The Cedar Valley in which Island Lake sits is home to a unique old growth ecosystem, which is rare in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. A variety of tree species call the valley home including: Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Engelmann Spruce, White Spruce, Lodgepole Pine, Western Larch, Sub Alpine Fir, Balsam Popular, Black Cottonwood and White Birch. The Valley is the Eastern most edge of the Western Red Cedars natural range in Canada. Some of the Cedars on the Island Lake property are estimated to be at least 800-years-old. Parks & protected areas are integral to maintaining the last stands of old growth Cedars.
Two common types can be found around Fernie. The whitetail (pictured) is often a light brown colour and will lift and wave its white tail like a flag when running away spooked. The Mule deer is often a darker colour, and has more of a bouncing motion when running away.
A Canadian symbol, the moose is the largest species in the deer family. A female moose has claimed the island in the middle of the lake as her territory and births and raises her calves here each year. They can sometimes be spotted swimming across the lake or walking the boardwalk at I Dew Point.
Known for the hump on their back, a dished face and aggression, the Grizzly is not someone you would want to have a close encounter with. We don’t see that many Grizzlies at the lodge however, precautions should still be taken when hiking on the property. Avoid hiking alone, make noise and keep food contained and separate from your sleeping area when camping.
Contrary to the name a Black bear’s fur can range from black to chocolate brown with grey combinations. In comparison with Grizzly Bear’s they have a longer, straighter face, flat shoulders and are generally smaller. Follow the same precautions as above to avoid a bear encounter. For more information on bear safety click here.
Columbian Ground Squirrel
You’ll often see these cute critters peeking out from their holes. Please don’t feed them but be sure to watch your step around their tunnels.
White or black depending on the season, last summer there was one living near the Bear Lodge. Keep an eye out, they are quick!
Chances are good that you will see a lot of these guys around Island Lake Lodge searching for seeds, nuts and wild fungi. Only 1 species of chipmunk can be found outside of North America. Distinguished by white stripes down their back, they’re often darting behind the flower planters and under stairs.
Hiking Trailsat Island Lake
The 7,000 acres of pristine wilderness at Island Lake provides countless hiking opportunities. Whether you are interested in a 30 minute walk or a full day hike, Island Lake has hiking trails for all ability levels. We have a full time trail crew who keeps the trail system well maintained. Want to learn about flora and fauna?