Getting outside for a walk, to enjoy the beauty of nature and some fresh air, will never go out of style and can’t be cancelled.
Ponoka boasts an extensive trail system along the Battle River, the popular Centennial Park and the close-by J.J. Collett Natural Area.
The Battle River
A paved trail winds its way through Ponoka, travelling alongside the Battle River’s scenic riverbed and valley. The mature trees and foliage make for stunning views in any season, and is a relaxed, easy terrain ideal for any level of walker or runner and is perfect for a gentle family bike ride.
Those taking in the trails will enjoy spotting wildlife, such as deer, birds and maybe even a beaver, that frequent the river valley.
Water levels can rise in the spring runoff season, so check the town’s website to make sure it’s safe and the paths are open before venturing out during that time of year.
For anyone that takes their dogs along, there is an off-leash area located at the north end of the trail system.
Centennial Park, located in the centre of town on Highway 2A, is another amenity to enjoy with paths and benches, a playground and the Lions Club pond, which is stocked with trout for those who want to dip in a line.
When the pond freezes over in the winter months, volunteers transform the pond into an outdoor skating path, a popular pastime for people of all ages.
J.J. Collett Natural Area
Just a few kilometres south of Ponoka, the J.J. Collett Natural Area is a pristine forested area with paths for hikers and 635 acres for nature lovers to explore.
If you walk far enough along a trail in an easterly direction, you’ll be rewarded at the top of the rise with the sight of a picturesque pond surrounded by tall trees and a chorus of chirping frogs.
Other wildlife are frequently spotted along the trails, including moose and owls — they may even pose for a photo for you.
The aspen parkland, natural sand dunes and white spruce trees are just some of the natural features people will see travelling the 18 kilometres of trails.
There are also wetlands filled with wildlife and grassland meadows in this ecologically diverse habitat.
The foundation holds a guided fall and spring walk every year and the area is open year-round for visitors.