I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Bunchberry Meadows Trails Southwest of Edmonton
The small Bunchberry Meadows trails network is located a short distance to the southwest out of Edmonton, Alberta near the town of Devon. I visited this conservation area in August of 2020 and was surprised. The trailhead and the parking lot were a little more developed than I expected.
This was a hiker-friendly trail network but on the day that I went, I did not come across too many people. The sign at the trailhead says the park does not allow dogs, they don't allow bikes, they don't allow motorized vehicles, and there is no hunting. There were a couple of primitive bathrooms (outhouses) on the edge of the parking lot.
This venue had a fairly unique feature in that you were asked to wipe your shoes before entering the trail network. It seemed that they wanted to reduce the number of seeds that came from other areas. In the following introductory video, I show the trailhead area and the trail map at this small park.
Bunchberry Meadows Trail Network Near Devon and Edmonton
A Couple of Easter Eggs on the Trail
I like coming across old and abandoned cars on trails. On the Bunchberry Meadows trail, I came across a car of unknown origin in the forest a little ways in. I wondered what the year, make, and model of the vehicle was. However, the only clue I could find was the Goodyear tire as the rubber in the tire did not deteriorate and the model of the tire was still legible.
If I would hazard a guess, then I would think that the car was from the 1940s or sometime around then. The next video is just over two minutes long. If there are any vehicle experts out there, then please feel free to state what kind of car this is in the comments.
Also, on this trail, I came across a wasp nest. It can be difficult to see the nest in the video but it's hanging low in a pine tree. There was a little hole in the bottom of the nest but I didn't hang around too long as I always give these insects plenty of space.
Old Car on Bunchberry Meadows Trail Network
Wasp Nest on Bunchberry Meadows Trail Near Devon
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The Meadow Trail's Viewpoint at Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area
One of the trails that I spent time on was called The Meadowview Trail. At the terminus area of this trail, there is grassland surrounded by mixed forests. There was not anywhere in this park that was really all that elevated so the viewpoints are not amazing. However, there was a nice little lookout and seating area (a fallen log) to enjoy when I completed the Meadowview Trail. This represented the high point of the short trip to this park.
Overall, I could call this park a pleasant, simple, and enjoyable trail network. There wasn't a lot to the park and you won't be going on an epic journey here. However, this definitely beats some of the other trail networks in the area for those looking to get out of Edmonton.
Other park users seemed to have enjoyed the park as well. AllTrails.com had a five-star rating for the Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area at the time of writing. That surprised me a little given that this is not a really famous attraction for the area. This park could be called one of the hidden gems of the greater Edmonton area.
If I had a criticism, then it would be that the area seemed to be a worksite for naturalists. A busload of university students was there, perhaps as part of a field trip during their studies. The problem is that you might have your hiking plans in conflict with such studies. In fact, part of the trail was closed when I visited.
But this is your quintessential grassland and forest environment on the prairies with blue and open skies, there was a lot to read in the area, and I think most people looking for a prairie trail that's easy would be happy to have discovered this park. In the last video, I show the view of the meadow on what was a nice late-summer day in 2020.
Meadowview Trail at Bunchberry Meadows Near Devon
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Shane Lambert
Liz Westwood from UK on August 21, 2021:
This is a well-illustrated and interesting guide to this area.