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Kleskun Hill

Kleskun Hill rises 100 metres above the plains surrounding the city of Grande Prairie. It is one of the most extensive areas of native upland vegetation remaining in the Peace River portion of the Parkland Natural Region. Within this landscape is the Kleskun Hill natural Area, located approximately 26 kilometres northeast of Grande Prairie.

The original grasslands of this area have been extensively developed for agriculture, as have those in the Parkland Natural Region of central Alberta. Few examples remain today of this northern prairie.  Kleskun Hill natural Area is covered mainly by dry grassland that contains plant species that are rare or at the northernmost limit of their distribution, such as the prickly pear cactus. Aspen groves are contained within the Natural area as well.

Badlands, common in southern Alberta along the Red Deer River, are present in the Natural Area. This is the most northerly occurrence known of such "skeletonized hills" made from soft bedrock that has been eroded over time to expose layers of clays, sands, narrow seams of coal and some fossil-bearing layers.

Kleskun Hill Natural Area is an interesting and beautiful site to visit. Scenic vistas are available from the hilltops, and the badlands and grassland invite exploration by anyone interested in geological formations or Alberta's native plants.

Motorized vehicle use is not permitted within the Natural Area in order to prevent soil erosion and destruction of the vegetation. A picnic site is located in the south end of the area. If you visit this site, please keep the area clean and ensure that your activities do not harm the natural features.

For more information on this wonderful natural site, visit Alberta Environment's online Alberta Wildlife Viewing Guide to Kleskun Hill!

Reprinted with permission from "Alberta's Natural Areas" with permission from Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife.

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