Saunter through the dirt trails at a leisurely pace with spruce, ash and the occasional elm tree surrounding you. The sounds of the creek meet you as you walk. The sweet smells of nature are all around you. This could easily describe a hike through the mountains in one of our beautiful national parks, but you can find all of those same feelings and sensations right here in Edmonton. Whitemud trail south, starting south of the Snow Valley Ski Club can easily transport your mind into disbelief that you are in the middle of a city. It’s one of the few places in the city to consistently see the Boreal Chickadee. Often you can find them just before the second bridge in the trees that surround the viewing platform. The Boreal Chickadee differs from the Black Capped Chickadee by its grey-brown upperparts. It has a brown cap and greyish wings and tail. The Boreal Chickadee’s common call is similar to that of the Black Capped Chickadee, but it is slower and more nasal. The best time to find them at this location is between November and March. If you sit on the benches in the viewing platform and wait five minutes you are almost guaranteed to see one.
Of course that is not the only reason to visit this wonderful trail. There are often owls in the woods, waterfowl in the creek, coyotes, a variety of bird species, frogs and even the occasional moose! If you want to escape the city life for the afternoon, I would highly suggest a walk through the woods at Whitemud trail south.
Shawn McCready, Edmonton Master Naturalist 2015