Elk Island National Park
Unlike the other three main national parks in Alberta (Jasper, Banff, and Waterton) Elk Island requires a great deal of foot exploration to enjoy. You can drive through it and you will almost certaily see buffalo from your car, but the whole trip through the park might take less than a half an hour which might not be worth the price of admission. If a driving tour is what you are interested in to see wildlife, then you might want to avoid the park gate by taking a right hand turn on range road 210. That road is located where you first see the park signs when coming in from the west and if you travel it south for ten minutes the park will be to your left the whole time.
My friend and I actually took this route by accident yesterday erroneously thinking the park gates were there. However we did see several buffalo from range road 210 and we also saw a moose and a deer.
Getting two adults into the park will cost over $15 and it is worth it if you are making a day of it and visiting the area, but if you are just looking for a drive through, then it might not be worth it as the drive is quite short. [more ]
Elk Island National Park hiking trail
Elk Island National Park has a great deal of hiking trails. What you can expect on them is a walk through one or all of the following: grasslands, wetlands/marshes, forests, or lakeside routes.
The trails that I have been on have not been challenging in terms of steep hills. They have all had very small hills, but for the most part it is fairly level and leisurely. When you enter the park gate, be sure to ask for a map. Some of the trails are incredibly long and might take the better part of a day to explore, while other trails are short and can be walked in about an hour. The map given to you by the park gate attendant will be very helpful.
Also, when you are walking watch out for animal droppings as they are all over the place. Also, keep your distance from all wild animals, especially buffalo which you could reasonably expect to encounter while in the park.