The North Saskatchewan was still flowing a bit high for us so we trekked out to St Albert to paddle the Sturgeon River this past week. This is a lovely way to spent an hour or so on a warm night.
We put in at the boat launch just off Mission Street (top right corner of map above, just upstream of the bridge). This is an okay launch when the water is high. It can get pretty muddy later in the year when the water level drops.
I went back the next day and put in with a friend at Riel Park (bottom left of the map). There is a jetty and a gentle entry into the water.
Both times the paddling was lovely and the current was not anything to worry about. As we paddled upstream we saw lots of ducks. The next day we saw beaver kits and a heron. The wooden rail bridge is lovely and the smell of creosote-y wood reminds me of being a kid at the lake.
Overall, this was a nice shakedown cruise for the season. No one got wet or injured, all of the equipment still works, and the round trip (including an hour of paddling) was only two hours.
I'm looking forward to getting back on the river at lunch times!