Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hermitage Pond, Edmonton

Hermitage Pond is located in Hermitage Park, in NE Edmonton. Access is pretty straight forward: east on the Yellowhead until you hit Victoria Trail (right before the river). North on Victoria Trail and hang a right at the Tim Horton's and follow the road down through the community into the park.


There are multiple ponds but only one with easy access and suitable for a paddle. The carry for the parking to the dock is 50 feet or so down a gentle slope. We just put in from shore to the right of the dock in the picture above.



The pond has two big islands and one tiny one. The islands divide the pond into two parts (main body and then an eastern channel. We had a nice time poking around and two circuits of the pond took us maybe 40 minutes (with lots of bird watching).


There were lots of geese there flocking up to head south. Geese apparently also nest on the island based on the discarded eggs.


It was quite over cast and brisk when we went (early on a Sunday). I've seen the pond hopping on nicer days and even a paddle board soccer game in progress. The pond is kind of gross and weedy so I woudln't want to fall in!


The wild life was pretty amazing: geese, ducks, loons, a heron and two muskrat. I tried to get a picture of the muskrat (below) sitting beneath some branches have a snack on something it pulled up from the bottom (snail?).


The pond is very close to the main CN line and there is a train about every 20 minutes! You can see the tanker cars on the trestle bridge in the picture below.


Overall, this is a fun (but short) paddle on a sunny day. A good place for kids to get some experience in a canoe or kayak before heading out to a real lake. It was also nice to have a place to paddle in town when the river is too high to go on safely.

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