Alberta Parks extending camping season
Following another record-breaking camping season, more than 250 provincial campgrounds will remain open over the next month.
To meet increased demand for late-season camping, the province is adding three new late-season options. Crimson Lake Campground and Moonshine Lake Campground will now be open until Oct. 31. Brand new year-round comfort cabins have also been added at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park, a prime destination for ice fishing on Lac La Biche.
These options build on a 2016 pilot which saw extended seasons in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park southeast of Medicine Hat, Saskatoon Island Provincial Park west of Grande Prairie and Cold Lake Provincial Park.
“We’ve had another great summer, but Albertans are still eager to get out and explore our wild spaces. That’s why we’re making life better by extending the camping season and upgrading provincial parks that previous governments neglected.”
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
For the eighth consecutive year, online campground reservations surpassed previous totals. The province had 158,890 bookings as of Aug. 30, an increase of more than five per cent from the previous year.
Alberta’s 274 provincial campgrounds close at different dates, with the bulk in early to mid-October. Of the 259 campgrounds open into October, 82 will remain open until at least Oct. 31, with 37 provincial campgrounds available year-round.
Several campgrounds will be closing in coming weeks to make way for upgrades, part of a five-year, $239-million plan to revitalize and expand the system.
Jarvis Bay Provincial Park will close today to begin the first phase of a five-year, $4.5-million expansion. In coming months, crews will revamp campsites, improve RV access and overhaul water, sewage and electrical infrastructure.
The major upgrades are the first in over four decades at the Sylvan Lakearea park, which will eventually add 130 new campsites.
“For many years, provincial parks didn’t keep up with the needs of RV users. These improvements will keep Albertans camping in Alberta, supporting local businesses while making it possible for more families to take advantage of our amazing natural resources.”
Keith Hanks, president, Affordable RV Calgary, former president, Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association of Alberta
Select redevelopments between fall 2017 and spring 2018:
• Gregoire Lake Provincial Park – continued reconstruction will include upgrades to campsites, dayuse area and new shower facilities. Electrical upgrades will improve RV access.
• Beaver Lake Public Recreation Area – revitalization
• Ross Lake Campground, Whitney Lakes Provincial Parks – electrification
• Young’s Point Provincial Park and Williamson Provincial Parks – boat launch maintenance
• Jarvis Bay Provincial Park – campground redevelopment
• Fish Lake Provincial Recreation Area – multi-year campground redevelopment, including expansions to accommodate RVs
• Expansions of Boulton Creek Campground, Bow River Campground (including 30 new serviced RV sites)
• Tombstone Backcountry Campground refurbishment
• Writing on Stone Provincial Park – trail improvements, shower building renovations, water treatment upgrades