Hand Hills Ecological Reserve

Hand Hills Ecological Reserve features more than 130 bird species in the area as well as a variety of amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Elevations range from 815 to 970 metres above sea level. Threatened ferruginous hawks and prairie long-tailed weasels live here along with the endangered piping plover, which nests along Little Fish Lake. Vegetation includes porcupine grass, June grass, spear grass, and northern wheatgrass on lightly grazed areas—a throwback to the endless native grasslands where seemingly endless herds of bison once roamed. The reserve protects one of the largest remaining tracts of fescue grassland in the world. Backcountry hiking is permitted, but no camping or open fires are allowed.