Updated August 1st, 2023
Summer is in full swing! Regardless of whether you’re an avid camper, an off-road enthusiast or a fishing fanatic, we’ve got you covered with the perfect sampling of some of the most unique outdoor spots East of Edmonton to adventure through. Take your pick and let’s get into it!
Northeast of Edmonton
Venture out to pristine and uncrowded landscapes.
Lac La Biche
You will find boreal forest wilderness, sandy beaches, 100+ lakes, and 1000 campsites – it’s a perfect combination to truly immerse yourself in nature. The forested island of Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park has a mature, peaceful feeling bestowed by the old trees that have been here hundreds of years. In one six-kilometre loop, hikers can admire ancient stands of forest, walk through saskatoon bowers, stroll over boardwalk and reach beaches and secluded viewpoints. Grab some paddleboards from Off-road Adventures for an even closer look at the pelicans who make their summer home here.
Don’t forget to explore the Lakeland Provincial Park & Provincial Recreation Area. It’s 38 km world-renowned canoe circuit includes seven lakes, making it an exceptional experience for the bucket list.
Recharge and Chill!
Bonnyville has lakes in pretty much every direction, but Vezeau Beach at Moose Lake is among the most accessible. It’s quiet and spacious, so there’s lots of room to get out for a paddle or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, rent a jet ski from L&D Marine Rentals for a rip around the lake. This family-run business specializes in boat and watercraft rentals and marine repairs. Hit the summer lakes in style! Stock up on all your hunting and fishing needs from Franchere Bay Sporting Goods. Plus, they offer boat and cabin rentals at Franchere Bay Rec Area, so you can enjoy the season without the commitment and work of buying your own.
Want to climb four stories? Adventure enthusiasts will love Aerial Adventure park, where you can climb 4o different challenges within a safe and fun atmosphere.
Go camping and take the paddle at the Muriel Lake M.D. Campground – it’s shallow and warm, making it a great lake to learn a new water sport like paddle boarding, or just enjoy a relaxing cruise. Click here for some other fun #TakeItToTheLake activities in the Bonnyville Region.
What’s summer adventure without playing some Mini Golf? Rocky Meadows Country Getaway offers fresh air and fun at their Farmyard Mini Golf. You can also pick in-season berries and fruit (honey berries, buffalo berries, chokecherries, sea buckthorn, black currants, just to name a few), and finish it up with a slice of pie from the café. Like to camp? Make it a farm, play, and stay weekend by booking a site at the riverside campground located at the back of their property.
When in the Bonnyville area, Poacher’s Corner is a must-stop so you can get properly outfitted to explore the outdoors. In addition to a full range of hunting and fishing supplies, they also offer camping supplies, licenses valid for both Alberta and Saskatchewan, and more.
Experience Cold Lake’s Kinosoo Beach, rated as one of Canada’s Top 25 Beaches by Canadian Geographic Magazine. The beach is a three block stretch of fine sand on Cold Lake’s north end. The beach also features volleyball courts, basketball courts, a zipline, concession and 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.
If you’re staying at Edgewater Cottage & Suites, we recommend to book the Edgewater Experience Package! They offer luxury boating tours on a 30ft cabin cruiser – perfect to make incredible summer memories. Package options include watersport activities, dinner cruises, fishing packages and more.
The Beaver River Trestle is an impressive highlight of the trail, spanning a 1/2 km long & 60 metres high! You can access it from Cold Lake via 3 km of the multi-use trail or drive to the west end turning north off Highway 28 at the Y Road and parking at the trail access point. ATVers use the 300 km Iron Horse Trail to access countless kilometres of backcountry trails and cutlines that weave through the region’s rugged terrain.
Is fishing more your thing? Launch your boat at the beautiful marina where you can head out to catch different species in one of Alberta’s largest and deepest lakes. Hamilton House Inn & Adventures in nearby Cherry Grove – a bed and breakfast that calls itself ‘a woodland oasis’ – offers fishing charters, private beach tours on Cold Lake, canoe rentals and more. Another excellent choice is Angler’s Bait Tackle & More. They specialize in fishing lures, which makes it perfect to stock up on everything you need to reel-in your dream fish.
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. The 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. You can find the trailhead at the Smoky Lake Pumpkin Park. Next, head to Metis Crossing where you can experience the heritage and history of Alberta’s Métis people. Book ahead to take the guided voyageur canoe ride down the North Saskatchewan River. You can find Métis Crossing just south of HWY 28, down Secondary Highway 855.
Itching for more trails? Garner Lake Provincial Park is only 30 minutes east!
East of Edmonton
Hike, Bike, Walk, Run, it can be done here!
If you’re looking to explore somewhere new, did you know…the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve features more than 35 lakes and Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation Area has over 170 km of summer and winter multi-use trails!. The best part? All these Terrific Trails are located within an hour’s drive of Edmonton!
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.
Fishing fans will be happy with Vegreville’s beautiful trout pond – Rainbow Park Reservoir. It’s located just outside the town limits south off Highway 16, home to plentiful rainbow trout and yellow perch. Enjoy many species of birds while fishing and when you’re done fishing enjoy a hike around the pond.
Borrow-A-Boat – May to September
Hit the water right here in Vegreville as you paddle under the pysanka for FREE in the Elks Pond. Call 780-632-6800 or pop into the Visitor Information Centre to reserve a time.
The kids can also play at the Elks-Kinsmen park’s recreation area. Or, take the kids to the Lions Club Community Spray Park & Playground located on 47 Ave with access off of 49 Street.
Eager to cycle the trails? Burnt Rock Adventure Co offers an adventurous and active lifestyle with quality outdoor products. Or if you have a bike, make sure to get a tune up at the bike shop. They do a wonderful job in keeping bikes in tip top shape!
Southeast of Edmonton
Cross off a new style of adventure from the bucket list!
Want to connect with nature? Camrose County Nature Conservation Centre is the perfect place! Located in the heart of the county, it’s a beautiful day-use recreation area for lake activities or relaxation. Learn more.
Located nearby is Miquelon Lake Provincial Park – is a protected area with easy, rolling terrain to explore over more than 10 kms of trails.
Camrose County is known for its beautiful outdoor space, great for activities the whole family will enjoy.
Offering up many recreational opportunities, Little Beaver Lake is open to kayak and canoe enthusiasts alike. Or, head to Meeting Creek and discover a perfect environment for naturalists, bikers/hikers, artists, photographers, kids and historians. While you’re getting back to nature, make sure to visit the Heritage Railway Station from 1913 and the Heritage Grain Elevator from 1917 (indoor areas by appointment only).
Visitors are welcome to take in the scenic viewpoints at the Pleasure Island Fish Pond, perfect for a family outing. Take a stroll and even bring your pets while you check out the various birding activities at 30 birdhouses along the path.
Discover a hidden gem at Telegraph Park! A tranquil backdrop to Hay Lakes, Telegraph Park boasts superb picnic, playground and camping facilities, as well as an amphitheatre, stocked trout pond and the newest addition: a handmade dog wheel. Hike along winding trails or enjoy fishing for brown and rainbow trout.
In the City, there are twenty educational and historic points of interest depicting the development stages of Camrose and are strategically placed along the 3 km walking paths surrounding the beautiful reflective Mirror Lake. The surrounding park presents outstanding natural settings for picnics with the family, cycling, or beautiful leisurely walks.
At Riverdale, Clear or Arm Lake, experience tranquillity and uncrowded nature.
Go west of town to see the awe-inspiring Battle River Train Trestle – it’s the second-largest in Canada.
An area chock full of history, the downtown features include a beautifully restored business district with buildings from the 1929 era and the free-standing Memorial Clock Tower, one of the only structures left standing after the Great Fire of 1929.
Plus, you have not one but TWO provincial parks nearby – Big Knife Provincial Park and Dilberry Lake Provincial Park. Both are perfect places to get away from it all with trails to explore.
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, check out 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!
Check out 6 Must-Do Adventures
Take a hike on the many Terrific Trails
Immerse yourself in nature, go Camping or Glamping!
Get up close to larger than life Roadside Attractions!
Cool off in the water at 20+ Spray Parks.
Hit the links and spend the day at top Golf Courses
Go Sippin responsibly and try a new brew. Enjoy a nice, cold drink this summer.
Plan your adventures with our Travel Guide!
Need more Inspiration for your Trip? We’ve got you covered!
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