Goose Mountain Ecological Reserve

Just northwest of the Town of Swan Hills lies the Goose Mountain Ecological Reserve - home to 16 plant species rare to the province of Alberta, including orchids (see table below)

The reason for this pocket of rare flora has to do with Swan Hills' elevation. Being the highest point in the province at 1180m above sea level allows for the development of a sub-alpine ecosystem not found anywhere else on the prairies.

As an ecological reserve, the 5,780 hectare area is protected from motor vehicle traffic, sample gathering expeditions and any other activity that would disturb the plant life. However, it is open to hikers, photographers and those who enjoy a non-intrusive and non-destructive natural experience.

The Goose Tower Road is a privately owned oilfield road that is subject to weather. The main soil base is clay shale with moisture quickly turns in to a greasy mud. It is recommended that if you plan on visiting the Reserve; use a four wheel-drive vehicle, monitor the weather, and ensure that some one knows your plans. The weather changes quickly and drastically in this area and the roads quickly become impassable.

Angelica Genuflexa
Kneeling Angelica
6 locations in Alberta
Carex Deflexa
Bent Sedge
3 locations in Alberta
Carex Loliacea
Ryegrass Sedge
3 locations in Alberta
Carex Trisperma
Three Seeded Sedge
3 locations in Alberta
Coptis Trifolia
Gold Thread
8 locations in Alberta
Cystopteris Montana
Mountain Bladder Fern
6 locations in Alberta
Dryopteris Phegopteris
Northern Beech Fern
The Swan Hills is one of the two known locations east of the Rocky Mountains.
Epilobium Leptocarpum
Slender Fruited Willow Herb
4 locations in Alberta
Gulium Palustre
Bedstraw
Very rare in Alberta, 2 known locations are Swan Hills and Jasper National Park.
Lycopodium Selago
Rock Club Moss
Located only in the Rocky Mountains, the extreme east corner of Alberta and Swan Hills.
Oploponax Horridum
Devilsclub
7 locations in Alberta
Pohlia Proligera
Pohlia Moss
Swan Hills is the only known location in Alberta.
Ranunculus Uncinatus
Hairy Buttercup
8 locations in Alberta
Sphagnum Majus
Peat Moss
Only other known location in Alberta is Wood Buffalo National Park.
Streptopus Streptopoides
Small Twisted Stalk
Only known location in Alberta is Swan Hills
Tiarella Trifoliata
False Mitrework
This plant is rare in Alberta. Found only in Swan Hills and west of Whitecourt.
Tiarella Trifoliate
Lace Flower
6 locations in Alberta
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