Cold Lake, about 350 km northeast of Edmonton, is home to a large RV camping spot (favored by tenters, too), Canada’s largest inland marina, numerous recreation areas, and the town of Cold Lake.
Cold Lake, on the Alberta – Saskatchewan Border, Canada
Covering 474 square kilometers, of which two thirds are in the neighboring province of Saskatchewan, and 100 m deep, Cold Lake is a popular birding, fishing, and RV camping spot.
The lake is in the Alberta Heartland Region, which ranges from Aspen Parkland and farmland in the south, through extensive boreal mixed forest, to muskeg, wetlands, and lichen woodlands in the far northeast. Dense tree cover with white and black spruce, jack pine, aspen, balsam poplar, and white birch is typical in the region. Forest and lake are home to some 200 species of birds, making the site popular with birders.
Cold Lake Provincial Park is part of a lakeshore habitat and waterfowl breeding site protection system for the south and north shores of Cold Lake. The complete park system includes South Shore, North Shore, Lund’s Point, and Medley River parks, plus English Bay and French Bay Recreation Areas. This article addresses the RV camping facilities at South Shore Park.
RV Camping Facilities at Cold Lake Provincial Park (South Shore)
Cold Lake Provincial Park has one campground that features 117 RV/Tent sites in six loops with both power and water or just water. The RV sites are all back-in. As is typical of Alberta provincial parks created in the seventies, the sites are large, treed, level and well-drained, and reasonably private.
There are coin-operated showers, flush toilets, and free firewood (this is unusual, as most of the provincial parks are now run by private operators who charge for firewood).
An extensive day use area and a large group site are also available.
Recreational Facilities at Cold Lake Provincial Park
Leave the RV site and head out to enjoy the outdoor recreational activities at Cold Lake Provincial Park.
- Beach Activities
- Birding – some 200 species
- Camping – RV & Tenting
- Cross-country skiing – some 14 km of trails
- Group use
- Ice fishing
- Scenic viewing
- Volleyball – one court on the main site, one on the group site.
- Wildlife viewing
Hiking Trails at Cold Lake Provincial Park (South Shore Site)
The park has a complex set of easy gravel and dirt hiking trails totaling some 13 km divided into four routes. Except for the South Trail, all are open to hiking and cycling in the summer, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
- Campground Trail(1.80 km) – This hilly trail begins at the south end of the leads through stands of mature spruce and poplar to the boat launch parking area. Viewing platforms at Hall’s Lagoon are said to be excellent for wildlife viewing.
- Lakeshore Trail (3.3 km) – The hilly and scenic Lakeshore trail winds along the lakeshore to the boat launch area, through large stands of spruce with some poplar & birch. There are numerous rest stops with either benches or picnic tables. This trail gives some beautiful scenic views of Cold Lake, and a summer evening walk may give glimpses of wildlife and spectacular sunsets.
- Main Road Trail (2.8 km) – Paralleling the main park road, this trail has some minor hills and some sharp-cornered sections. The dirt and gravel path winds through poplar, spruce & birch forests and is a cool and pleasant walk on a hot day.
- South Trail (5.4 km) – Extending from the day use area parking lot to the boat launch parking lots, the trail travels over a T-inlet and through fields at the park’s south end. Winter use only.
Cold Lake Provincial Park is an excellent RV site for the birdwatcher, fisherman, or family wanting an outdoor experience.