Take a Hike with Friends of Jasper

This year, the Friends of Jasper have organized new hiking opportunities for travelers and locals alike. If you’d like to hike with other people, have either beginner or intermediate hiking skills, or just want to get out and experience nature in Jasper National Park, read on.

The Friends of Jasper is an organization that serves the role of “independent stewards and advocates by providing opportunities for people to interact and connect to our National Park.”

tree (Photo by anselm)

If you are a beginner hiker, Friends of Jasper have put together something just for you. The non-profit organization has planned new “Discover More Hikes”. These hikes run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from June through September. Friends of Jasper provides these guidelines:

  • “Hikers can meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays outside the Nature Calls building at 9am (June through September). To ensure your spot (group size is limited) pick up a FREE ticket at the Friends’ shop in the Information Centre. Donations appreciated.” (Friends of Jasper)

The Jasper Information Center is the distinctive looking building pictured below, right in the heart of Jasper townsite on Connaught Drive. Inside you’ll also find a gift shop, trail maps and plenty of tourist brochures. This is where to sign up for the hikes.

Jasper Information Center

The “Discover More” hike is good for travelers new to Jasper and for travelers and residents new to hiking or anyone just looking for an easy, fun hike. Even for a more experienced hiker, this is a fun first-day-in-Jasper hike.

The Friends of Jasper will teach the basics of responsible trail use through a guided tour of the Jasper Discovery Trail, an easy trail that follows the perimeter of Jasper townsite. The Discovery Trail is very new, well-planned and was actually created by the Friends of Jasper and several other organizations, largely through volunteer efforts.

The “Discover More” hike provides a more complete learning experience though. A Friends of Jasper guide will provide an overview of trail map reading, discuss packing techniques, and provide tips on clothing. At the same time, you can ask questions about the park. The “Discover More” hike aims to help prepare the beginner for more advanced hikes.

For a link to a map and more information about the Discovery Trail, click here. If you are unable to make it to a Friends of Jasper hike, the Discovery Trail is still worth doing on your own.

After doing the Discover More hike, be sure to consider the Friends of Jasper Hiking Club’s hikes.

The Friends of Jasper Hiking Club is a new club for more experienced hikers. The Hiking Club will be doing an early morning hike every Thursday during July and August 2008. Hikers meet up promptly at 8:30 AM.

The hike is free (donations accepted) but hikers must sign up at the Jasper Information Center at the posting just outside the Friends of Jasper gift shop. Since the group size is limited, be sure to sign up ahead of time.

The hike is said to be moderately difficult and is not guided/interpretive. It’s just good plain hiking fun.

Friends of Jasper hike organizers recommend dressing appropriately and bringing the necessary water and snacks for both hikes.

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