June 23, 2016
Alberta is home to some of the most captivating bodies of water in the West, ripe for exploration!
Whether your choice of boat is a paddleboat or a kayak, there’s likely something for you to discover somewhere in Alberta’s waters. Here’s a list of potential water adventures waiting.
What better way to welcome summer than to cut your teeth on one of Alberta’s biggest rivers? With its size, the Athabasca welcomes all sorts of adventures. It’s prime for fishing. It beckons the lure of jet boats. Companies such as Reel Angling Adventures or Grande Rapids Wilderness Adventures offer guided tours to let you make the most of your trip. You’ve also got the option of crossing the river on a ferry, one of the last ferries in Alberta in fact. The Klondyke Ferry regularly crosses the Athabasca during the spring and summer months. In service since 1931, the commercial ferry that crosses the river today was constructed in the early ‘80s and can hold 50 passengers and just over a dozen cars over the 230 metre crossing. The ferry provides people with easy access to Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park.
Feeding into the Athabasca River is the much smaller McLeod River. Found in Woodlands County, the area surrounding the river is plenty suitable for canoeing, hiking or mountain biking on a long weekend camping stretch. However, the river’s perfect for tubing with a couple of friends. The trip may take somewhere between two to four hours to complete depending on the river levels but time may not matter when you’re lazily floating on a tube.
Found west of Barrhead, you can find plenty on the shores of Thunder Lake. Threatening name aside, the lake and the provincial park also bearing its name feature a lot of amenities for a quick trip with the family including canoeing and kayaking, picnic areas, water skiing, huge swimming areas, playgrounds and a sandy beach for the kids and a boat launch area. Fishing is popular here; plenty of Northern Pike and Yellow Perch can be found in the waters.
Lac Ste. Anne is one of Alberta’s best lake destinations. It’s a popular cottage retreat for one reason – the area happens to include the stunning Alberta Beach within its borders. You might hear about the holy waters that surround the county; having been named Wakamne, or “God’s Lake,” by the local Nakota Sioux and later renamed to Devil’s Lake by the settler Europeans due to the legends of a monster hiding out in the water. That’s likely not to be the case today – the lake being a popular spot for fishing, swimming and water skiing. It’s also the host of the Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage held every year in the summer months, making it a point of convergence for thousands of people attracted to the county’s history and looking for a nice quiet cottage getaway.