This page is intended to detail the Beaver Boardwalk as a Town of Hinton Asset, Project, and its History. For educational materials relating to the boardwalk, or information regarding tourism in Hinton in general, please visit ExploreHinton.ca
The Beaver Boardwalk, world’s longest freshwater boardwalk is a great family outing that showcases the local wetland system around Maxwell Lake.
Built over several years through volunteer effort with corporate support, the attraction features more than three kilometres of boardwalk, seating areas, and interpretive signs. Numbers of beavers vary from year to year, but at times there are upwards of a dozen in the area. The boardwalk meanders through marshland and fens, bringing visitors close to the active beaver dam and lodge.
Visiting in the warm weather months, early morning or evening is the best time to see the beavers hard at work. Numerous species of birds, butterflies, as well as deer frequent the boardwalk area and surrounding trail systems.
Beaver Boardwalk History
West Fraser Mills Ltd. sponsored the construction in 2006 of this Beaver Boardwalk to commemorate the 50th anniversary of West
Fraser’s Hinton operation and the Town of Hinton. In 1955, the construction of the Hinton pulp mill began, with completion of the
facility taking place the following year. As well, in 1956 the Town of Hinton was incorporated, amalgamating with Drinnan in 1957,
which makes up the valley area of present-day Hinton.
Interpretive signs were updated in 2017, as a joint project of the Town of Hinton and West Fraser Mills Ltd. This project was supported through a grant provided by the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta.
The Beaver Boardwalk wishes to recognize the many sponsors that helped make this park a reality, including:
- Whiskey Jack Bird Club
- Forest Resources Improvement Association of Alberta
- Fisheries & Ocean Canada
- Hinton Rotary Club
- Hinton Communities in Bloom
- Alberta Lottery Fund
Throughout the Beaver Boardwalk are a number of signs, bearing content detailing flora, fauna, and messages of good forest stewardship. This offers visitors to the community, and residents, an opportunity to engage with the plants and animals of the natural environment, and learn more about ways we can help protect them and honour our natural environment.
You can learn more about the different signs on their respective pages, listed and linked below, or by viewing the brochure, available here (coming soon!).
Why Wetlands are Special
- Please help keep the trails litter-free by using the bear-proof garbage bins provided throughout the trail system.
- Cyclists must dismount when encountering other people. Using a bell is recommended. Remember to wear your helmets!
- Trails are to be used for non-motorized recreation only. It is illegal to operate off-highway vehicles anywhere within town limits.
- Do not damage or remove plants and other natural materials.
- Dogs are permitted on trails, but should be kept under control at all times. Owners must clean up after their dogs.
- Wildlife has the right of way – beavers, deer, elk, moose, black bears, wolves, grizzly bears and cougars may be encountered in the Hinton area.
- Fires are not permitted on or adjacent to town trails. Help reduce the risk of forest fires.
Feeding of Beavers
Hinton's Beaver Boardwalk is a local treasure, an interpretative location where Hintonites and visitors from around the world can walk into the wetlands and discover the full breadth of our natural surroundings, without trekking into deep bush. The star of the location is our beavers, and while the animals are wild, we do work to protect and support them.