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Travel Western Provinces

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places

by (author) Leigh McAdam & Debbie Olsen

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2018
Western Provinces, Pictorials
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2018
    List Price

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A guide to the best places in Alberta to connect with the natural world.

Since the first travelers visited the hot springs in Banff during the railway era of tourism, Alberta has been a compelling destination for visitors worldwide. Banff became Canada's first national park in 1885 and it remains one of the most popular destinations in the nation with towering mountain peaks, massive glaciers, impossibly blue lakes and abundant wildlife. The mountain parks are just one part of a province that is filled with spectacular landscapes. Canada's fourth largest province is also blessed with thick forests, sparkling lakes and mysterious badlands that conceal the fossilized remains of dinosaurs.

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta is a reader-friendly guidebook that explores this remarkable splendor and natural diversity. Organized by region, each hot spot entry includes a descriptive destination profile, a colour photograph and a sidebar of at-a-glance information about special features and location.

Here are a few examples of the destinations:

Whitehorse Wildland -- one of the few places in Alberta where you can drive to an alpine meadow Wood Buffalo National Park -- free-roaming bison and the world's largest dark sky preserve Writing-on-Stone/andAacute;andiacute;sinai'pi -- national historic site containing petroglyphs and pictographs Columbia Icefields -- the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains of North America Waterton Lakes National Park -- one of the best mountain parks to view bears and other wildlife Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park -- highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador.

Travel Alberta reports that the province had a record-breaking 16 million visitors in 2016, the vast majority from the United States, the UK, Australia, Germany and Asia. This book provides fresh insights on popular spots and valuable information about lesser-known destinations that are equally worthy of a visit. 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta is an essential selection for libraries, tourism offices, travel agents, and bookstores.


About the authors

Since growing up in Ottawa, Leigh has lived in Hall's Harbour (Nova Scotia), Niagara-on-the-Lake, Boulder (Colorado) and Vancouver. She now lives in Calgary with her husband John and dog Torrie, a rescue from the island of St. Maartens.

Leigh McAdam's profile page

Debbie Olsen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Organized by regions -- southern and northern Alberta, the Rocky Mountains, Calgary and Edmonton, and one on special interests such as hot springs and places to enjoy dark skies -- the book is user-friendly. Each entry profiles the destination and includes a sidebar on what makes this spot so special. There are lots of well-known destinations in the books such as Columbia Icefields and Moraine Lake, but many hidden gems, too... The photos bring the book to life with spectacular colour.

Calgary Herald

Canada Book Award Winner... Essential for every traveler.

Canada Book Awards

The book is a combination of well-known locales (Banff National Park) and undiscovered jewels (who knew McLennan proclaimed itself the Bird Capital of Canada?)... Hikers will enjoy tips on tackling a hiking route, cyclists the best direction to travel a route, and paddlers the identification of waterways suitable for beginners versus experts. People seeking caves, dark skies, hot springs, larch, nature festivals, paddling, and waterfalls will find a list of special interest places they can string together for a themed trip or check off as time allows... Visitors to Alberta will find the book helpful if they want to go beyond places often featured on tourist brochures. Well-travelled Canadians will find it breathes new life into their vacations or weekend getaways.

Carol Patterson Inspiring Everyday Explorers Blog

Crammed full of gorgeous, colour photos and information on sites to see in the Rocky Mountains, Southern Alberta, Northern Alberta, places along the Hwy 2 corridor, and special interests like caves, waterfalls, and hikes.

Red Deer Advocate

Two of Canada's top adventurers have recently released a fantastic book, that's both an amazing read and an awesome gift.

Jody Robbins Travel with Baggage Blog

It is a book welcomed by nature-lovers across province as it highlights a huge cross-section of natural spaces in Alberta, both those that are widely known as well as many unique hidden treasures.

Ellis Bird Farm Blog

These books are always big on details, photos, and information that would entice anybody to come visit and view. They are simply most irresistible, thanks to the manner in which they are present, very up close and personal.

Shelf Life Magazine

Other titles by Leigh McAdam

Other titles by Debbie Olsen