Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mount Lorette Ponds, Kananaskis

The Mount Lorette Ponds are a series of ox bow lakes cut off from the Kananaskis River by Highway 40. There are four (I think) ponds and the two largest have a paved walking path around them (maybe a 20 minute stroll to do the full circuit). There are washrooms in the parking lot and many picnic tables.

The ponds are stocked and are a popular fishing spot. This is especially true of the large pond (second from the left in the map below) and its shores are often full of anglers. You can get a kayak in here from the shore and it is about a 200-foot carry from the parking lot.

The pond second from the right (with the arrow-shaped dock) seems to rarely have anglers and is a lovely paddle with lots of interesting features. Access is from the shore (or perhaps the dock, although it is a bit high for that).

There are beavers in the area so there are both beaver dams and beaver-reinforced man-made dams. The lake itself is lovely and mostly shallow (good for kayaks; not so much for canoes).

This is a lovely place to turn kids loose because there are really no hazards: there are deep spots but there is no real current or worry about wind. There is lots to see on the bottom and on the shores.

There fish in the lake (mostly the west end by the bridge) and the lake is crystal clear. I spent a fair bit of time recovering lost fishing tackle from branches and trees (five floats, several lures). We saw a bald eagle while we were paddling.

While the Mount Lorette Ponds are hardly a challenging paddle, this was maybe the most fun I had during out trip. It is peaceful, interesting and we could let our 13-year-old paddle solo without any real worries. This might be a good paddle to combine with the Wedge Pond.

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