By Robert Lucke
When searching for that "perfect" fall foliage area, don't overlook the Cypress Hills just north of Montana in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
There are a couple of areas to access the Hills from Montana. There is Elkwater Park just north of Havre on the Wild Horse Trail and there is the Cypress Hills Provincial Park which is east of Havre on the St. Joe Road.
Both have lots of foliage to change color this time of year and both are full of different song birds that rest there on their way south for the winter.
Elkwater is known more these days for its excellent skiing at Hidden Valley than for its fall colors. However, there are plenty of colors and for the photo enthusiast, there is plenty of water at Elkwater Lake to make for great fall foliage vistas. There is a store and restaurant at Elkwater along with an excellent campground.
Elkwater has the added advantage of being just a short trip from Medicine Hat, which offers great eating and shopping at very good prices with the exchange rate so favorable to Montanans these days.
On the east end of the Cypress Hills, the Provincial Park offers even more amenities to the tourist. There is a major resort there with lakes, food and lodging. Lodging can be as Spartan as a room in the lodge or as good as a whole chalet with fireplace. This time of year Cypress Provincial Park has bright fall colors and, like Elkwater, plenty of bird watching, too. Cypress Hills Provincial Park is close to Eastend, where the Wallace Stegner family home and museum is located.
It is a land of a more temperate climate than out on the prairies of Montana and Canada and its gullies are full of things like wolf willow, seldom seen in this part of Montana.
For further information, log in at www.cypressresortinn.com