I took advantage of some sunny weekend weather to get out to some trails in Abasand. This is a small subdivision on a hill across from the downtown. I had been hoping to get out there to explore for sometime now for many reasons. Firstly, at one point back in the 1930's I believe Abasand was home to a salt mining operation and essentially a separate community from Fort McMurray. Secondly, I was also keen to check out the Horse River, whose terminus with the Athabasca we had seen many times from the west side of the river. Looking across, we could always see people fishing at the juncture of the two rivers and it looked like an interesting spot to visit....if only we could figure out how exactly to get to it. I was also curious to see what kind of bird life might be on offer.
A few reminders of Abasand's past....
I came across this large gravel clearing early in my hike (where I also spotted a couple of white-tail too). Perhaps this is where the old plant once stood. I'd be curious to know.
Juncture of the Horse and Athabasca Rivers. Not the best of pictures granted but I was struck at the difference in water colour between the two...the chocolaty brown of the Athabasca and the tea-coloured Horse River. Finding this spot turned out to be quite the challenge and at one point I was tip-toeing along a very narrow trail along the top of the cliffs mere inches from a 100 foot drop into the Athabasca. But find it I did and the views were pretty spectacular.
Fantastic views from the valley above the river.
I walked along the river for a good couple of kilometers until I couldn't make it any further along the mucky banks.
Sandy cliff faces along the river bank provided some great views.
View of the bridge (3 of them actually) across the Athabasca.