Alberta Parks extending 2017 camping season to meet demand

Leader Staff

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. 31st, 2017. Brand new year-round comfort cabins have also been added at Sir Wintson 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,” says Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks. “That’s why we’re making life better by extending the camping season and upgrading provincial parks that previous governments neglected.”
For the eighth consecutive year, online campground reservations surpassed previous totals. The province had 158,890 bookings as of Aug. 30th, 2017; an increase of more than five per cent from 2016.
Alberta’s 274 provincial campgrounds close at different dates, with the bulk in early to mid October. Of the 259 campgrounds 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 to upgrades, part of a five-year, $239 million plan to revitalize and expand the system.
Jarvis Bay Provincial Park will close today (September 8, 2017) 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 Lake-area 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,” says Keith Hanks, president of Affordable RV Calgary.

Devonshire Beach, Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park.

 

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