What’s your summer adventure wishlist looking like? Regardless of whether you’re an avid camper, an off-road enthusiast or a fishing fanatic, we’ve got you covered with this sampling of some of the most unique outdoor spots East of Edmonton to adventure through. Let’s get into it!
In Smoky Lake, you can expect to do plenty of horseback riding, biking and camping in and around its grounds. The Hanmore Lake Campground has lots to do thanks to its two camp spots and beach area. Iron Horse Trail is the trail that works year-round, a sprawling 300 kilometres going throughout the entire region. It’s the longest and oldest operating trail in Alberta, absolutely perfect for a quad outing or a contemplative hike.
Right on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, Metis Crossing is one of the few places in Western Canada to experience an authentic voyageur canoe trip. We mean it. Besides the authentic Metis camping lots, owned by settlers since the late 1800s and later used as a trading post by the Hudson’s Bay Company, Metis Crossing offers a gift shop with plenty of cultural artifacts and touchpoints to this historic gathering ground.
Thorhild – Thorhild’s White Earth Valley Natural Area is a grade A getaway for adventurers. Featuring 17 kilometres of winding pathways through marshes, hillsides and meadows rich in flora and home to exciting wildlife like white-tailed deer, black bears, northern pike and great blue herons. Whether you’re here to look for geocaches or go hiking or mountain biking through the terrain, you’ll find thrill and excitement aplenty in White Earth.
Then there’s Half Moon Lake. Between its camping sites, beach area and boat launch, you have endless options for adventure waiting at the ready.
M.D. Bonnyville – Experience Cold Lake’s Kinosoo Beach in a whole new way thanks to Wicked Watersport Rentals. You have the option of flyboarding, kayaking or paddle boarding over the water and if you’re feeling the need to rent a boat for a grand water adventure, they’ve got you covered there too.
Over in the heart of the Lakeland lies L&D Marine Rentals, a family-run business that specializes in boat and watercraft rentals. Besides offering boats, SeaDoos and other water sport rentals for your summer enjoyment, L&D is also a handy outlet for home equipment like lawn mowers and chainsaws. Hit the summer lakes in style!
Boreal Forest Guides is a company providing fantastic tours of the Cold Lake wilderness and its surrounding area. Their latest adventure is called Paddle and Pour and involves paddling through the shores of Cold Lake taking in its natural splendour before decamping and taking in the natural splendour of several delicious wines and craft beers. There’s nothing like taking a paddle and enjoying a nice glass or two afterwards, right?
Calling all fishing enthusiasts! Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast in nearby Cherry Grove – a bed and breakfast that calls itself the perfect getaway – offers fishing charters, beach tours and canoe rentals for guests looking for a quick dip before digging into some eggs or spreadsheets during a business retreat.
Looking for a unique adventure… head out the Canadian Bighorn Resort located just 8 kms North of La Corey, Alberta. Enjoy the luxuries of the two rustic-style cabins and the adventure of connecting with nature, while having fun. Guests have the opportunity to encounter bighorn sheep in a safe and sustainable environment. There are also hiking/ATV trails, wildlife and northern lights viewing. ATV rentals are available, as well as lake excursions on a pontoon boat.
Finally, what’s summer adventure without some thrilling paintball? Rocky Meadows Country Getaway offers fresh air and fun in the guise of outdoor paintball. There’s three courses to choose from: the post-apocalyptic Junkyard, the jam-packed Corral and the dense Woods. Whichever you choose will serve you plenty of shoot-out entertainment!
Redwater – All ATV fans or serious hikers should heed to visit Redwater Sandhills Area, a stone’s throw away from Redwater and a must-visit thanks to its natural habitat and serious sand dunes. We’re talking 1,810 hectares of sand dune hills – the largest in the area. Perfect for a rip or what?
Vegreville – Fishing fans will be happy with Vegreville’s beautiful trout pond. It’s a gorgeous patch located just outside the town limits, home to plentiful rainbow trout and yellow perch. Try and see how your fishing skills fare on this pond and if things don’t work out, there’s some year-round trails nearby you can check out for a post-fish walk!
Elk Island National Park – What are you seeking in your adventures? Hiking? Elk Island has it. Wildlife watching? Elk Island has that too – and we mean wildlife like bison, deer, moose, elk and more than 250 species of birds spread out across meadows, wet marshes and aspen woodlands. Maybe you’re looking for trails? Elk Island has over 80 kilometres of trails for your pleasure. Say you want to camp – there’s two massive campgrounds plus the new oTENTik area. There’s even islands to visit and canoes to rent so you can get to them! Between that and all the stars you can see in the open sky, what else could you need at Elk Island National Park?
Strathcona Wilderness Centre – The all-season outdoor adventure centre you didn’t know you needed! Families can gasp at wildlife in the summer, go on camping trips and play some thrilling rounds of golf. With plenty of hiking trails and canoeing at nearby Islet Lake, Strathcona Wilderness Centre is all about choice.
East Central Alberta – Out East Central way, you’ll find a plethora of campgrounds worth exploring along highways 12 thru 14. Between Sand Castle Campground, Halkirk Rodeo Grounds, Galahad Municipal Grounds, Diplomat Trout Pond, Fish Lake Park, Holden Campground and Burma Park, you’re dealing with a serious amount of camping awesomeness.
River fans, here’s the scoop; Battle River meanders through Alberta and into Saskatchewan, passing by a number of campgrounds. If you’re looking for a place to get your best lazy river float on, we suggest Diplomat Mine, southeast of Forestburg, Burma Park or Fish Lake. All these spots are close enough to fulfill any dreams of summer tubing you may have!
Speaking of Diplomat Mine, did you know there’s an outdoor museum nearby? The outdoor interpretive site is worth a road trip detour and hosts a few massive mining machines while telling the story of Alberta’s coal history. It’s good for a gander – and a selfie or two!
Looking for a place to stay on your next roadtrip?!
For a campground? See our blog here!
If a hotel is more your style, here’s a few great places to stay…
Lamont Heartland Hotel
Smoky Lake Super 8
Redwater – Paradise Inn
Cold Lake Waterfront Harbour Bed & Breakfast
Cold Lake Hamilton House
Cold Lake Marriott Hotel at Casino Dene
Sherwood Park Hotels
Sherwood Park – Park Centre & Hotel
Need more info? Please feel free to contact our Go East of Edmonton team at 1-888-632-8755.