Hand Hills  Ecological Reserve
Cataract Creek Provincial Recreation Area - Kananaskis Country
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Hand Hills Ecological Reserve
Lat: 51.3985132226 Long: -112.285140776 | Directions

ClassificationEcological Reserve
LegislationWilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act
Park Size5,507.8 Acres  /  2,229.02 Ha
Legal BoundaryHand Hills Ecological Reserve
Administration / Information403-742-7516
Regional OfficeEast Central Regional Office
District Office Wainwright
Special DesignationsImportant Bird Area
Natural Region 
Natural Region DescriptionThis site is situated on the lower south slopes of the Hand Hills upland. Elevations range from 815 to 970 metres above sea level. Threatened ferruginous hawks and prairie long-tailed weasels occur here and the endangered piping plover nests along Little Fish Lake on the edge of the reserve. Vegetation includes porcupine grass, June grass, spear grass and northern wheat grass on lightly grazed areas. Blue gamma grass and low sedge grow on more heavily grazed sites.
Land Use Framework RegionRed Deer 

Recreation Notes

  • Note: Overnight camping and open fires are prohibited in Ecological Reserves. There are camping facilities at nearby Little Fish Lake Provincial Park. There are no facilities on this site.
  • Access: Access is via Hwy 573, less than one kilometre from the reserve. Public access in the reserve is restricted to foot only. (Although not generally allowed, motorized access is sometimes permitted for grazing lessees to access their grazing reserves.)
  • Birding/Wildlife Viewing: There are more than 130 bird species in the area, as well as a variety of amphibians, reptiles and mammals.


    Hiking - Backcountry