Elk Island National Park, is one of 43 national parks and park reserves administered by the Parks Canada Agency. This “island of conservation” is located 35 km east of Edmonton, Alberta along the Yellowhead Highway, which nearly bisects the park. It is Canada's 8th smallest in area, but largest fully enclosed national park, with an area of 194 km².
The park is representative of the northern prairies plateau ecosystem and as such, the knob and kettle landscape is a mix of native fescue grassland, aspen Parkland and boreal forest. As well, Elk Island plays host to both the largest and the smallest terrestrial mammals in North America, the wood bison and pygmy shrew respectively.