Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission offers visitors a quite woodland place to explore on the lake's North shore. Although I have visited the historic Rundle's Mission many times before, I had never explored the trail system. We chose a gorgeous fall day to visit an iconic Pigeon Lake landmark and to go for a walk on the trails.
Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission Nature Conservancy in Alberta, Canada are open year-round. The nature conservancy protects the flora and fauna within its 89 hectares. Additionally, this area is part of the Pigeon Lake Watershed. Protecting these lands is a significant contributor to the overall lake's health. The trails are easy and are suitable for walking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing in the winter. The trails are maintained by the Rundle's Mission Society. Altogether the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission has five loops. When combined they are 8km long. The first section is known as Loop A. It is 2.7km long. This is the loop that we chose to explore.
The 2016 Alberta Summer Games were hosted by the City of Leduc. In recognition of the support that Leduc County provided during the games, they received a portion of the financial legacy that was generated. Leduc County provided grants for a number of recreation projects across the county. And, the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission was one of them. Rundle's Mission Society used the funds to develop the year-round trail system.
Interestingly, the 2016 Alberta Summer Games was a project in which I was involved. I hadn't realized that the trails were one of the legacy projects. This is the second trail network that was improved in the region by hosting the games. The other one is Devon River Valley Trails - Voyageur Park & Up to Stew. There is something special about being one of the beneficiaries of a legacy from a project that I was part of. Even our dogs are benefiting since they enjoy adventure seeking too.
Rundle's Mission has been an important part of Alberta's heritage for over 175 years. The mission is named after Reverend Robert Rundle. He worked as a missionary for the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and built his mission overlooking Pigeon Lake in 1847. He quickly gained the respect of and became friends with the First Nations and Métis people that travelled and gathered in the area. And, when he returned to England for health reasons, he left Rundle's Mission to his good friend, Benjamin Sinclair a Métis man. Rev. Rundle is also credited with introducing agriculture to the region to improve food security. For these efforts, he is recognized by Historic Sites and Monument Board of Canada. This continues to be a place for people to gather, to enjoy the beauty of the lake and the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission.
Fun fact: Rundle's Mission on Pigeon Lake has a significant connection to Banff National Park. The iconic Rundle Mountain (Waskahigan Watchi in Cree), one of the most famous sites in the Canadian Rocky Mountains was named in honour of the very same Reverend Robert Rundle as Rundle's Mission on Pigeon Lake. One big difference though, the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission are much easier than the challenging East End of Rundle (EEOR) scramble on Mount Rundle.
Be sure to allow time while exploring the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission to take in the other attractions at the site. These include;
- The Memorial Lodge is a log cabin built in 1957. The lodge is available for rentals for events up to 100. Additionally, there are dorm style accommodations for 24 on the lower level. Making this a fantastic location for community and family celebrations. As a young child, we used to attend community events here. I only have vague memories of it, but I know I always had fun running around and there were always great pies.
- Telfordville Church & Tipi - This tiny church was built in 1912 to serve what must have been a small community. Inside there are 4 pews which can seat 35 people and a small organ. It is open to the public to visit. The Tipi is dedicated to Chief Maskipeton (Broken Arm) and his People. There are interpretive signs throughout the site detailing the history of the area.
- Rundle's Mission National Monument - Rundle's Mission is a Provincial Historic Sites that is also recognized by the Monuments Board of Canada to honour the role the mission played in introducing agriculture to the area.
- Lakeshore Lookout Gazebo is a nice spot on to sit and watch people playing on the water, to read a book or just to rest and enjoy nature. Across the lake from here is the Pigeon Lake Provincial Park on the lake's South shore.
- Cabin Rentals - There are two cottages available for rent at Rundle's Mission. Between the two of them they can accommodate twenty-two people.
We enjoyed our experience exploring Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission. As such, we are looking forward to exploring the remaining trail loops as well. When visiting the area, be sure to add the Pigeon Lake Trails at Rundle's Mission to your list of places to explore.
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That's a spectacular photo of Mount Rundle Janet! I was happy to read your dogs are adventure seekers too and your pie memories of Memorial Lodge. It looks like they have done a great job in building the trails and developing the recreational area. I think it would be fun to cross country ski through there!
Thank you Kim. Mount Rundle and Vermillion Lakes are so pretty. The Rundle's Mission Society has done a great job looking after the site and building out the trail system over the years.