One of the most scenic trails in the Yellowknife area loops over granite hills and through woodlands as part of this popular vacation spot for NWT residents. The largest developed park on the Ingraham Trail, Prelude Lake Territorial Park offers a variety of facilities, including a sandy beach for swimming, a dock and boat launch, and boat rentals.
Prelude Lake itself is about 16 kilometres long and stretches east and west, forming part of the Cameron River system. There are several islands, and many pleasant places to fish for trout and pike here. There are also two magnificent trails in the park: one a short stroll to a panoramic view; and one a longer, interpretive hike.
Panoramic Trail offers an easy, well-marked half-kilometre walk (much of it on boardwalks) to two lookout points that provide splendid views of Prelude Lake. You can access this trail either from the boat launch parking area near the beach, or from the parking lot located between the boat launch and the campsites.
The Nature Trail forms a loop, passing through several natural zones that vary from loose sand to bedrock to muskeg and swamp, with an equally varied array of inhabitants. Follow a series of informative signs along the way, with pictures of some of the creatures that you may see, including squirrels, ruffed grouse, whiskey jacks, snowshoe hares and crossbills.
Prelude Lake Territorial Park is located 29 kilometres east of Yellowknife. Turn left onto the Prelude Lake access road from the Ingraham Trail and drive past the campground to the day-use area. There are 79 campsites to choose from – 67 non-powered and 12 tent sites. Be sure to pick up a trail guide when you arrive, available at the campground office.