Wild Nature Tours provides interpretative hikes to participants at a variety of locations across the Elk Valley. Hosted by Elk Valley Wildsight, all proceeds of Wild Nature Tours go to supporting local conservation and educational projects. Each hike has a specific theme and is available upon request.
Lee Anne Walker, a local naturalist and creator of Wild Nature Tours trains each guide. She has a master of arts in Environmental Studies and 35 years of experience as a local environment educator and ecoguide.
“Each guide will add their own unique knowledge and perspective to a hike. The guides will take you on a journey to learn more about the surrounding natural beauty, history, geology of the area, plants, plant uses and wildlife in the area,” said Walker to The Free Press.
This year, there have been additional half-day hikes added to Wild Nature Tours schedule. The most popular hikes are the Ammonite hike and the Silver Springs Lakes hike, which focus on public awareness and conservation, each approximately three hours long.
“The Ammonite hike focuses on the mystery of one of the largest ammonite fossils ever discovered. The intent of this hike is to share this well kept ‘secret’ while emphasizing respectful observation and preservation for future generations,” said Walker.
“The Silver Springs hike leads to a chain of three clear, blue green, spring fed alpine lakes at the base of spectacular lichen covered vertical cliffs. This area is a wildlife corridor; the theme of this hike is the discovery of wildlife use and human interaction in this favourite local swimming spot. You can choose to bring your bathing suit or just dip your feet for a refreshing break.”
Wild Nature Tours offers more than half-day events. On Aug. 6-7 there is a scheduled overnight trip exploring the Flathead Valley. Participants will need to bring overnight camping supplies and food as the group will be car camping. The trip will be tailored to the desires of the group - a few small, easy hikes are planned but the opportunity to explore further is possible.
“The Flathead is an incredible and remote wilderness right in Fernie's backyard. This is a great opportunity for an introduction to this vast wilderness area, a short hike and a camp out in Canada's next National Park,” said Walker. “We can accommodate up to eight people on this trip. Registrations for the Flat Head Valley overnight trip Aug 6-7 can be made online until August 5.”
To register or find out more information on Wild Nature Tours, call 250-423-3322 or visit the webpage Wildnaturetours.ca. According to Walker, more overnight trips can be scheduled upon request.