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Experience Kananaskis Country Kananaskis Country is a special place where people from around the world come to renew their spirit and reconnect with nature. Only half an hour west of Calgary, Kananaskis has become a cherished location for Albertans to be active yearround with friends and family. Kananaskis Country was created by the Alberta Government in 1978. It contains one million acres of parkland sprawling along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, just west of Hwy 22. A favourite location for hikers, skiers, fishers, golfers and lovers of water sports, equestrian activities in the rugged mountain terrain are very popular too, says Jill Sawyer with Alberta Parks.

trucks and trailers. Visitors are welcome to bring their horses to the park, or hire one of the professional outfitters in the area. Treat the kids to an overnight stay in a tipi, or be pampered at one of the finest resort hotels in the region. Raft the Kananaskis River, bike the many paved and back country trails. Take a day hike or backpack into spectacular wilderness. The area is a golfers paradise, and with the Kananaskis Country Golf Course scheduled to reopen soon, it will only get better.

Kananaskis Country, which takes its name from the Cree word (“Kine-e-a-kis”) was travelled by explorer John Palliser in 1858. It encompasses 6 provincial parks, 4 wildland provincial parks, 39 provincial recreational areas, 1 ecological reserve, 1 natural area, and 10 equestrian campgrounds, says Sawyer.

Kananaskis Country is home of grizzly and black bears, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, coyotes, and more. If you intend to go wildlife viewing, for your own safety, please discuss your plans with the friendly staff at the Kananaskis Visitor Centres (Pgs 16 & 17). They can help you plan your day and provide you with current safety information. While you’re there, ask for a copy of their free Official Trail Maps or purchase a detailed GemTrek map. Heading into the back country? Purchase your permit and bear spray here, too.

“Most designated campgrounds are outfitted with stables, hitching posts, and other horse-friendly features,” she stated. And parking at the campgrounds is designed to accommodate

For even more information, pick up a copy of Experience the Mountain Parks and Experience Calgary’s Parks ‘n’ Paths or visit

Barrier Lake, Travel Alberta/Sean Thonson

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