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Park News

We are using Facebook to share updates about what we are doing and what is happening in the park. You can also find us on Twitter.

A Sensitive Season for Elk

September 2014

Seasonal trail restriction map
Closed area © Parks Canada

Watching elk during the rutting season can be a wonderful experience for visitors. For the elk, being disturbed during this critical time can affect their ability to reproduce.

To minimize the disturbance caused by human movements on the Blakiston Fan, Parks Canada has closed the area to hikers and independent horseback riders* (see map).

Your cooperation ensures that visitors will continue to be able to safely enjoy this amazing wildlife viewing opportunity.

Haybarn and Marquis Hole road remain open to vehicles. Please stay in your vehicle to further minimize disturbance to the elk.

Park personnel supervising educational or invasive plant control activities will continue to enter the area under prescribed conditions.

*Alpine Stables licensed outfitters is the only horse use allowed, and only on existing trails.

Townsite Campground at 90

Setting up camp in Townsite Campground, 1934
Waterton's Townsite Campground is 90 years old this year
Photo: Glenbow Archives NA-1234-5

Photo gallery: Townsite Campground at 90 

If you camped in Townsite Campground in the summer of 1931, you might have purchased fresh-baked goods offered by two young girls carrying baskets from the Rose Tea Room.

If you camped there on June 15 1975, you may have been evacuated by harried park wardens in the midnight hours as floods hit Waterton. 

If you tented in H Section in June 1999, you may have had your tent pounced on by a confused black bear.

And we can't remember the year (perhaps it happened more than once) but we saw several tents leave Townsite Campground and roll down the street like colourful tumbleweeds.

Camping started early in Waterton, but our first "auto campground" wasn't laid out in 1924. Then, at the south end of town, where local aboriginal tribes, early ranchers, farmers, and adventurous National Park visitors often set up camp, the Townsite Campground was created.

It is unique in the mountain parks in being integrated into the townsite.

Today, Townsite Campground is one of the oldest surviving campgrounds in the National Park system.

Some of the buildings within the campground are the oldest campground buildings still in existence in the Canadian national parks. They demonstrate the different phases of campground development in the national park system, and have been well used by four generations of park visitors.

Are you or your family one of those generations of visitors? If you have photos or stories of the Townsite Campgound to share, please join with us in celebrating this milestone by sharing on our Facebook page.

Prescribed Fire at Waterton Lakes National Park a Success

April 2014

Prescribed fire at Waterton Lakes National Park 
Prescribed fire at Waterton Lakes National Park © Parks Canada

Parks Canada staff carried out a successful prescribed fire in Waterton Lakes National Park, April 24. 

The areas burned, approximately 1800 ha using aerial and ground ignition, were the grasslands adjacent to the Entrance and Red Rock Parkways.

The purpose of this prescribed fire is to restore native prairie by reducing aspen and evergreen tree expansion onto grasslands.

These burns are part of an on-going program to restore healthy forests and grasslands, and reduce the risk of wildfire.