Lacombe writer Debbie Olsen is co-author of “125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta. The Best Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wild Places.” (Photo contributed)

New nature book showcases Alberta

Co-authored by Debbie Olsen of Lacombe

Look no further than the new book – 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wild Places – to ignite a desire to explore the province.

The guidebook of the best parks, conservation areas and wild places by writers Debbie Olsen, of Lacombe, and Leigh McAdam, of Calgary, is crammed full of gorgeous, colour photos and information on sites to see in the Rocky Mountains, Southern Alberta, Northern Alberta, places along the Hwy 2 corridor, and special interests like caves, waterfalls, and hikes.

“Doing something like this was a real pleasure and certainly spoke to some of the passions that I had,” said Olsen who has contributed to nine Fodor’s guidebooks about Alberta.

She said the guide will be helpful for visitors as well as Albertans who may find some “new little treasures” in the 224-page book released in April.

Interesting facts and details most people don’t know are included so even frequent visitors may find more reasons to revisit their favourite spots, she said.

Olsen, who wrote 75 per cent of the guide, said after they struggled to narrow down the list of sites, they would visit them. Accessibility was important.

Central Alberta hotspots include: J.J. Collett Natural Area near Morningside, Waskasoo Park in Red Deer, and Ellis Bird Farm northwest of Joffrey.

“I think a lot of people haven’t been (to Ellis Bird Farm). It’s a delightful place to go.”

Olsen said she’s unaware of a similar guidebook currently available for Alberta.

“There was one I really loved. It was by Joy and Cam Finlay. It was Parks in Alberta: a guide to peaks, ponds, parklands & prairies for visitors.

“It didn’t have all pictures and it was a good guide book, but it’s out of print.”

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas, and Wild Places, is on sale for $29.95. It can be purchased at Kerry Wood Nature Centre and online at and Amazon. The guide will also be available at London Drugs and Save-On-Foods sometime soon.

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