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AWA Hike: Wainwright Dunes

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wainwright Dunes Ecological Reserve, Wainwright, AB
$25 AWA Members/ $50 Non-members

With Cliff Wallis and AWA Conservation Specialist, Joanna Skrajny.

The Wainwright Dunes Ecological Reserve is part of a large and diverse area of sandy glacial deposits. Located 33 km southeast of Wainwright, AB this reserve is famous for its sand dunes that can reach heights of 30 meters. Hikers will be walking through mature balsam poplar, stunted aspen groves, shrub-grasslands and shrubby fen wetlands.

As well Cliff will be discussing the diversity of the birds and flora and the impact of lack of protection and climate change to this unique ecological reserve.

Cliff assures us that he will find an upland route for the return this year. While fun for some at the end of a hot day, not everyone wants to wade through a creek and cross a (normally dry) wet meadow. High water levels are likely to be an issue this year but the area has lots of dry upland sand dunes to explore. For the hydrophile adventurers, there will be brief options for “swamp walking” and “sundew chasing”. Wainwright Dunes is worth the extra bit of effort to get here and follow game trails through the woods and dunes. Not many people get to experience this hidden gem.

Date: Thursday, July 5, 2018
Cost: $25 AWA Members/ $50 Non-members
Difficulty:  Easy
Elevation Gain: 100 m
Distance: 12.2 km return
Estimated duration of hike: 4 to 5 hours


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When citizens and their representatives in government fail to place a high value on wilderness as a resource in itself, then its disappearance – especially in reasonably accessible locations – is swift and certain.
- Bruce M. Litteljohn and Douglas H. Pimlott, “Why Wilderness?”, 1971
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