Only a 45 minute drive East of Edmonton on Hwy 16, Elk Island National Park is renowned for opportunities to view wildlife, particularly its large mammals which include bison (plains and wood), elk, moose and deer. Over 40 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, five species of amphibians and one reptile species live in EINP’s diverse landscape of forests, grasslands, lakes and wetlands. The park also has great bird watching and other recreational activity opportunities, including boating, bicycling, camping, cross-country skiing, golfing, hiking/walking, interpretive programming, picnicking and snowshoeing.
Originally called Elk Park, it was renamed Elk Island Park in 1908 until it gained formal designation as a Dominion Park in 1913. The park had two outstanding features – Elk and Island Lake (now Astotin Lake) with its sandy beaches and islands. Today, the significance of the name distinguishes the fact that it is an island in many ways – an island of protection for the heritage resources within its boundaries and an island refuge for people seeking to escape from the urban hustle and bustle.