Provincial Parks? Alberta has a lot! From high mountain glaciers to lowland wetland deltas. But if you're looking for a quieter, family-friendly summer road trip, consider heading east. In the east-central part of this spectacular province, Alberta Parks offers a host of smaller, less crowded campgrounds. These hidden gems are complemented by great day use areas, extensive trail networks, and neighboring communities to explore – truly a haven for those seeking a quieter, family-friendly road trip adventure!
It might be hard to imagine, but the prairies are more than just flat landscapes and wheat fields. We've curated a list of fantastic provincial parks and campgrounds to explore, especially when combined, create the ideal undiscovered road trip you've been dreaming of!
Adventure through 10 km of winding hiking trails along the river reservoir at Vermilion Provincial Park and enjoy watching birds from the popular blind at the water’s edge. Pelicans, sparrows and other songbirds are common. Enjoy a kid-friendly spray park and the amenities of Vermilion town nearby. Don’t forget to watch out for bears (or watch the bears from a safe 100m distance!).
What some consider a spring-fed prairie oasis straddling the Alberta-Saskatchewan Border, Dillberry Lake Provincial Park is a popular destination for swimming and fishing. Hike a 6 km loop through unique landscapes and enjoy the hospitality of the local Alberta Parks team. There’s even a grandpa and grand-daughter duo working at the park in maintenance and visitor services roles! Nearby communities of Provost and Chauvin offer opportunities to explore. But take note: this is a very Beary park, so remember to hike in groups and bring bear spray with you!
Need to unwind? Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park, one of Alberta's original provincial parks, offers peaceful camping, an affordable golf course, and birdwatching opportunities. Explore the nearby town of Consort, the infamous "Mud Buttes," and the stunning Neutral Hills backdrop.
Just north of the classic prairie town of Hanna, Antelope Hill is one of Alberta’s newest provincial parks. Hardly developed at all, this gem of a protected place includes some of the area’s last untouched prairie grasslands complete with rolling hills, wildflowers and aspen groves that play home to deer, coyotes and numerous prairie songbirds.
Drumheller's hidden gem, Little Fish Lake Provincial Park is perfect for paddling, birdwatching, and sunset hikes. Watch for cacti in the grasslands and enjoy stargazing under clear prairie skies. It's just a short drive to the Drumheller Valley for badlands and dinosaur adventures.
To explore these lesser-visited gems and others, plan your trip and book a campsite at Alberta Parks.
There's no shortage of outdoor fun in Alberta’s amazing prairies and grasslands. Golf at the Consort Golf Course while enjoying the peaceful scenery of Gooseberry Lake