It’s hard to pick my favourite place in all of Alberta. Beautiful scenery in Banff, with gondola rides and shopping. Pavan Park, outside of my hometown that’s sentimental. Or even the farm the my nana & papa live, gazing at beautiful yellow fields. There are so many beautiful, special places in Alberta. Alberta is also home to most of the farmers in Canada, we are even famous for our Beef! When I went to Cuba and Mexico, lots of restaurants even advertise that they had Alberta Beef.
Out of all the places I could have picked in Alberta from the prairie fields to the city lights, I would have to say Waterton is my favourite! Waterton is where so many of my special memories were made. In Waterton there is a wide range of activities such as camping, staying at the famous Prince of Whales Hotel, hiking, fishing, boating, golfing, horse back riding, renting bikes, Cameron Lake, Red Rock Canyon, picnics by the lake, or observing the wildlife and just simply being one with nature. Interestingly enough, Waterton Lakes National Park has more than 60 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 24 species of fish and 10 species of reptiles and amphibians. This special place became a national park in 1895 and became the first international peace park in 1932. The history of Waterton consists of explorers, people that wanted to create a safer environment, peacemakers, world shapers and naturalists.
As a kid my family and I took countless picnics and trips to Waterton, as it was close to home, it was our go to place. We even took the annual cliché family picture in front of the Cameron Falls every year. I was 5 when I first learned how to skip rocks. My mom, dad, brother and I were having a picnic on the rocky beach. I feel the crystal blue glacier water is what makes Waterton so memorable. I will never forget all the times we got ice cream with all my cousins and family. It was absolutely delicious and a must have for every trip to Waterton! The bikes are my brothers favourite. I’ll admit they are fun in spite of not being able to petal up hill very easily. If you ever go to Waterton you have to rent one of the bikes with two people pedaling at least once.
Camp Columbus was the first time I spent a week away from home by myself. I was 10 years old and went with my childhood best friend. It was the first time I came that close to wild bear on a hike and also drenched myself in the glacier water. It was also my first canoe ride since my last canoe ride with my dad three years prior. The water was like glass, no matter how deep the water is or how far out someone is from the shore they can always see the bottom. It amazed me and marked another reason why Waterton is my favourite place in Alberta. At that moment, staring endlessly into the almost seemingly bottomless lake, I felt at one with nature and myself. At the end of the week we all received a picture with our cabin group that was taken at the top of Bears Hump. The picture was in a frame that our camp counsellors made for us. They put a nickname that described the person on it. I grinned when I got mine because it said “Fashionista”.
I also remember hiking through Red Rock Canyon with my aunties, uncles, cousins, brother, mom, nana & papa and getting soaked! The sedimentary rocks are unbelievable and beautiful. After that, we also went for ice cream. Another time we all came to Waterton, we went to Cameron Lake. There is kayaks, canoes, petal boats etc. that people can rent for fun. It was cooling getting to ride in a petal boat! I enjoyed the scenery and my family’s company. Cameron Lake is stunning at any time of day. A couple years ago my mom, brother and I were in Waterton for a weekend and later on in the day we went to Cameron Lake. We took some pictures. I was wearing my favourite shirt (at the time) light, bright pink with a V-neck from Guess. It is so easy to get lost in the views, especially with the golden sky and the reflections on the lake. However my moms expression looking off into the lake was far from lost. She looked like she found memories the same way I did on the canoe ride at Camp Columbus. It comforted me because we all carry memories, it’s not always about where we are but who we’re with that is important. Waterton is my favourite place because of all the quality time I spent with my family and for all the amazing memories I had the opportunity to make there.
A month ago we went to Waterton for my step dads family reunion, we were camping. I’m glad I had the chance to get to know some of Jay’s side of the family. All the food was great too! Sunday morning of that weekend while my immediate family was still asleep I went for a walk, I wanted to go to the water for a bit just to recollect myself. I still love the glassy look of the glacier water that is cold to the touch and that would slide through my fingers almost like silk.
Next time you go somewhere, consider Waterton. My personal favourite things to do there include having a picnic by the water, eating ice cream by the water, going on a hike and relaxing. I would also recommend going horse back riding at Alpine Stables where my cousin now works, they have around 70 horses and run tours seven days a week. Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. also has boat rides that cross the boarder to the other side of the international peace park. It’s beautiful and relaxing, I highly recommend the cruise. Waterton is a beautiful place to go because not only can people go hiking, bike riding, boating, swimming, see lots of deer and bears, beautiful flowers, and so much more but because those little trips and picnics bring individuals that much closer to their family. Waterton’s stunning views are surely a sight to see whether its from the Prince of Wales Hotel or Bears Hump!!
Miss Teenage Alberta