Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area

Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area (NA) preserves small islands with a total area of 3.9 ha. Hastings Lake lies in the Boreal Forest Natural Region, Dry Mixedwood Subregion. The larger islands support stands of mixedwood forest. The site was established as part of the Special Places program [1].

Hastings Lake Islands, Panorama, G. Swinnerton, July 2008

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

ACCESS. Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area is located 40km southeast from the City of Edmonton and 28 km southeast from the urban centre of Sherwood Park. Access to the islands has to be undertaken by canoe or small boat and the most convenient hand launching site is on the north shore of Hastings Lake at Range Road 204 where it demarcates the eastern boundary of the Hastings Lake Natural Area. The conglomeration of islands at the western end of Hastings Lake can also be viewed from the road at Range Road 210, but there is no public access at this point.

BIOGEOGRAPHY. Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area is located within the Beaver Hills- Cooking Lake Moraine that is a disjunct portion of Alberta’s Dry Mixedwood Boreal Forest Natural Subregion, and the Hastings Lake Islands is one of six Natural Areas located within the Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve that was designated by UNESCO in 2016.

BIOLOGY. Originally established to protect the islands because of their importance as bird staging and migration stopover areas as well as bird nesting and loafing areas, the declining water level of Hastings Lake over recent years has meant that the conglomeration of islands at the western end of the lake has now amalgamated to form a single unit that adjoins the adjacent shoreline. Likewise, some of the islands in the eastern section of the Natural Area are now joined and/or have become attached to the adjacent Edgar T. Jones Natural Area. In most years, active pelican colonies can be observed. Fish species in the lake include Brook Stickleback, Fathead Minnow, Spottail Shiner and Yellow Perch (Swinnerton, 2017; Alberta Parks website, 2012).

Site Statistics

Site NameHastings Lake Islands
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Dry Mixedwood
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)519/95
PASite ID (Map Ref #)551
Site # (Parks Website)443
Total Area3.93 ha. (9.70 ac.)
Recreation Activitiesfishing
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Hastings Lake Islands
10-18 islands (based on water levels) of Hasting Lake Islands Natural Area from the original Order in Council.
10-18 islands (based on water levels) of Hasting Lake Islands Natural Area from the original Order-in-Council.


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Government of Alberta – Information & Facilities – Hastings Lake Islands Natural Area | Alberta Parks (2022-01-10).

  1. Special places: regional progress (Alberta Open government portal). Special Places was a made-in-Alberta strategy to complete a network of landscapes representing the province’s six natural regions by the end of 1998. Special Places provides the policy, science and process to fill under-represented areas or gaps in Alberta’s natural regions. This fact sheet provides a brief summary of activities in each of Alberta’s six Natural Regions.

Further Reading

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