Friday, July 27, 2018

Cardiff Pond

Cardiff Pond is located about 15 minutes north of St Albert, just east of Morinville. It is a small municipal pond that is stocked for fishing (and there were lots of folks fishing while we were there). The easiest access point is by the main dock (about two-thirds of the way down the lake on the west edge).

There is a parking lot that is about 300 feet from the water. I didn't see any bathrooms here but I suspect there must be some in the park. At the water, there is a floating dock (behind bush in picture below) but you can also access the water for a beach launch. It isn't much of a beach and I was happy to have water shoes).

Below is a reverse shot of the landing, which is to the left of the dock, just below the trailer.

The pond is small and narrow and has good cover from the wind. It was pretty breezy the day we were there but the water was calm. A nice place to take kids or to practice stand-up paddle boarding.

Although the lake is small, it has lots of coves and reaches. We leisurely paddle all but the NW reach in about 40 minutes. We would have paddle that one as well but we ran into an angry loon (young nearby) so we decided to reverse course.

Jessica had fun hunting for lost fishing tackle and we recovered four errant floats.

I'm not sure I'd go back. It was a nice paddle. Pretty much similar to Hermitage Pond in NE Edmonton. But it was a bit small for our tastes and abilities at this point.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Summer on the Sturgeon

With all of the rain, the North Saskatchewan has been a touch high these past few weeks. So I drove out to St Albert to paddle on the Sturgeon River. The Sturgeon is more of a spring paddle.

The river tends to be much lower in the summer (it often two feet lower than in the spring) and this year is no exception. It was still possible to get in at the Mission boat launch without walking on the muddy bottom, but only barely. The real challenge was the weeds.

The river was choked with weeds pretty much the whole way from downtown to Ray Gibson's Drive. This means way more friction on the boat and also a lot tougher paddling.

It was still better than being in the office (and I had the river to myself) but likely the Sturgeon is done for the summer. Oh well--hopefully we're off to a new (to us) pond up by Morinville in the next week or so.