, this type of accommodation is the perfect way for families, friends and couples of all ages to discover the joys of camping without all the muss and fuss.

Enjoy a true wilderness experience less than 45 minutes east of downtown Edmonton! Overlooking a picturesque wetland, Astotin Lake is a spectacular place to watch sunsets and starry skies. The campground is close to the beach, playground, golf course and theatre.

oTENTiks are waiting for your reservation! They are available to book on weekends August long to September long. Please call the Visitor Centre to book.

Tel: 780- 922-5790

Construction at Elk Island National Park

The Elk Island fence is key to ensuring that the bison herds remain safe and disease free.
© Parks Canada

To ensure visitors have the best experiences connecting with nature and our history, Parks Canada is renewing structures like trails, fences and parkways in our treasured places across the country.

When visiting or driving through Elk Island National Park, you may encounter one or more construction zones or reduced services while we complete this important work. Please plan ahead before you travel to avoid inconvenience.

During the work period, single-lane alternating traffic detours or temporary road closures may be encountered. Road workers, heavy equipment and flag persons may also be present in the work area. Visitors are asked to drive with care and obey all traffic sings in and around the affected work areas.

Please call the visitor centre before planning your visit or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Tel: 780- 922-5790

It's breeding season!

See a lifted tail? You’ve officially popped a bison’s personal space bubble. Keep your distance for the perfect photo!
© Parks Canada

It may sound like a pack of lions, but that’s actually the bison mating call. Hear it for yourself at Elk Island National Park! During the mating season (rut) bulls are more aggressive and may pose increased danger. Please view bison safely and follow these simple tips.

Bison on the move

Harry Barnes, chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council presents a traditional Pendleton blanket to Parks Canada.
© Parks Canada

In April, 87 plains bison calves made a historic voyage to their ancestral homeland in Montana. In providing plains bison to the Montana Blackfeet Nation Bison Reserve, Parks Canada is contributing to the global survival and well-being of an iconic and majestic animal. Indigenous Peoples play a role in conserving, restoring, and presenting natural and cultural heritage and Parks Canada is honoured to play a role in this special initiative.

The area these bison now call home is close to the rangeland their ancestors were originally captured, making it a symbolic homecoming. At the turn of the century, wild plains bison were at the brink of extinction following decades of market hunting for their hides and in order to clear the plains for agricultural development. Between 1907 and 1909, some of the last surviving bison were shipped to Alberta from Montana. The descendants of these bison can be seen in Elk Island today.

Periodically, bison must be transferred out of the park in order to ensure that the habitat is not over-grazed. This creates an opportunity for Elk Island National Park to provide bison to conservation projects both here in Canada, and internationally.

Beaver hills declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The Beaver Hills is a unique landscape that brings people and nature together.
© Parks Canada 

Congratulations Beaver Hills Initiative on your UNESCO biosphere designation!

Escape the city lights and gaze upon the splendour of a starry night in the newly designated Beaver Hills Biosphere! The Beaver Hills was designated as a Biosphere Reserve on March 19, 2016 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This designation provides global recognition of the community’s commitment to conservation and sustainable development.

Parks Canada is proud to be part of the Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve designation. This unique designation proclaims the biosphere’s universal value to humanity, and with Elk Island National Park as part of the core protected area, Parks Canada is committed to working with its partners to plan for conservation and sustainable development so these areas can be enjoyed by Canadians of today and tomorrow.