Cypress Hills

Cypress Hills Provincial Park always has more to explore. This summer I tried three new adventures at the park:

Cypress Hills West Block

Although not my first time to west block, it has been many years since I visited. The western part of the park has several attractions worth visiting. Our first stop was Fort Walsh which was built in 1875 and the home of the NWMP from 1878 to 1882. We toured the museum, fort, teepees, and trading posts. We hiked the interpretive Metis Trail. We originally planned to walk Battle Creek Trail, but it was too long (6.5km) and too hot. Perhaps we will hike it on a future visit. There are old trading posts and the Cypress Hills Massacre Site to see on this trail.

Our next goal was the hidden conglomerate cliffs west of the fort. We followed Battle Creek Road until we came to the Symons-Noble cabin just south of the road. The trailhead is marked on the right (north) side of the road. We were worried that the trail would be poorly marked. However, it is clearly packed down with no spurs lines to mislead you. The route is uphill through the trees and there are a few yellow trail markers along the way. After a moderate two kilometres of hiking, we came to the top of a hill with a great view of the valley. Judging by our map the cliffs were still two kilometres away. Hot and wanting to see the other conglomerate cliffs we turned around after snapping some pictures of the view.

Biking

This was the first time I brought my bike to the park. We found several hiking trails taking us all over core area. They were a mix of pavement and dirt. Many had roots to navigate and were relatively short in length; one to five kilometres. Most would be considered easy or moderate. Nevertheless, we loved biking in the shade through the lodgepoles. We didn’t make it to the Trans-Canada Trail. Next time!

Zip-lining

My third adventure was zip-lining! Our first morning at the park we joined our group at TreeOSix. To reach the initial zip-line you must climb a thirty-foot rope ladder. It is easier than it looks. I was a bit nervous on the first zip, but afterwards I had a great time. We engaged in six zip lines ranging in length from fifty to over six hundred feet. Zip-lining is an enjoyable, tame adventure sport that combines speed and height. I would definitely go again!

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