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Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary is a scenic location for short nature walks and wildlife viewing opportunities near the town of Devon in Parkland County.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Protecting 348 acres of land, the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary features easy walking trails and boardwalks passing through several different landscapes including marshland, pine forest, open meadow, and aspen parkland. This mixed habitat attracts a diversity of wildlife, but the sanctuary is especially good for bird watching, with over 100 species of birds spotted in the park.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Things to Do at the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

  • nature walks
  • wildlife viewing

Trails at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

There are four connected nature trails at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary that you can walk to explore the park.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Boardwalk Loop

* Editor’s choice

Distance: 3 km

Difficulty: Easy

The main trail into the sanctuary, Boardwalk Loop showcases the park’s marsh environment.

The first section of trail is a raised boardwalk that passes over and alongside the wetlands. Branching off from the trail are viewing platforms that make it easier to spot waterfowl that reside in the sanctuary.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide
Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Leaving the marsh, the trail changes from boardwalk to soil and makes its way through a meadow of grasses, wildflowers, and Saskatoon berries. The path then enters a forested area before rejoining the boardwalk and returning to the picnic area and parking lot.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Aspen Ridge Trail

Distance: 0.5 km

Difficulty: Easy

Aspen Ridge is a trail that cuts across the Boardwalk Loop to connect with Woodland Flower Trail.

After leaving the boardwalk at the second junction, the soil trail rises up and enters into a sheltered area of trembling aspen before descending to a junction with Boardwalk Loop and Woodland Flower Trail.

Woodland Flower Trail

Distance: 2.2 km

Difficulty: Easy

Starting from the junction of Boardwalk Loop and Aspen Ridge Trail, Woodland Flower Trail passes through a mixed forest of poplars, paper birch, and white spruce, before ending at a road. From here, you can turn around and walk back the way you came, or turn left and follow the road to Rge. Road 264, then go left to return to the main parking lot.

Pine Knoll Loop

Distance: 0.6 km

Difficulty: Easy

Pine Knoll is a short loop that is connected to the Woodland Flower Trail.

The trail climbs to a clearing with raspberry and strawberry bushes before entering a jack pine forest. This is the only place in the park where you’ll see Jack pines since this area was once a sand dune (Jack pines prefer sandy soil).

Wildlife Viewing at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

The diverse habitats within the sanctuary make it a great place to view wildlife. Here are some animals you might see at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary.

Birds- There are over 100 species in the park including loons, geese, ducks, hawks, sandpipers, owls, woodpeckers, swallows, warblers, sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, and finches.

Mammals- Some of the mammal species observed in the sanctuary include squirrels, white-tailed deer, beavers, muskrats, foxes, coyotes, snowshoe hares, weasels, and moose.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Review of Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary is a pleasant location for nature walks near Edmonton, especially if you’re looking to experience a variety of landscapes without having to hike long distances.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

The trails at Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary are suitable for all ages while the varied scenery, bird sightings, interpretive panels and brochures keep visitors engaged.

The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary is a great choice for both families and couples looking to connect with nature without travelling too far from Edmonton, Devon, or Spruce Grove.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

Tips for Visiting the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary

Location: The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary is located southwest of Edmonton near the town of Devon in Parkland County. It’s about 34 km and a 35 minute drive from downtown Edmonton.

Getting There: From Highway 60 (the Devon highway), turn west at Woodbend Road/ Twp. Road 514 (about 13 km south of Highway 16A). Follow Woodbend Road for 1.6 km to Sanctuary Road/Rge. Road 264 then turn south. Continue on Sanctuary Road to the parking area on the right.

Opening Hours: The sanctuary is open year round from one hour before sunrise to sunset.

Admission Fees: None

Facilities: There’s a picnic area at the entrance to the sanctuary. Porta-potties can be found at the parking lot and along Boardwalk Loop, nearby the junction with Aspen Ridge and Woodland Flower Trail.

Visitor Guidelines: The following are some guidelines for responsible use of the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary.

  • Stay on designated pathways. Trails are for walking only, not biking.
  • Do not pick flowers of remove plants from the sanctuary.
  • Watch wildlife from a distance and avoid nesting sites.
  • Paddling on the marsh is not allowed.

Park Map: Here is a link to a trail map of the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary.

Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary- Visitor Guide

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