Beaver Pond (Elk Island) - 3km loop (Easy)
I did not think very much of this one. If you are going to Elk Island I would recommend Amisk Wuche or Shoreline over this trail. Although, it did get its revenge on me for writing this negative review (I’ll explain later in the post)... The parking lot for this trail is well marked and is just north of the Astotin Lake area of Elk Island.
The trail starts with a walk out to the beaver pond. This is the most interesting part as you walk between two lobes of a lake. This part does provide a nice view and we did see a muskrat, or rather scared a muskrat when it came up and saw us right there. I would pause here and consider going back to your car and doing another trail as you have now seen the best part of this hike.
If you continue on you will come up to the beaver pond. You walk along one side of the pond before entering the forest. This is why I am disappointed in this trail as that was the last time you clearly see the pond.
The rest of the trail walks around the pond and a marshy area through an aspen forest. You will pass by lots of small slews (Sarah side note: sede meadows) which I imagine in the summer months would be a very good habitat for mosquitos. There were a couple of mossy logs that were interesting but most of the trail looked the exact same the entire way around. It was almost good that tragedy befell me as that provided an interesting event for the trail.
What is this tragedy you ask? Well the trail must have heard me complaining and conveniently placed a really nice looking babbling brook that looked to tumble down over a couple of large branches covered in green. I thought this would actually be a great composition so I hopped down to set up my tripod. There wasn’t much worry of getting wet as I was wearing my waterproof hikers. As I was looking for a good place to set up I noticed that the other side of the brook would provide a better view so, me being me, I just stepped over the water and then through the top layer of moss and right into shin deep water! Well as it turns out my shoes are very waterproof especially from the inside.
I give this trail a 3/10, but it get props for getting a bit of revenge so I will bump it up to 3.5. The big downfall is that it is too repetitive and there are other better trails in the same area. Again I would recommend the Shoreline Trail or Amisk Wuche over this one.