The Whitemud Nature Reserve is one of the hidden treasures of our city. It provides wonderful opportunities for children and adults alike to enjoy a dose of much-needed time in nature, here in our own backyard. The Whitemud Ravine is located on the southwest side of Edmonton. It features a trail system that is well-maintained and easily accessible year-round from several points – at Fox Drive, Snow Valley, and in the neighborhoods surrounding. It has a lovely meandering creek at its base, in places 60 metres below the tableland above – you must see it during every season to appreciate how its personality changes throughout the year. The ravine contains a huge diversity of native plants, riparian habitat, and old growth mixed-wood forest. Over 150 species of birds can be found in and around the Whitemud Ravine, and I have personally been delighted to see Pileated and Downy woodpeckers on many occasions as well as owls. The area also contains the highest diversity of animals in the city. It is amazing to watch the beavers at work in the brook, to come upon a deer in the early morning, or to spot a moose and her young camouflaged in the brush. These chance encounters with larger animals, and the almost-guaranteed bunny and squirrel sightings, are highlights of a walk in the ravine, as are the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the restorative feeling of peace that just being there provides. The Whitemud Nature Reserve has been called the jewel of the river valley and a trip there will show you why.
Linnea Ward, Edmonton Master Naturalist 2015