August Tours and Programs are in full swing!
Pre-register for all programs at the Visitor Centre.
2016 Alberta Winter Games to Host Five Events in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
The Alberta Winter Games 2016 is coming to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park February 14-16. Bring the family out and cheer on athletes as they compete in five sporting events - Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon.
There are also lots of winter activities for you to enjoy in the Elkwater town site. Try our 1.5km skating trail or outdoor skating rink. Go tobogganing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (limited access to certain trails may apply during sporting events, for more details click here) Rental equipment is available from the Visitor Centre 9:30am-5:00pm daily February 10th - 21st.
Alpine Skiing @ Hidden Valley Ski Resort
Three disciplines: Slalom, Giant Slalom & Dual Slalom
Freestyle Skiing @ Hidden Valley Ski Resort
Two disciplines: Moguls and Slopestyle
Snowboarding @ Hidden Valley Ski Resort
Two disciplines: Slope-style & Boarder Cross
Cross Country Skiing @ Elkwater Golf Club
Three disciplines: Individual Sprint, Individual Classic & Team Relays
Biathlon @ Cypress Hills Rodeo Grounds UPDATE: Biathlon moved to Medicine Hat Rifle & Revolver Club
Wondering how to keep the family entertained this holiday season? Come out to Cypress Hills Provincial Park and enjoy all of the fabulous winter activities the park has to offer. Don't have your own equipment? Not a problem, you can rent skates, cross country skis, snowshoes, kicksleds, and GPS units from the Visitor Centre in Elkwater.
Here are just a few ideas you can add to your list:
- Cross Country Ski the Spring Creek Trail system (over 11 km of trails) and then warm up around the woodstove at the Spring Creek Trailhead.
- Snowshoe your way around the Elkwater townsite on Ranger's Trail
- Go ice fishing on Spruce Coulee Reservoir
- Skate your way around the 1.5km skating trail in Old Baldy Campground
- Go tobogganing at the Learning Centre and then warm up inside with a cup of hot chocolate on us!
- Play hockey on the outdoor skating rink on 7th Avenue
- Check out the fun, interactive displays at the Visitor Centre
- Hike to the top of Old Baldy and take in the winter scenery from a great viewpoint!
- Rent a GPS unit from the Visitor Centre and go geocaching around the Elkwater townsite.
- Have a hot dog and marshmallow roast around the fire pit at the Learning Centre
There is loads to explore in Cypress Hills - Stay active this holiday season!
Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) are a little know resident of Cypress HIlls Interprovincial Park - Alberta but they can have a big impact on the health of our Lodgepole Pine forests. Alberta Environment and Parks Crews are currently working on eliminating MPB infested trees throughout Cypress Hills to prevent further infestations.
How do MPB infest pine trees?
MPB attack and kill mature pine trees (approximately 80 years and older) by tunneling through the outer bark of the tree and constructing vertical galleries in the inner bark (phloem). Eggs laid by the females hatch into larvae and overwinter beneath the bark. As the larvae tunnel through the inner bark, they disrupt water and nutrient flow within the tree. By early July, adult beetles emerge from the tree and locate a suitable nearby tree to infest, and the cycle continues.
So how do we combat a MPB infestation in Cypress HIlls?
Aerial surveys are conducted each summer to identify areas of infestation and individual trees within these areas are marked. Once there is enough snow on the ground, Alberta Environment and Parks crews return to the site and cut the infested trees down, buck them into smaller pieces and burn them. To ensure beetles do not complete their lifecycle all of the bark must be completely burned off. This management strategy helps to contain infestations while also minimizing their spread.
Are MPB only a concern in Cypress HIlls?
No, currently more than 1.27 million hectares of forest across Alberta have sustsained some level of MPB damage.
Want to know more?
For more information on how to identify trees infested by Mountain Pine Beetle and what you can do to help, visit Alberta's Mountain Pine Beetle Site.
Join educators, park staff and outdoor professionals on November 14th, 2015 in beautiful Cypress Hills Provinicial Park -Elkwater as we discuss outdoor and environmental education in South Eastern Alberta. The aim of the day is to get together with interested professionals who would like to develop a community of practice around outdoor and environmental education.
More information and a full program agenda can be found HERE
If you would like to participate in this exciting opportunity, please contact Chris Dodds (Chris.Dodds@gov.ab.ca) no later than November 12th, 2015 to confirm your attendance.