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Parks & Trails

​​​​​​Lethbridge Nature Reserve   Lethbride Nature Reserve by Jen Buit

Discover three unique ecosystems in this 196-acre park:  the prairie, the coulees and the floodplain. Catch a glimpse of many native plants and wildlife as you explore the
self-guided trails.  Make sure to visit the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, which is open year round.

 

Resident Wildlife

Many different kinds of animals can be found in Lethbridge throughout the year. During the winter months, white-tailed deer, mule deer, cottontail rabbits, porcupines and coyotes are commonly seen. 
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Over 300 species of birds can be seen in the Lethbridge area! For a detailed list of what people have been seeing, check out ou​r May & June Si​g​hti​n​gs​​​.​​​
 
The Nature Centre has been recording local plant and wildlife sightings since 1990.  If you would like to report a sighting or are interested in more information, cont​act us.  ​

Coulees  Coulees by HSNC staff

What is a coulee? Coulees are the steep-sided, v-shaped valleys found along the river throughout Lethbridge. In Southern Alberta, coulees were formed when the last glaciers retreated from our area.  Since that time, the coulees have been eroded by water and wind. Coulees are a ​sanctuary for wildlife and home to hundreds of native plant species. 

  Cottonwood Forest  ​ ​
Cottonwoods are the only native tree species found in the Lethbridge area.  There are three species of cottonwood that grow in our river valley: 
  • balsam poplar
  • narrowleaf cottonwood
  • plains cottonwood

The Oldman River valley, from Brocket to Lethbridge​, is unique. This is the only place in the world where these three species interbreed to produce hybrids! Hybrid forests support a wider variety of insect and bird species.


  CPR High Level Bridge  

Train on CPR Bridge by Gill Smith

The CPR High Level Bridge is the longest and highest of its kind in the world. The bridge stretches for 1.6 kilometres and towers 96 metres over the Oldman River valley. Completed in 1909, the bridge is still used every day by CP Rail. 
 
 

Elizabeth Hall Wetlands  

This 78-acre Nature Reserve is found along the west side of the Oldman River. The wetlands are protected because of the unique cottonwood forest, oxbow pond and wetland. A two-kilometer walking path, with interpretive signs about local species, circles the pond. This is an excellent spot for watching birds and other wildlife species!  ​