This is a pretty cool trail off highway 60 near the east gate. It goes around a couple of beaver ponds (which makes it a super accurately named trail) and also a beaver lake. Basically, it’s nirvana for fans of beaver engineering.
Where is it? In between KM 45 and 46 on Highway 60. It’s about a ten minute drive from the east gate and probably half an hour or so from the west gate. The parking lot is on the south side of the highway and kind of creeps up on you, so keep an eye out for it. The trail head is right off the parking lot and if you have any trouble finding it you probably want to rethink your career in hiking.
How long is it going to take me? Kind of depends on who you’re travelling with I guess. It’s a 2.0 KM trail, with some ups and downs, but it’s not that technically challenging. For the average person I’m guessing this is a half hour to forty minute trail, and that includes stopping to enjoy some of the very nice sights. If you’re doing the trail with three kids on a 30 degree day in June when the bugs are out partying, it might take longer.
What’s it like? As I said above, there are some ups and downs. You start by descending towards the pond and, on your way down, you can see where the trail finishes off. The fun part about that is that the trail descends to the parking lot on the way out, so you know you’ve got some climbing at some point. There are some really nice views of the beaver meadow and Amikeus Lake, as well as a great lookout close to the end with a view of everything.
Am I going to get lost? No. The trail is clear and well marked with blue circles to let you know you’re going the right way. There are a couple of offshoots that take you down to nice lookout spots, but there’s no way to get off track on those unless you want to wade out into the pond.
Am I going to learn anything? You will learn everything you ever wanted to know about beavers. Maybe some more as well. There’s lots of beaver material.
Highlights? There are highlights, right? At one point the boardwalk cuts through the middle of the beaver meadow, which gives you some pretty nice ground level views. There’s also a badass giant beaver dam about halfway through and towards the end there is a great lookout from well above the pond and meadow that gives you a birds eye view of what you just walked around.
Should I do it? I’d say yes. This is a slightly more challenging trail than the easiest that the Park has to offer (like Spruce Bog or the Logging Museum) but it’s definitely not overly-difficult. There’s some definite changes in elevation that mean you’ll be putting your calf muscles to work. We did it with three kids (2, 5 and 8) and our youngest walked the entire thing. That being said, she was pretty unhappy with us by the end.