Summer is right around the corner – and so is the quest to explore everything. With weekend trips, day trips and a road trip here and there, you can create a summer filled with memories. We’re sharing some of our favourite hidden gems, thanks to This Big Adventure, where we find our adventure inspiration for Alberta and beyond.
Devonshire Beach – Slave Lake | This beach is worth the nearly three hour drive from Edmonton. It’s host to a Sand castle competition some years, and is easily the best beach in the province with clean and clear water that goes on and on. Plus, there are some fantastic campgrounds close by, or you can stay the night at the Super 8 if you’re into hot showers and beds – it’s cheap and it has a fast waterslide. Perfect for a fast overnight trip to the beach.
River Slides – Whitecourt | Grab your tube and load up the car with a picnic. The drive to Whitecourt is just under ninety minutes and it’s our favourite way to cool off during the summer months. There are two slides that children (and adults) can slide down, to the bottom pool, over and over, for hours of fun. There’s also a playground, incredible spray park, and a small spot to buy slushies and chips, and other canteen products.
Hard Luck Canyon + Blue Ridge | One of those hidden gems where you can jump into a man made lake off of a dock, without a soul around. Bring the bikes and hit the trails, or explore on foot through the recreation area that’s perfect for exploring. When you’re all cooled off, head across town (or, outside of town) to Hard Luck Canyon, and take the short, five minute trail to the Canyon that’s going to provide adventure and imagination while the kids explore.
Dinosaur Provincial Park | Plan a weekend trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park. It’s a landscape the kids aren’t going to soon forget and is one of our favourite campgrounds when you’re camping with kids. There are badlands to explore to within the campground, a UNESCO heritage site and a creek to wade in. Not to be confused with Drumheller, the provincial park is worth the drive.
Cat Creek Falls – Kananaskis | If you’ve ever wanted to explore somewhere that felt like the end of the world, Cat Creek Falls is it. The road was washed out from the flood, and the kids were thrilled walking on it. The hike to the falls takes just under an hour, and it’s appropriate for three year olds and up, with exciting lookouts along the way.
Heart Creek – Canmore | Try this easy hike and watch the climbers, who were the majority of those along the trail. The creek trail is an easy 2-3km stroll with several easy crossings, seven in all, to a small waterfall at the end of the canyon. It’s a great trail, just watch for the cars parked in the area to find out where to start.
Explore the Unknown – Waterton | Red Rock Canyon, one of those trips that is going to leave the kids in awe. It’s worth the road trip for the weekend, just leave early on Friday afternoon and leave it for a long weekend if you can. Take a walk around Cameron Lake, spend the afternoon riding trails on bikes and sleep in a Teepee, or camp. Waterton is one of those weekend destinations you have to check out in a childhood.
River Tubing – Pembina | For older kids, River Tubing is one of those trips that you have to do during the summer months. It’s a couple hours of floating down the river on a tube, soaking up the sun and enjoying yourselves. Go with friends, and park two vehicles at the start and finish to make the day of tubing easier.
The Midway – Vegreville Fair | Head out to the midway where it’s a pinch less expensive than the city, and you’re going to be able to give the kids a bit more freedom than usual. It’s one of our favourite summer traditions, the kids enjoy being able to run around the grounds, and we’re suckers for the fair food. We usually surprise the kids with this trip, and don’t let them know where we’re going until we are there!