With steep ravines, much of the Carnwood Modeste Natural Area (NA) is inaccessible to all but the numerous white-tailed deer populations. This NA is within 20 km of 8-15 other natural areas including the well-known Coyote Lake Natural Area (see map below).
December 2021 and early January 2022 found Edmonton in a deep freeze so a short excursion was the ticket. Carnwood Modeste is a 90-minute drive from the Wayne Gretzky statue in Edmonton (from which I measure all distances). Roads were good including Range Road 53 south from Highway 39 to the NA.
A group of five friends from a local bike club made the journey. We parked at the service road gate (at the north end of the property?) and hiked down to Modeste Creek, passing a well head on the property.
One Snowmobile and Dozens of Deer
Tracks of a single snowmobile were seen on the creek and climbing into the NA. Other than that, no other off-highway vehicle tracks were noted. The service road is effectively the only flat area in the NA with the remainder of the topography being steep ravines falling toward the creek. The thick white spruce forest provides excellent cover for the numerous deer whose tracks darted away from the road into bush.
Well-Posted and Pristine
Inspection from the road revealed a number of Natural Area signs. There were no signs of human or motorized tracks going into NA; the terrain likely serves to discourage both the hiker and the off-roader.
A Sideshow but not a Main Attraction
The NA is worth an hour’s visit if you are driving by, possibly by making a detour from Coyote Lake NA, about 25 km to the northwest, or from one of the 15 or so other areas within about 20 km of this NA. [It allowed us to have a good workout by snowshoe on this wintry day!?]