Fall is in full swing and it’ll only be a matter of time until the ground is covered in white. Interested in doing some sightseeing before you pull out the snow pants? Queue up your favourite playlist and head to Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park!

Located in St. Albert just west of Edmonton this beautiful spot is where you’ll find the John E. Poole Boardwalk, a quiet Alberta trail that overlooks the aptly named Big Lake.

Recent Posts:
A mountain oasis: This enchanted grotto is hidden under a charming Alberta hotel
These Alberta museums and art galleries are FREE to visit

Photo via Travel Alberta

Surrounded by water and sky, this particular park is recognized around the world for playing a significant role in keeping certain animals happy and healthy, according to Ducks Unlimited Canada.

“Big Lake is globally recognized as an Important Bird Area and provides critical habitat for thousands of nesting and migrating waterfowl and shorebirds,” they explain.

“At the site, DUC has established a forest trail, a wetland boardwalk with interpretive signs and critter dipping stations with the goal of providing hands-on wetland and environmental education, interpretation and exploration. JEP is also connected to the City of St. Albert’s established nature trail system.”

Here, those who want to wind down can take a stroll, breathe in the fresh air and, above all, are encouraged to keep their eyes open for the many feathered friends who call Big Lake home.

Photo via Travel Alberta

“More than 235 bird species have been recorded at Big Lake, with some 180 recorded annually,” the city of St. Alberta wrote. 

“In the fall, the lake is a staging area for Tundra Swans and Pelicans. Fall populations of swans have been as high as 20,000! Cormorants, Loons, Great Blue Herons and Ospreys fish the lake. Lesser Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, American Avocets and Sandpipers reside during low-water years.”

Other species you might see while in the area? Trumpeter Swans, Sprague’s Pipits, Peregrine Falcons, Short-eared Owls and even Bald Eagles – so keep your eyes open and your cameras ready!

There’s no place quite like it!

John E. Poole Boardwalk, Alberta 

Where: Directions here