Exploring Edmonton with kids should take you outside of your comfort zone, outside of the boundaries of the city and literally, outside. At the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary, the child-friendly walk will do just that, getting you outside to explore four, short, boardwalk paths that will lead you on an interactive path of trails through the natural preserve.
Exploring the Clifford E Lee Natural Area
There are more than 100 birds across the 348 acres of marshland, open meadow and pine forest. With four trails, each of which are accessible by stroller (with the exception of the Woodland flower trail) created using a combination of pathways and wooden boardwalk path – it’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
The trails span four kilometres, and a good portion of those paths are covered in boardwalk style, raised above the ground to protect the local wildlife in the sanctuary. For parents with toddlers, this can be daunting and so you might want to bring along the stroller if you’re weary about the kids falling off as they’re running full force.
Along the trail, there are a few lookout points, interactive signs for kids to spot out birds and a fantastic lookout where you can see clear across the pond, trying to spot the birds on a sign.
Things to know before you Go
- At the beginning of the path, take a photo of the map at the beginning of the trail. This way, you can manage the distance – which we all know is important when we’re walking with young children.
- Bring water with you.
- The majority of the paths are stroller friendly, even for an umbrella stroller that isn’t designed for the most rugged of experiences.
- There’s a bathroom at the beginning, and about two-thirds of the way around the loop with the most boarded trail – good for planning with small children
- Bring a book or app for birdwatching with you, the kids will love using it in addition to the signs alongside the paths about the types of birds and other animals you might catch a glimpse of while you’re walking on the trail
Visiting the Sanctuary is a great opportunity to encourage conversation about conservation and respect for nature. With plenty of places to climb and explore that are created for that purpose, we spoke frequently of being respectful of the space, the wildlife and the sanctuary.
Getting to the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary
Located 33 km southwest of Edmonton’s city centre, the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary protects 348 acres of marshland, open meadow, aspen parkland and pine forest. The varied habitats of the Sanctuary attract a diversity of animals, including more than one hundred bird species, and provide excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Get directions, details and more information at www.cliffordelee.com.