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Take a hike (around Central Alberta)

With travel restrictions and social distancing in place, local hiking trails could possibly be your summer and fall saving grace. Rochon Sands Trail, Big Knife Trails, Dry Island Buffalo Jump, and Donalda Coulee trail are all relatively close hiking trails to the Stettler area. Plenty of these trails can also be found on the app/website at

Rochon Sands Photo by Dean Unruh (
Rochon Sands Photo by Dean Unruh (

Rochon Sands is a small community along the shores of Buffalo Lake. Various little trails surround the village, which can be accessed through the campsite, street side, and shoreline. Even walking down the roads within Rochon Sands can be enjoyable.

River Flats Trailhead Photo by Robin Jenkins (

Located approximately sixty kilometres from Stettler, Big Knife Provincial Park is home to a couple of beautiful scenic hiking trails.

River Flats Trailhead is a trail of wide variety. Along this trail, you will encounter tree sheltered areas, open grassland, and coulee views overlooking the winding river.

Highlands Trailhead Photo by Matt Gawley (

Highlands Trail is the other hiking venture at Big Knife; this easy grass trail is great for nature views and picnic opportunities. These scenic trails can be accessed by campers or visiting hikers from the main parking space.

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, located just southwest of Big Valley, is among the list of great hiking places to visit. There is not any designated trail at Dry Island, so this can make for a more challenging and adventurous hike. The road leading down to the day use area is sometimes closed off, so be prepared for an additional walk from the road.

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Photos by Kenzie Jack (L) and Natalya Fernandez (R) (

Willow Canyon is an easy and enjoyable hike just outside Donalda. This trail is great for sight seeing the coulees. Hikers often park at the famous Donalda Lamp and proceed to walk the canyon.

Willow Canyon Trail, Donalda Alberta (photo from

AllTrails is a free hiking trail program which tells you information about your desired trail. Each trail can be reviewed, linked with photos, rated, and receive other bits of information from previous hikers. Thousands of trails are listed on the site but some have wonders have yet to be reviewed. AllTrails is great for finding nearby trails or giving the opportunity to create new hiking destinations.

Take advantage of your spare time and adventure your local hiking trails!

Riley Turre, Youth Reporter


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