North Saskatchewan River Adventures

Jolene KisilevichCamping, East of Edmonton, Elk Point, Fishing, Fort Saskatchewan, Historic Site, Indigenous Experience, Interpretive Centre, Iron Horse Trail, Lakeland Region, Marwayne, Metis Crossing, North Saskatchewan River, North Saskatchewan River, Northeast of Edmonton, Outdoor Adventures, Parks & Trails, Seasonal Campground, Smoky Lake County, Spring Adventures, St. Paul County, Strathcona County, Summer Adventures, Two Hills County, Vermilion River County, Waskatenau, Water Adventures

Adventures from Edmonton heading East along the North Saskatchewan River…

In March 2024, the Governments of Canada and Alberta acknowledged the entire stretch of the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta as part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, a well-deserved honour. With a history spanning thousands of years, the river undoubtedly holds deep cultural significance to numerous Indigenous nations in the region and has played a significant role in the development of the entire province of Alberta. All the while, it continues to provide beautiful scenery and outstanding recreational opportunities for the region. 

Experience the river for yourself with 16 Adventures featured below… 

North Saskatchewan Riverside trails at Strathcona County and Fort Saskatchewan 

Tucked away in Strathcona County, the Riverside Nature Trail is a secret paradise with numerous paths for hikers to explore. Embark on a range of scenic routes such as a 5 km in-and-out trail, a 5 km loop, or an 11 km walk to Fort Saskatchewan and West River’s Edge. The trail is part of a bigger project that aims to connect it to Edmonton via a footbridge, which will link it to the East End Trails. You can follow the signs for the loop or take the in-and-out trail for a peaceful stroll along the riverbank. Both options cover a similar distance, so the choice is entirely yours! Click here for more info.

West River’s Edge

Set off on the 7.6-km loop trail close to Fort Saskatchewan, known for its ease and variety of activities like bird watching, skiing, and hiking. This trail is perfect for a leisurely adventure, and usually takes about 1 hour and 46 minutes to finish, offering a peaceful escape during quieter times. The trail is open year-round, providing a beautiful setting for exploration. Visit the West Rivers Edge pavilion for events and access the Lion’s Fishpond, connected by a paved path perfect for walking or biking. Enjoy the scenic river views, or for a thrill, try the challenging single-track trails designed for mountain biking enthusiasts.

The Fort Heritage Precinct  

Located 40 km east of Edmonton, step into the past with guided tours at The Fort Heritage Precinct, available throughout the year. Journey through the NWMP Fort and climb up the bastion like a constable from the past, taking in the expansive scenery of the North Saskatchewan River. Then, leap through time to a historical village: sit in a 1902 Castle School classroom, walk in the shoes of an early 20th-century settler, and peek into the life of a 1920s town doctor. Delve into Fort Saskatchewan’s legacy of justice at the 1909 Courthouse and the 1937 Warden’s Residence for a full historical experience. 

Redwater Recreation Area  

Nestled in the northeast of Sturgeon County, the Redwater Provincial Recreation Area is home to one of the region’s most expansive sand dune fields. Located just east of Redwater and close to the North Saskatchewan River, offering rolling sand hills perfect for day trips. Whether you’re an OHV enthusiast or simply looking to explore the natural trails and diverse habitats, this popular spot offers both thrilling recreational activities and a commitment to conservation. 

The Den of Antiquity  

Discover the allure of vintage country antiques and collectibles at Den of Antiquity, a one-of-a-kind store for home decor and furnishings, located 54 km northeast of Edmonton. Nestled in the quaint 1910 Amelia schoolhouse, the collection offers an ever-evolving array of nostalgic treasures. Complement your visit with a scenic drive along Alberta’s oldest road, the Victoria Trail, a road rich in history that follows along the majestic North Saskatchewan River.

 Victoria Trail  

Winding along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the historic Victoria Trail spans 56 kilometers of scenic farmland, extending from Highway 38 southeast of Redwater to the Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site in Smoky Lake County. It’s an area steeped in history with stories of indigenous tribes, European settlers, and fur traders. Transport yourself to the past and uncover the vibrant cultural heritage of the Victoria Trail District in the Lakeland Region, including the renowned Victoria National Historic Site of Canada. Immerse yourself in diverse experiences and unique accommodations, from exploring the historic trail to enjoying local cuisine.  

Waskatenau Victoria Trail RCMP Memorial Statue 

The Victoria Trail is home to a remarkable sculpture that pays tribute to the original 20 members of the Northwest Mounted Police. This impressive structure, made of 1-inch-thick plated steel, stands at a height of 14.5 feet and spans 12 feet in width. Commissioned by the Victoria Home Guard Society, it serves as a historical marker near Waskatenau, located 15 km east of Highway 831 on the renowned Victoria Trail. The sculpture is surrounded by handpicked river rocks engraved with the names of these pioneering officers, commemorating their crucial role in establishing a national police force. 

 Metis Crossing

Experience the vibrant spirit of the Métis at Métis Crossing, a cultural interpretive centre, situated 114 km northeast of Edmonton along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. This hub of education, community events, and cultural experiences sits on 512 acres of historic land with river lot titles dating back to the original Métis settlers. Engage in interactive experiences such as guided canoe excursions, storytelling sessions, and stargazing events. Experience traditional cultural activities, explore nature with archery, and visit the Wildlife Park Tour to see heritage species. The Cultural Gathering Centre showcases Métis artisanship, while The Lodge offers a luxurious stay infused with Métis heritage. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy RV sites, tent camping, and unique comfort camping in Métis Trappers tents. For an extraordinary experience, book a Skywatching Dome. 

 Victoria Settlement

Dive into the fascinating history of Alberta at Victoria Settlement, where captivating tours and activities transport visitors back in time to the late 19th century. Situated 114 km northeast of Edmonton, costumed interpreters breathe life into the past within carefully preserved structures that were once part of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Victoria. Explore the world of indigenous trade, the fur trade, missionary endeavors, and the beginnings of European settlement on interactive tours covering the years 1862 to 1922. Embark on an exhilarating adventure with the Victoria Trail Voyageur Experience and immerse yourself in an interactive journey as you paddle along the scenic North Saskatchewan River.

 Northern Lights RV Resort 

Discover the breathtaking Northern Lights RV Resort, a serene getaway tucked away in the Boreal Forest of Northern Alberta. Situated on a scenic 160-acre property along Highway 652 just west of Hamlin, and 152 km northeast of Edmonton. Experience a year-round paradise at our resort, where you’ll find a wide range of amenities and activities suitable for everyone. From lake access to golfing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and indulge in an extraordinary camping adventure surrounded by the beauty of nature. Located just 12 km north of the North Saskatchewan River in an area with multiple lakes and golf courses within a 30-minute drive.   

Saskatchewan River Voyagers   

Saskatchewan River Voyagers offers an exhilarating adventure experience with everything you need, including canoes, transport trailers, and a personal bus. They are a fully licensed and insured company, ensuring a safe tour operation. Explore the North Saskatchewan River on their canoe excursions and enjoy a comfortable journey back on their 20-passenger bus. In addition to fishing trips, their guided tours also offer the excitement of gemstone hunting along the river. Whether it’s a day trip, weekend getaway, or group adventure, they have you covered with camping options conveniently available at the Northern Lights RV Resort. 

 Bear Ridge Campground   

Unwind and reconnect with nature at Bear Ridge Campground, a hidden gem approximately 170 km east of Edmonton. Offering secluded seasonal RV sites nestled among beautiful trees, perfect for seasonal campers seeking a peaceful wilderness camping experience. With long-term lot rentals available exclusively from May to September, they cater to those who prefer a more private getaway. Enjoy 1 mile of private riverfront along the North Saskatchewan River, perfect for fishing, tubing, swimming, and easy access to 3 lakes just a short 15-minute drive away for boating and fishing adventures.  

 Elk Point River Park

Just 3.5 km south of Elk Point on RR 70A, you’ll find a serene getaway waiting for you. Nestled along the North Saskatchewan River, Elk Point River Park Campground offers a peaceful break from everyday life, whether you enjoy fishing, kayaking, or simply relaxing by the water’s edge. The campground’s well-kept facilities cater to tents, RVs, and trailers, ensuring a comfortable stay for all visitors. 

 Fort George & Buckingham House

Explore the rich history of fur trading at Fort George & Buckingham House, located 11 km east of St. Paul via Highway 646. Back in 1792, two forts, Fort George and Buckingham House, were constructed by rival fur trade companies on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Witness the cultural exchange between Indigenous and European settlers as you explore interactive exhibits showcasing life 225 years ago, followed by a guided walk along the woodland trail leading to the original fort sites. 

 Heinsburg Iron Horse Trail

Discover the quaint town of Heinsburg, situated 230 km east of Edmonton. It serves as a gateway for the Alberta Iron Horse Trail, featuring a historical Railway Park perfect for starting or finishing your adventure. The Iron Horse Trail is an extraordinary recreational path in Alberta, steeped in history as the province’s longest and oldest trail, dating back to the 1700s and intertwined with indigenous, settlement, and trade narratives. The trail follows the North Saskatchewan River from Heinsburg to Elk Point and goes all the way to Waskatenau with a branch  that extends to Cold Lake and is accessible year-round. 

Lea Park Campground

Experience the ultimate camping getaway at Lea Park Jubilee Regional Campground, located near Marwayne, just 247 km east of Edmonton. Situated at the junction of the Vermilion and North Saskatchewan Rivers, this campsite is only 14 km north of Marwayne on Highway 897. You can enjoy breathtaking natural landscapes, with the Lea Park Rodeo Grounds and Lea Park Golf Club located nearby. The 9-hole course offers well-maintained fairways, lush greens, and cart rentals, spanning across 2033 yards. After a round of golf, you can unwind at the clubhouse. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive up Snake Hill and enjoy the breathtaking view of the North Saskatchewan River.

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