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Stay Active this Holiday Season at Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Stay Active this Holiday Season at Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Wondering how to keep the family entertained this holiday season? Come out to Cypress Hills Provincial Park and enjoy all of the fabulous winter activities the park has to offer. Don't have your own equipment? Not a problem, you can rent skates, cross country skis, snowshoes, kicksleds, and GPS units from the Visitor Centre in Elkwater.  

Here are just a few ideas you can add to your list: 

- Cross Country Ski the Spring Creek Trail system (over 11 km of trails) and then warm up around the woodstove at the Spring Creek Trailhead.  

- Snowshoe your way around the Elkwater townsite on Ranger's Trail 

- Go ice fishing on Spruce Coulee Reservoir 

- Skate your way around the 1.5km skating trail in Old Baldy Campground

- Go tobogganing at the Learning Centre and then warm up inside with a cup of hot chocolate on us!

- Play hockey on the outdoor skating rink on 7th Avenue

- Check out the fun, interactive displays at the Visitor Centre 

- Hike to the top of Old Baldy and take in the winter scenery from a great viewpoint!

- Rent a GPS unit from the Visitor Centre and go geocaching around the Elkwater townsite. 

- Have a hot dog and marshmallow roast around the fire pit at the Learning Centre

 

There is loads to explore in Cypress Hills - Stay active this holiday season! 

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AEP Crews Working Hard to Stop the Spread of Mountain Pine Beetle

AEP Crews Working Hard to Stop the Spread of Mountain Pine Beetle

Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) are a little know resident of Cypress HIlls Interprovincial Park - Alberta but they can have a big impact on the health of our Lodgepole Pine forests. Alberta Environment and Parks Crews are currently working on eliminating MPB infested trees throughout Cypress Hills to prevent further infestations.  

How do MPB infest pine trees?

MPB attack and kill mature pine trees (approximately 80 years and older) by tunneling through the outer bark of the tree and constructing vertical galleries in the inner bark (phloem). Eggs laid by the females hatch into larvae and overwinter beneath the bark. As the larvae tunnel through the inner bark, they disrupt water and nutrient flow within the tree. By early July, adult beetles emerge from the tree and locate a suitable nearby tree to infest, and the cycle continues.    

So how do we combat a MPB infestation in Cypress HIlls? 

Aerial surveys are conducted each summer to identify areas of infestation and individual trees within these areas are marked. Once there is enough snow on the ground, Alberta Environment and Parks crews return to the site and cut the infested trees down, buck them into smaller pieces and burn them. To ensure beetles do not complete their lifecycle all of the bark must be completely burned off. This management strategy helps to contain infestations while also minimizing their spread.

 

Are MPB only a concern in Cypress HIlls? 

No,  currently more than 1.27 million hectares of forest across Alberta have sustsained some level of MPB damage. 

Want to know more?

For more information on how to identify trees infested by Mountain Pine Beetle and what you can do to help, visit Alberta's Mountain Pine Beetle Site.

 

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South East Alberta Shines

Medicine Hat and the Cypress Hills are well know for the amount of sunshine they get. Canadian blogger Leigh McAdam recently visited the area and this is what she thought!

http://www.exploresouthwestalberta.ca/how-to-have-2-exciting-days-in-southern-alberta-by-leigh-mcadam?id=793

You can follow her at hikebiketravel on twitter, instagram, facebook and at www.hikebiketravel.com. joint the exploration of natural areas and include Cypress Hills Provincial Park. 

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Perfect weather for dip!

The forecast looks almighty! Perfect weather to head to a lake and take a dip or go for a paddle. Hit the beach and use some of the FREE beach items for the kids to play from Boat and Bike Rentals. Don't forget your sunscreen!

Elkwater Beach 005

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DISC GOLF in Elkwater

Heard of Disc Golf? Played with very similar rules to traditional Golf but with special frisbies or discs. There is a course map, score card and baskets instead of holes. Each "hole" has a set number of strokes or Par. This is a great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air around Elkwater. This temporay 9 hole course is free to use. A disc set of a driver and putter is available to rent from the Boat and Bike Rentals at the mian beach area for $5. 

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