Ever wondered how fast a bison can run? Or how to catch one? You can find the answers to these questions at an Elk Island National Park interpretive program.

Join our Bison Backstage walking tour to get a behind the scenes look at how Elk Island helps conserve bison both at home and abroad. If you can’t catch one of our interpreters during a scheduled program, don’t worry. You’ll be able to find them walking through the Astotin Lake area with a beaver pelt, a moose antler and plenty of knowledge to answer your Elk Island questions! Or you can visit them at the Astotin Theatre

Guided Interpretive Experiences

May Long to July 1, 2017

Astotin Theatre
Open weekends from 10:30 to 6:00 pm

Starting July 1, 2017

Astotin Theatre
Open Monday to Thursday from 10:30 to 6:00 pm
Open Friday to Sunday from 11:15 to 7:00 pm

Keep an eye out for roving interpreters around the Visitor Centre, Bison Loop and Day Use Area for more programs!

Weekday programs:

Summer weekday drop-in programs
Monday to Friday 1:00 to 2:00pm - Meeting at the discovery dome in the Astotin Lake Rec Area.
Just because it’s not the weekend doesn’t mean there isn’t anything fun going on! Visit the blue Discovery Dome to see what we have that day.

Dark Sky campfire
Fridays at 7:00 to 8:00 pm – Astotin Lake Recreation Area
The night sky has fascinated people all over the world for centuries. Bring your family and friends to hear stories of the night sky come to life in the heart of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve. Campfire will be followed by s’mores.

Weekend programs:

Bison Backstage
Saturdays and Sundays, 1 hour walking tours leave on the hour from 11:00am to 4:00 pm – Visitor’s Centre Area On-site registration available on a first come first serve basis. (max. 20 participants).
Join a park guide for a tour of the bison handling facility to see how the experts at Elk Island have helped bring this animal back from the brink of extinction. Come prepared to walk, with closed toed shoes! Pre-register at the Visitor Centre.

Parks Canada in the Field
Saturdays 1:00 to 4:00 pm – Astotin Lake Rec Area
Discover the work Parks Canada is doing to make sure Elk Island National Park’s ecosystems remain healthy for the enjoyment and appreciation of present and future generations!

Bison Tales Campfire
Saturdays 7:00 to 8:00 pm – Astotin Lake Rec Area
Come gather around a campfire and join a park guide as they tell the dramatic story of what has happened to bison over the last 200 years. Just like bison, these stories are larger than life! Campfire is followed by s’mores.

Sundays 1:00 to 4:00 pm – Astotin Lake Rec Area
Try your hand at making pemmican: the powerbar of the plains! This traditional food was used by Indigenous groups and voyageurs alike and you too can try this mixture of dried meat, fat, and berries.

Guided Hike of Lakeview trail
Sundays 11:00 am – Meet at Astotin Lake Rec Area
Is that a woodpecker hole? Is a beaver living in that lodge? Come with a friendly park guide to learn all that and more on a guided hike of Elk Island’s Lakeview Trail.

Learning Experiences