Why Animal Lovers Should Go to the Iron Horse Trail

Why Animal Lovers Should Go to the Iron Horse Trail

Mar. 19, 2018

If you love nature but don’t like to step too far out of your comfort zone, a trip along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail is the right fit for you.

Perfect for amateur adventurers, groups and families, Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail delivers all the scenic impact of far more strenuous Canadian outdoor activities.

Rambling at will along these historic paths is the perfect fit for animal lovers too.

Here, the local Canadian wildlife roams unrestrained, allowing you a glimpse of Alberta’s magnificent natural heritage.

Read to find out why you should put Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail right on top of your bucket list if you love animals and nature.

Canadian Wildlife at Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail

Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail will open your eyes to a wonderland of Canadian wildlife and spectacular natural habitats.

Some of the animals you can expect to see include:


Moose are very numerous in the forests and you are very likely to see some of these ungainly animals during your travels. Moose are the largest members of the deer family and are about the same size as a horse with high, humped shoulders, floppy dewlaps, long ears, and long, dark brown hair. In April, the males grow magnificent antlers over a 1m tall.


Although they are a fairly common resident along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail, foxes are small and naturally elusive, making them difficult to observe. Red foxes are widespread but the rare swift fox has only recently been re-introduced to Alberta. Other kinds of foxes found in Canada are the grey, silver and cross fox.


Beavers are the second largest rodent on earth and can grow up to 1m in length. They are active from dusk to dawn along forested water courses all around Alberta and are the national animal of Canada. Most of their time is spent building lodges from sticks and foraging for bark and roots.

Other Animals and Birds

With a little luck, you may also come across some rarely-seen animals such as black bears, wolves, weasels and snowshoe hares.

Although technically not wild, you can also marvel at the buffalo herds on local farms. You’re sure to come across idyllic pastures full of cattle and horses in the rural areas too.

Of course, you will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of most of Alberta’s bird species too. Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail is a top birding spot.

You’re bound to see insects, amphibians and other interesting little denizens along the way too.

Wherever you are on the trail, there’s bound to be some sort of Canadian wildlife for you to admire and appreciate.

Best Places To See Wildlife

Horse lovers are in luck. You can take a trail ride from Ashmont to explore the fields, forests and streams in the area.

Wildlife consider horses to be one of them and you’ll get a bit closer when mounted on your trusty steed.

At Bonnyville, the forests are home to abundant species and you can branch off onto the Jessie Lakes trail for extra wildlife sightings.

Cold Lake is bear country and Elk Point is the place to see wolves and elk.

Planning Your Trip

With over 300km of tracks and parks to explore, your perfect tailor-made break in nature is waiting for you along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail.

You could also navigate the entire route over several days to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Once you’ve spent some time here, you’re sure to want more.

See our website for guidance on planning your trip. Here you can work out your route to include all the best wildlife hotspots.

Dogs Are Welcome

Real animal lovers consider their pets first when planning their vacations.

On Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail, we welcome the whole family to explore. That includes your dog. Just keep them on a leash and don’t leave any ‘evidence’ behind.

There’s nothing that dogs love more than a walk. Bring them along to share this uplifting adventure with you.

Getting on Track

The communities along Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail are working hard to promote and improve the walks, tracks and facilities along the way even more.

If you would like to help them recreate history, get involved with volunteering. There are loads to be done.

What could be better than spending some extra time in this wondrous environment?

Find out more and start planning an animal lover’s adventure of a lifetime.

Categories : Trail

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