MacKinnon Ravine (2.5km)
Braedyn and I went for a walk in the MacKinnon Ravine on May 12, 2018. We parked where St George’s Crescent NW meets 135 St NW and walked south towards the ravine. We took a long wooden staircase down to the bottom and started off west along the paved path. (Braedyn Note: I would recommend finding a different way back as these stairs are surprisingly long and steep after a walk.)
I wanted to go to this area to check out the food forest. Edmonton’s food forest was created in 2014 with the goal of creating an edible ecosystem that sustains itself (as in one day it will not require human maintenance and care). They have planted native fruit-bearing shrubs and trees such as saskatoon, chokecherry, beaked hazelnut, and raspberry. I love plants and used to work at a tree nursery selling these species, so this is something I am really interested in! I had gone in 2016 to check it out with my dad, but we felt that the plants weren’t looking too great. I was surprised to see how well they were doing this time!!
The shrubs looked quite healthy and seemed to be holding their own on the grassy south-facing slope on which they were planted. In 2015 and 2016 the food forest was expanded westward to give the plants a more shaded environment. The western food forest seems to be doing really well! The plants are still very young and I’m not sure that would be producing fruit yet (after planting it generally takes a couple years for plants to bear fruit), but what a great idea! You can check out more details about the food forest here (http://dustinbajer.com/edmonton-river-valley-food-forest/).
After spending some time checking out the food forest, we turned around and headed east along the path. We took the path to a large set of wooden benches where you can access the banks of the river. Braedyn took his time photographing the benches (in the hopes of getting on @yegbenches Instagram account – spoiler, he was successful!). (Braedyn Note: it’s a good IG account to follow and gives you something to try to make a composition around when you lack creativity like me.) While he was taking photos, I went down along the river banks to do some exploring. Heading west took me along some very nice mountain bike trails. I’d like to come back to this spot and do some trail running. I walked back towards Braedyn and found some old concrete slabs right by the water. One of them looked just like a bench so I sat down and watched the sunset against the water. It was so nice and peaceful (minus the mosquitoes)!
Braedyn and I then continued east along the paved path. After a little while and some more photos we turned around and headed back to the car. We didn’t go on a very long walk as you can tell, since the sun was setting, but it was nice to get outside and check out the area. I was really impressed by the food forest and glad to see it doing well! I would definitely recommend all Edmontonians get out and visit the MacKinnon Ravine—there’s a lot of exploring to do here and we just scratched the surface on this walk!