It is never too soon to start thinking about camping and with spring just around the corner now is the time to begin planning. Starting March 4th, Alberta will be opening their Provincial Park Camping Reservations to the public. Camping has become a very popular activity, even more so as a result of COVID-19 social restrictions, you may need to get your plans together sooner than you thought. Here are some great camping spots in and around Red Deer to spark some intrigue both provincially and privately as you start planning those warmer weather getaways.
In Red Deer, you will find Lions Campground located right in the heart of the city next to trails and the Red Deer River. Open from the beginning of May until the end of September, the Red Deer Lions Campground is the perfect mix, allowing you to keep one foot in the city and one foot in nature. Explore the expansive system of trails and experience the outdoors at your own pace and take in the beauty of the natural landscape. Make sure to watch for reservation updates on their website and Facebook page.
Westerner Campground is open year-round and located in the south end of Red Deer, next to Westerner Park. Although this is an RV-only campground you will find great amenities and is close to shopping, golf courses, restaurants and offers a direct link to Red Deer’s extensive bike and walking trails.
Discovery Wildlife Park is another wonderful place to camp just next to Innisfail and 25 minutes to Red Deer. Listen to the sound of the resident wildlife roar and howl while you are snug in your tent or camper. They also offer cabin rentals for those who do not have their own. You will want to remember your fishing rod as they have a fully stocked fishing pond onsite! Their campground bookings opened March 1 and the park opens in a few months on May 1.
Aspen Beach Provincial Park is centrally located on the south shores of Gull Lake and about a 30-minute drive from Red Deer and a 15-minute drive from Lacombe. Their Lakeview and Brewers Campgrounds are very popular in the summer and with no first-come-first-served sites available, those who wish to camp must reserve ahead of time. Their season runs from May 20 to September 6 and reservations begin March 4.
Also located on Gull Lake is Summerland Leisure Park, fully serviced and can accommodate the largest of RV’s. It is opened Mid-May to Mid-September and features an 18-hole championship miniature golf course, a challenge for both kids and adults to enjoy!
Jarvis Bay Provincial Campground is a family-friendly campground with playgrounds for the kids and an interconnected trail system for biking and hiking. It looks over Sylvan Lake however there is no access to the lake from the campground. It is close to the town of Sylvan Lake and is only a 10-minute drive to the main beach on lakeshore drive.
Crimson Lake Provincial Park is just 14 km west of Rocky Mountain House and offers year-round camping at both their Crimson Lake Campground and Twin Lakes. With activity available for every season, from hiking, horseback riding, boat launch and in the winter ice fishing, a maintained skating rink and groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking, this is indeed an outdoor recreationist’s paradise.
East Central Alberta offers stunning landscapes, including Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, a great place to get a taste of Alberta’s most vivid badlands topography. It is located about 103 km southeast of Red Deer and sits on the banks of the Red Deer River: great for canoeing and kayaking. Although you cannot access the Tolman West and Tolman East Campgrounds from the Dry Island Buffalo Jump day-use area, they are only 30 km away. Sites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, and they are open from June 29 to September 7. Tourism Red Deer member, DNA Gardens is just a short 35-minute drive from the campground and a great place to pick up some fresh fruit, veggies or some handcrafted gelato. If you have a little extra time, how about booking one of their wine tours in the Orchard?!
Trenville Park Campground is another neighbour to the east on the banks of the beautiful Red Deer River, about an hour outside of the city. They offer a family-oriented, pet-friendly experience and have over 70 different campsites to choose from, group and tenting sites, and 3 playgrounds. The campground is mature and spacious, with plenty of space to wander amongst the lush parkland trees or meander the riverbanks and skip a few rocks. Although it is not fully serviced it does offer coin-operated showers and potable water. You can begin making reservations on May 1 at 8:00 am by calling 403-773-2273.
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