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Parks Canada opens more of Waterton Lakes in anticipation of winter season

Click to play video: 'Parks Canada to opens more sections of Waterton Lakes ahead of winter' Parks Canada to opens more sections of Waterton Lakes ahead of winter
Winter travellers will soon have some more options when it comes to exploring areas of southern Alberta. Waterton Lakes National Park is opening some more areas in advance of the winter season – Nov 23, 2018

Anyone planning to visit Waterton Lakes National Park over the winter will be able to explore more areas within its boundaries.

Officials have reopened a section that includes 35 kilometres of trails.

The Akamina Parkway opened to Cameron Lake for non-motorized travel on Friday, opening areas for skiing, hiking, snowshoeing or cycling.

Parks Canada said the first part of the trail is considered simple terrain, but recommends being cautious if you plan on going farther.

“After that point, you start getting into class two, or challenging, terrain. So that’s when we kind of expect people to pay attention, to go to our website and learn where the avalanche dangers are high and where the simple terrain ends so that they know they can be safe,” said Locke Marshall, a Parks Canada visitor experience manager.

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A significant portion of the park was closed following the 2017 Kenow wildfire.

READ MORE: ‘Regrowth is already taking place’ as restoration efforts continue at Waterton Lakes

Parks Canada said the blaze impacted more than a third of the park and about half its vegetation.

Due to the extensive damage, crews are still clearing up the parts of the park that remain closed to the public.

“We’re still working very hard to get as many areas open as we can. That’s one of the reasons that we were able to open the Akamina Parkway,” Marshall said.

He said it is unlikely that more sections will be reopened before the end of winter.

READ MORE: Waterton Lakes opens more trails, camp sites ahead of Canada Day

Parks Canada said average years see between 6,000 and 9,000 visitors during each winter month.

Officials are anticipating slightly lower numbers because of the closed sections.

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