Beaver Lodge and Dam, Facing Mountains
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Beavers Will Now Be Fed by Town Staff Following Expert Consultation

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. This year, as colder months approach,  the Town of Hinton will be working with industry partners to ensure that the beavers thrive.



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.

Since completion of the boardwalk, thousands have visited the area, 264 of which have rated it excellent 
on tripadvisor, earning a 4.5 . It is not uncommon to visit the boardwalk and encounter local school children, visitors from across the province, and even international guests hoping to see Canada's signature animal. 

Sky View

Current Status

Hinton's beavers have since been here for multiple generations, shoring up their dam and lodges, and creating memories for visitors and locals alike. Naturally, beavers will inhabit an area until resources are exhausted, and then move on. This has been delayed in the past through the feeding by dedicated volunteers and industry partners. 

This year, the Town of Hinton has been evaluating the best way to proceed with the area and animals, working with local and regional experts including biologists to ensure any actions taken are in line with best practices (for both the animals and the surrounding area) as well as for the Beaver Boardwalk Interpretive Area itself. Recently, the decision has been made for the Town to take over the regular feeding of the animals.

Regular feeding only occurs in the fall, beginning on the September long weekend and ending when Maxwell Lake freezes over. At this time of year the beavers will actively seek out copious amounts of food to fill their winter food cache (located next to their lodge). They prefer Trembling Aspen which will be brought in by the truckload from West Fraser’s Forest Management Area and delivered to Maxwell Lake. Without doing this, the beavers will seek out and fall trees around the Boardwalk area to fill their cache before the lake freezes. Falling trees around the Boardwalk creates a danger for visitors and property owners. Providing supplementary food in the fall when they are stocking up their cache for the winter will discourage the beavers from falling their own trees and will provide them with ample food for their winter cache. Having access to this food will encourage them to stick around the Boardwalk for yet another year. The remainder of the year, beavers prefer to eat emergent vegetation that grows naturally in the wetland and aspen deliveries are not required.    

While this action will enhance the Beaver Boardwalk, it is important to be aware that the Boardwalk remains a non-captive environment, and the animals remain wild. They move of their own volition, and should continue to be considered wild animals. 

Find out more 

You can find out more about the Beaver Boardwalk by visiting its website, available by clicking here.

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