Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon Lake

Pigeon-Lake-Graves-Wildlife-Sanctuary

Walking Trails at Pigeon Lake, Alberta, Canada

An Easy Woodland Nature Trail in Canada

Having had such a nice fall this year, we decided to explore the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon Lake, Alberta, Canada. This is a small wildlife sanctuary on the north side of the lake with a short walking trail. Built in 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, the trail added to the Trans Canada Trail System.

Fall at Pigeon Lake Alberta Canada. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

Graves Wildlife Sanctuary, Alberta, Canada

The Graves Wildlife Sanctuary at Pigeon Lake is located north side of the lake. The North Trailhead is easily found at the southern end of Range Road 11. Here there is a small parking lot and an information sign. The Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail is about an hour's drive south of Edmonton. However, if you are already at Pigeon Lake, it is a 7min drive from the Village of Mulhurst, home of the Pigeon Lake Music Festival.

Dog Walking on the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
A Bench on the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie

History of the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary

The Graves Family

The Wildlife Sanctuary gets its name from the Graves family. Back in 1913, the Graves family bought the land for ranching. Eventually they grew the ranch to more than forty quarter sections including the land where the Wildlife Sanctuary is. The Graves family raised cattle, sheep, fox, and mink. Additionally, they opened a grocery store, gas station and telephone exchange in the area. in 1965, at the age of 100, Mr. Graves sold the ranch.

The Summer Village of Argentia Beach Pigeon Lake

In 1996, a collective of cabin owners from the Summer Village of Argentia Beach on Pigeon Lake bought this section with the intention of preserving it. Whereas their goal was to protect the land from development it is also important for protecting the biodiversity of the area. As it is part of the Pigeon Lake watershed it plays a vital role in preserving the overall health of the lake too. The Summer Village donated the land to the province to have it  establish the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2017, the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon Lake was constructed as part of the Trans Canada Trail and connects with the Kiskayo Trail that goes around the lake. 

Rowena and Len Graves. Photo credit: Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail
The Graves Family Home in 1913. Photo credit: Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail

The Walking Trail

The Graves Wildlife Sanctuary is a quite area. It is unlikely that you will encounter other people on the trail. The walking trail is an easy 2km loop. Altogether it takes about 30min to complete. The trail makes for a pleasant walk in the woods with quite a few benches to rest at along the trail. Although, most of the birds have flown south for the winter now, I imagine it would be a terrific location for birding during the summer. In addition to the north trailhead with a parking area, there is a south trailhead as well. This trailhead connects to the road that runs behind the cabins (or cottages as they call them out East). There is no parking lot at this end of the trail though. Dogs are welcome in the wildlife sanctuary however they must be on leash.

Snow Dusting the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo credit: Janet Guthrie
Satellite Image of the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail. Photo Credit Janet Guthrie Strava Map

When Visiting Pigeon Lake Be Sure to Explore Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail

We enjoyed taking our dogs for a walk on the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary at Pigeon Lake. As a natural area it will be interesting to visit it throughout the seasons to see how it changes. I imagine it would be quite a nice area in the spring. When visiting the area, be sure to add the Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon Lake to your list of places to explore.

Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon Lake

Walking Trails at Pigeon Lake, Alberta, Canada

Travel Guide

    • Hiking Guide
  • Alberta

Canada Parks

  • Edmonton
  • Alberta
    • Regional Trail
    • Walking
    • X Country Skiing
  • 2km
  • Easy - Family
  • Year Round

Location (Map)

Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trailhead, 51 59 Ave, Mulhurst, AB T0C 2C0, Canada
×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission
Banksyland Traveling Art Exhibition Edmonton
 

Comments 5

EH Canada Marketing Group on Saturday, 25 November 2023 00:43

These are the little quiet gems, which sometimes get missed. Little effort, big reward.

These are the little quiet gems, which sometimes get missed. Little effort, big reward.
Janet Guthrie on Saturday, 25 November 2023 18:57

I agree. I think I am going to try to find all of these little hidden gems around Pigeon Lake.

I agree. I think I am going to try to find all of these little hidden gems around Pigeon Lake.
EH Canada Marketing Group on Saturday, 25 November 2023 19:16

Now that sounds like a great plan.

Now that sounds like a great plan. :p
Tourism Nicola Valley - Merritt BC on Sunday, 26 November 2023 01:03

Loving your stories! Very well written.

Loving your stories! Very well written.
Janet Guthrie on Sunday, 26 November 2023 17:24

Thank you

Thank you
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Sunday, 03 March 2024

Alberta Experiences