WATERTON - Waterton Lakes National Park is open and ready to welcome visitors in 2018, and after a lot of work by staff following the Kenow Wildfire in the fall they’ve reopened several additional areas in the park.
In a release, Parks Canada says staff have been working hard to assess and reduce wildfire-related hazards on trails and backcountry facilities in the park.
Trail crews have repaired damaged and destroyed infrastructures like benches and small footbridges, and assessed, cut, and cleared fallen and burned trees.
Over 50 kilometres of previously closed trails and three backcountry campgrounds have been reopened because of this work.
Newly reopened areas include the Bertha Falls, Bertha Lake, Crandell Lake Loop, Horseshoe Basin, and Lakeshore trails. The portion of the Red Rock Parkway open to bikers and hikers have been extended as well – from Bellevue Trailhead to Coppermine Creek. In addition, the Bertha Bay, Bertha Lake, and Boundary Bay backcountry campgrounds have also reopened.
The Entrance Road and adjacent facilities, townsite, Waterton Lakes, and Chief Mountain Highway are also open.
A complete list of what is available in Waterton, along with information and suggestions on recreational opportunities, special events, volunteer activities, and interpretation programs can be found here.
Backcountry travel always comes with inherent risks and areas affected by the Kenow Wildfire may have increased hazards, so visitors should be aware of their surroundings and prepared with the appropriate equipment during backcountry travel.
The Crandell Mountain Campground, Bear’s Hump Trail, the Akamina Parkway, Cameron Lake Day Use Area, Red Rock Parkway from Coppermine Creek to Red Rock Canyon, and recreational opportunities associated with these areas remain closed at this time.
Parks Canada says it’s too early to provide a timeline for when these areas will re-open, and to ensure safety they ask for people to respect all area closures.
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