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a shot of the wetland around maxwell lake in hinton featuring deep green water surrounded by various trees

Another Alberta First: The World’s Longest Freshwater Boardwalk!

Discover Hinton's hidden gem. Step onto the Beaver Boardwalk for a magical walk through a marshland filled with beavers, birds, and butterflies.

Imagine walking on a boardwalk that takes you through a scenic marshland, with the chance to spot beavers, birds, butterflies, and deer.

If that sounds like your kind of outing, then the Beaver Boardwalk in Hinton is just for you. The boardwalk is the longest freshwater boardwalk in the world and highlights the ecological importance of wetlands. It gives visitors an up-close look at the local wetland system around Maxwell Lake. 

Wetlands are crucial because they support a variety of animals and serve as “earth’s kidneys,” absorbing excess rainwater and reducing flooding.

a beautiful shot of the beaver boardwalk with people walking on it surrounded by wetland and blue sky above
The Beaver Boardwalk in Hinton | Explore Hinton

By absorbing this water, wetlands filter out pollutants, ensuring cleaner water for communities downstream. Wetlands also store carbon, playing a crucial role in combating climate change.

Spanning over three kilometres, the Beaver Boardwalk near Hinton was established thanks to the efforts of volunteers, corporate backing, and the community.

On the boardwalk, you can sit on benches, read interpretive signs, and see upwards of a dozen beavers constructing their dam and lodge.

Like construction workers, beavers are most active during the warmer months, especially early mornings or evenings. 

The boardwalk’s creation in 2006 was sponsored by West Fraser Mills Ltd., commemorating the 50th anniversary of their Hinton operation and the town’s incorporation.

a map for the beaver boardwalk showing where things like parking are located
Trail system map for the Beaver Boardwalk | Hinton

The construction of the Fraser Mills pulp mill began in 1955 and was completed in 1956, the very year Hinton became a town. Later, in 1957, Hinton merged with Drinnan, shaping the present-day valley area.

But the commitment to education and nature preservation didn’t stop there. In 2017, the Town of Hinton and Fraser Mills collaborated to update the interpretive signs throughout the boardwalk.

With funding from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, these signs now teach visitors about the local flora and fauna and messages about good forest stewardship.

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