Trek east of Red Deer and you will find one of Central Alberta’s best-kept secrets set near the banks of the Red Deer River, Trenville Park.
Trek east of Red Deer and you will find one of Central Alberta’s best-kept secrets set near the banks of the Red Deer River, Trenville Park. This mature and meticulously cared-for campground is a hidden-away campers paradise with breathtaking views, river access, densely treed sites and numerous amenities onsite and nearby to add to your experience.
Operated by Wendy and Mark Mose since 2017, this family-friendly resort can be found at the eastern border of Red Deer County, with Content Bridge upstream and Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park downstream.
Trenville Park officially opened as a Municipal Recreation Area in 1984 by Alberta Recreation and Parks and has been enjoyed ever since. For decades this river valley campground has been the backdrop to many family adventures, splashing in the river by day and campfires under a star-filled sky at night.
“The topography in the area is unreal, almost hard to explain, you really have to see it for yourself,” says Wendy Mose, operator of Trenville Park. “You will be driving along and on your descent into the valley it’s as if you are all of a sudden somewhere completely different than where you came from up top. You aren’t camping in a barren field, it’s a very mature area with lots of trees and Canadian Badlands type scenery.”
“Our location to the Red Deer River and proximity to other river access points is a big draw,” says Mose. “Canoeing or kayaking from one point on the river to the next makes for a decent trip but also allows some predictability for planning vehicle drop-offs and such.”
Campers can disembark from Trenville Park and enjoy a 1 to 3 hour leisurely float on rafts, or paddle by canoe or kayak to McKenzie Crossing. Those looking for a longer river adventure can even go as far as Dinosaur Provincial Park in a day! “A favourite starting point for our camping guests is upriver at Content Bridge, where they can ride the river back down to camp,” says Mose.
Why do you do what you do?
“We get to camp every day of the summer, how great is that!” exclaims Mose. “We also enjoy being outdoors and meeting new people, we have made many new friends along the way. My husband Mark, also grew up in the area and spent a lot of time down here as a kid,” says Mose. “We both have always loved the area and it is close to home, so when the opportunity to manage the park came up we jumped on it quickly.”
What can guests (local or visiting) expect to experience?
“They will experience a very family-friendly resort with lots of activities to do,” says Mose. Campers can enjoy walking or biking, two playgrounds (one with a sand volleyball/badminton court), horseshoe pits, a disc golf course, river access for watercrafts and river fishing (Walleye, Goldeye, Pike and Sauger).
“We have 74 un-serviced mature campsites each with a picnic table and firepit, tenting area and two group areas, all with no services,” says Mose. “Our shower house is loonie operated and open 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, outhouses are fully stocked, potable water is free and a dumping station is onsite, at a charge.”
Other campground amenities include, bagged ice and novelty ice cream sales, firewood for $10/wheel barrel, and even offer a book exchange program, take-one leave-one. “Birding is also very popular out here,” says Mose. “Ellis Bird Farm tours have come out here over the years for viewing and photography opportunities.”
“You get to truly unplug, disconnect and enjoy nature down here,” says Mose. “Guests need to know that there is no cell service or Wi-Fi in the valley, so you can leave your phones off.” Wendy wants to reassure guests that Park management does have access to emergency communications, should such an occasion arise.
What is new or upcoming?
“Camping has become a very popular activity, and to avoid disappointment we strongly recommend making a reservation ahead of time,” says Mose. Reservations can be made by phone at 403-773-2273, they do not accept online reservations at this time. Reservations and camping begin May 1st through to the end of September (weather dependent).
“There are so many day trip opportunities to start from our park,” says Mose, “we love sharing what there is to do in the area.” Wendy shares a few nearby locations including, Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Big Valley’s collection of museums and Jimmy Jock Boardwalk.
Not far from Trenville Park you will also find another Tourism Red Deer member, DNA Gardens. Reserve a Wine Tasting and Tour in the orchards, pick farm-fresh fruit or cool down with a homemade gelato treat. When Sunday rolls around and you need to pack up camp, leave the cooking to DNA Gardens and indulge in their Ultimate Pancake Breakfast.
“When the Elnora Brahma-Rama Rodeo is on, we see a lot of campers down here,” says Mose. According to the Rodeo’s Facebook page dates have not yet been announced for 2021, stay tuned!
Return from your camping getaway refreshed and impacted by the beauty and serenity of Trenville Park with memories to last a lifetime. Whether you are new to exploring the outdoors, a seasoned pro or somewhere in between, it is likely that you will be back to visit again. Wendy and Mark will be there to welcome you and hope you immerse yourself in nature and reconnect with one another.
As with any activity it is best to connect directly with the operators for full details on product and service offerings, as pandemic restrictions continue to vary.
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