High River, Alberta : Frank Lake Conservation Area
Canada travel, tourism guide - Foothills Country
( walking, birdwatching )
The wetland marsh and grassland environment provide an ideal base for nesting, resting and feeding birds. The wetland and water environment attract waterfowl while the tall grasses and cat tails attract song birds.
The Frank Lake Conservation Area is one of Canada's Important Bird Areas (IBA). Some birds are local, some migrating. A total of 100+ different bird species have visited Frank Lake.
Some of the waterfowl sightings in the Frank Lake area include Northern pintail, Lesser scaup, Ring-necked duck, Canvasback, Green-winged teal, American wigeon, Northern shoveler, Bufflehead, Ruddy duck, Snow goose and Tundra swan.
Other animals in the region which take a keen eye to spot include muskrat, bats, frogs and more.
Prime birding is best enjoyed from early spring to late fall. There is a boardwalk trail leading to a birdwatching viewpoint and there is a dirt walking trail following the shores of the lake.
From the parking lot a short boardwalk trail leads to a wooden viewing blind propped up on stilts. Inside the viewing blind are bird identification signs and sitting benches.
The other trail in the Frank Lake area is a dirt trail which follows along the shores of the lake. The single track, level dirt trail explores the grassland eco system.
There are pit toilets located in the gravel parking lot. And nearby, close to the trailhead, is a rock with a Ducks Unlimited plaque identifying Frank Lake as a North American Waterfowl Management Plan Project. Job well done!
How to Get to Frank Lake Conservation Area
Travel to the community of High River, Alberta, Canada. From downtown High River travel south on Centre Street to Highway #23 (12th Avenue SE). Turn left (east) and continue traveling on Hwy #23 for 8 kilometres to a gravel road entrance leading to Frank Lake. Follow the long gravel road to the parking lot.