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10 Unique Places, Events and Attractions in the Athabasca Region

The Athabasca Region has a lot of what you might expect… forests, lakes, trails, community events and small-town charm. We also have some unique places, activities and events you won’t find elsewhere!

From a BBQ at the Athabasca Airport to a triathlon that includes the Athabasca River, The Athabasca Region has something for an entertaining day trip, an active weekend getaway or a week of exploration. #LiveLifeOutside in the #AthabascaRegion


 

Athabasca Airport Fly-In BBQ

Every July, Athabasca County hosts the Fly-In BBQ at the Athabasca Airport! It’s an annual family event that locals and visitors love!

The airport is about 8 km northeast of Athabasca, about 2 hours north of Edmonton and 3 hours south of Fort McMurray.  Parking is available, but it gets busy so you may have to walk in a bit.

There is a free BBQ, activities for the kids, and a classic car show. It’s a fun family afternoon, especially for those who love planes!

Pilots can fly their planes to the BBQ, and join in from around the province. If you are a pilot who would like to fly in, please be sure to register: athabascacounty.com/PILOT-REGISTRATION

Learn more here!

 

Workout at the Athabasca Riverfront

Athabasca’s Riverfront Park is the beautiful heart of the town. It’s a place where folks meet up, grab lunch at one of the food trucks or launch their boat in the river. There’s a playground, a splash park and a skate park.

Adjacent to the playground is one of Athabasca’s unique amenities: the outdoor training circuit. A circuit of machines that use body weight to provide resistance is set up so you can work out while the kids play in the playground. Or maybe the kids want to work out too!

After your workout, everyone can come together around one of the firepits for a fire, roast some hotdogs, and watch the river go by.

 

Athabasca’s “Hollywood” Style Welcome Sign

Athabasca doesn’t have much in common with Hollywood, except for one thing… a big sign on a hill!

Kind of like the famous Holywood sign, on the north shore of the Athabasca River, across from Downtown Athabasca, is a sign up on the bank welcoming folks to town and asking everyone to keep things green by preventing forest fires! It’s a little smaller, well, a lot smaller, but you can’t miss it! Even the locals call it the Holywood sign.

You can get to the site, which is at Lion’s Centennial Park, by crossing the bridge (Hwy 813) and turning left at the sign. The park has amenities to enjoy the view of the town while picnicking or relaxing in the gazebo.

Even this view is unique! Not many Alberta towns boast a view of their home like this!

 

Athabasca Historical Walking Tour

Learn about the history of Athabasca on this unique walking tour of the Town.  The Athabasca Heritage Society in partnership with the Alice B. Donahue Library and Archives publishes a guide booklet with detailed descriptions of the landmarks and buildings.

There are many stops on the walk, 29 in total. At some places along the way, there will be signs that give you a brief history and context.

The walk starts at the Athabasca Train Station, moves through Downtown and up to the Archives and Old Brick School, and then you head back down to the Riverfront.

Take a look at some of the sites you’ll visit: Athabasca Historical Walking Tour Gallery

So, put on some comfortable shoes, fill up your water bottle and enjoy this self-guided tour of Athabasca History. It’s like an outdoor museum!

Athabasca Historical Walking Tour Guide Book

 

Amber Valley Museum & Cultural Centre

One of the unique stories in the history of the Athabasca Region is that of the people who settled Amber Valley, about 20 km east of Athabasca on Highway 55.

In the early 1900s, many African American people, escaping from the conditions in America, settled in various parts of Western Canada. Amber Valley is one of those places.

The Amber Valley Cultural Centre is where the ancestors of the original settlers and the community come together for events and celebrations. Watch our calendar for their Chicken Suppers!

The Amber Valley Cultural Centre hosts a collection of memorabilia from the Amber Valley settlers. Call 780-675-3490 to book a tour of the collection.

 


 

Antique and Collectables Collection at Island Lake

A hidden gem of the region is “Bill’s Garage Sale” and “Val’s Cabin”, a unique site tucked into the forest at Island Lake.

Bill’s Garage Sale is the ongoing project of Bill Desrosier. For over 25 years, Bill has been building his collection of antiques and collectibles, in his RV garage. It’s a fascinating step back in time, with more things to look at than you have time for!

And it is a garage sale! Bring some cash because you’ll want to pick up a few pieces.

After you visit Bill, Val Desrosier can show you the Cabin.

It is a re-assembled log cabin that’s lovingly set up with antiques and household items, in a museum-style display. There is Ukrainian art, historical pictures and even a machine used to knit socks!

They are open for visitors from spring to fall. Please call 780-675-5452 to check hours and availability.

 


 

Trail Running & Athabasca River Access at River Meadows RV Park

Another unique place in the Athabasca region is River Meadows RV Park. For outdoor adventurers who like various activities, River Meadows has many right at your doorstep!

This privately owned RV park is about ten minutes north of Athabasca, close to Athabasca Golf and Country Club. The campsites are located just steps away from the Athabasca River.  They offer seasonal and short-term stays.

The site offers access to get your watercraft into the river. You could paddle a canoe or kayak or launch your jet boat. There is an opportunity to fish off of the bank as well.

Once you have finished your river adventure, you can take in the amazing Boreal forest on a run or hike on the many trails. Some of the trails offer quite a challenge, being on the steep banks of the Athabasca.

Visit their website for more info and to book a site: rivermeadowsrvpark.weebly.com

 

Kapâwinihk Triathlon

Those trails at River Meadows? They are part of one of the Region’s unique events, the Kapâwinihk Triathlon.

This triathlon is unique in that instead of swim/bike/run it’s bike/paddle/run. Contestants start at Riverfront Park in Athabasca on their bikes and head out to the Muskeg  Creek trail system on the west side of Athabasca.

After finishing their loop on the bike trails, contestants jump in or on their watercraft (canoes for teams, kayaks and paddle boards) and launch into the Athabasca River. They follow the river downstream for approximately 8 km until they reach River Meadows RV park.

Here, the contestants don their trail runners and head out for 5 or 10 km of trail running through the boreal bush.

They are finally welcomed to the finish line with a BBQ and growler of craft beer! It’s always a challenge and always a good time!

Visit their website for details and to enter: www.parallel54.org

 

Par 3/Disc/Fling/Soccer Golf at Rockylane Fairways & Recreation

If golf is more your recreational style, check out Rocky Lane Fairways and Recreation. They have a unique course set up so players can enjoy traditional golf, disc golf, fling golf and soccer golf, all at the same time!

Rocky Lane is located just south of Athabasca, close to accommodations and restaurants, and if you are looking for a camping spot, they have unserviced lots for you to set up camp.

It’s a gorgeous and well-maintained par 3 course, with water features and a lot of bush. You can rent gear or bring your own.

Call 780-327-9671 to book your tee time or visit their website for more info: rockylanefairways.wixsite.com/recreation

 

Xcalibre Paint Ball

Are you looking for a unique group experience that involves shooting skills, stealth and a lot of fun? Then paintball at Xcalibre Paintball should be on your bucket list.

Located 14 km south of Boyle, close to Long Lake Provincial Park, and tucked into the Boreal forest, the property has multiple playing fields and obstacle courses.

You can rent gear or bring your own. If you are looking for a group experience, make a reservation, if you want to try it out, you can join with other players on the course. Open to all ages, but minors must have a parent’s signature.

Check out their website for more info: www.xcalibrepaintball.com

 


Now that you know some of the special and unique places, events and activities in the Athabasca Region, be sure to experience one or all of them the next time you visit. Tag your social posts with #VisitTheAthabascaRegion to share your experiences!

Tourism Spotlight: River Meadows RV Park

If you are looking for a place to camp with access to hiking, boating, canoeing, and golf and is just minutes away from the amenities of Athabasca, look no further than River Meadows RV Park. River Meadows is a family-run business that developed the site on their property because they knew it was a special place and wanted to share it with others.

River Meadows is 2 hours north of Edmonton and St. Albert and 3 hours south of Ft. McMurray.


All photos by River Meadows RV Park


The Campground

River Meadows RV Park is nestled in the Boreal forest on the banks of the Athabasca River, just a few minutes north of Athabasca. It offers guests generously sized spots for either short-term or seasonal stays. Some sites back into the bush and others have river views. All have fire pits and picnic tables.

While the sites are unserviced, seasonal campers can set up water and sewer tanks. The Athabasca sani dump is just a few minutes away.

A Google reviewer said:

“We spent last summer hanging out here and can’t wait until spring arrives so we can get right back to our favorite spot. This is a place where you can do it all! Quadding, boating, hiking, fishing, foraging, and yet you have everything 10 mins away.”

 

 

Athabasca River Access

River Meadows offers a great location to enjoy the Athabasca River, in many ways! You can launch your river boat, canoe or kayak for a trip down the river. Or if you are into fishing, there are spots you can fish off of the bank.

They have a day-use area if you’d like to have a picnic and a swim in the channel by the nearby island.

 

Hiking/Biking Trails

River Meadows also has many trails, set in the forest and along the river. You can hike, run or ride your bike just steps away from your campsite.

The trail system is available for day use. Please let them know you’ll be on the trails at rivermeadowsrvpark@gmail.com or call  (780) 689-1565 or (780) 689-1398.

The Kapâwinihk Triathalon

The Kapâwinihk Wilderness Triathalon is a new and exciting annual event hosted at River Meadows. It is a unique event, in that instead of bike/swim/run, triathletes bike/paddle/trail run. 

The race begins in the Town of Athabasca where the cyclists start at the Riverfront Park. They make their way through the Muskeg Creek trails and back down to the river. There, they launch from Riverfront Park into the Athabasca River and paddle a few kilometres downstream. When they get to River Meadows, they run the trails through the forest!

The event ends with a barbeque and frosty beer in the green space at River Meadows. It’s a great day for athletes of all levels. Learn more here: www.parallel54.org.

 

Annual Athabasca Riverboat Association Rally

River Meadows also participates in the annual Jet Boat Rally, running from Athabasca, downriver to the Riverside Recreation Area (Learn more: www.facebook.com/jetboattheathabasca). River Meadows offers a stop where boaters can grab some BBQ lunch and pick up a card for the poker run.

Book Your Spot

Check out River Meadows’ website for more information and online booking: rivermeadowsrvpark.weebly.com

Share photos of your River Meadows experience with the hashtag #VisitTheAthabascaRegion. #LiveLifeOutside

Tourism Spotlight: Athabasca & Boyle Farmers’ Markets

The Athabasca Region is lucky to have 2 fantastic Farmers’ Markets during the summer and for one, the winter as well! They are the Athabasca Farmers’ Market and the Boyle Farmers’ Market. Both are essential parts of their respective communities! Providing opportunities for Athabasca Region vendors to sell to the public and improving the local economy.

 


 

Athabasca Farmers’ Market

The Athabasca Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday in the Summer from 10 am to 2 pm. You can find an amazing selection of vendors set up at the Athabasca Riverfront Park. On an occasional Saturday, you might find them at the Senior Center or another location in Downtown Athabasca, due to another event happening at the Riverfront.

There is a great selection of Make It – Bake It – Grow It items including baked goods, meats, produce (in the summer), and food from around the world! There are also artisan crafts, handmade soaps and personal care items, 3-D printed toys, yard art and more. There are new vendors all the time!

The Athabasca Farmers’ Market is also a mainstay of Athabasca’s big Canada Day celebration! They partner with The Magnificent River Rats Festival and hold their market with the festival.

For most of the summer Markets, Athabasca’s multiple food trucks show up at the Riverfront to offer delicious lunches and snacks!

The Market is located at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex during the winter months on every second Saturday until Christmas. Many of the same vendors come to the Winter markets, except produce vendors. They usually take a break for March and April and start up again on the first Saturday of May.

Here is some history of the Athabasca Farmers’ Market, from founder Yvonne McDermid:

Having moved here from St. Albert – the city known for having Western Canada’s Largest Outdoor Farmers’ Market, I was anxious to plant the seed for a Farmers’ Market here in Athabasca.   After the closure of the old Farmers Market location on the corner of 49 St and 49 Ave., I contacted the Manager of the St. Albert Market and asked her how I would go about starting a market here in Athabasca.  With the government documents in hand I approached the President of the Chamber of Commerce – who I believe was Trevor Martin at the time, to sponsor the first, Alberta Approved Farmers’ Market in Athabasca.  In approx 2005 or 06 the market saw its beginning in the lower level of the Community Hall .  When the community hall was scheduled for demolition the Market moved to the basement in the Legion. The chamber of Commerce decided it was no longer financially sustainable and withdrew its support – so with no revenue, no vision, and no direction, it suffered a slow death, finally closing its doors in about 2009.

In the fall of 2011, myself and 4 other like-minded individuals, who wanted to see the resurrection of an Athabasca Farmers’ Market, formed our own Not-for-Profit Society for the sole purpose of sponsoring this market.  This not-for-profit society was originally called North Country Community Council   With a generous donation from an anonymous gentleman in our community, we were able to get the Market off the ground in Nov of 2011.   Two years later, with grants from both the Town and County, and a name change to Athabasca Market Association, we were on our feet and on the road to success.  Athabasca has such a beautiful river setting so moving the market outdoors in the summer was always my dream and it was finally realized in the summer of 2012.  I remember that year struggling to get 7 or 8 vendors out – now we fill that space with 30-40 tents every Sat. May – Sept with vendors coming from as far away as Ft.McMurray, & Edmonton.

Many people are not aware of the differences that exist in Farmers’ Markets – If you have an “Alberta Approved Farmers’ Market”, which we do, you work in conjunction with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and your local health inspector.  All our food vendors are required to complete an On-line Food Safety Course.  As an approved market we also encourage and prefer the “Make it, Bake it, Grow it,” vendors and are restricted to allow no more than 20% Multiple Level Sales at our Market.

 You’ve probably seen this little farm girl with blue overalls and straw hat on our printed advertisements but weren’t aware of its significance. This Sunnygirl logo is the trademarked logo for Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets.  It helps the consumer identify that the market is approved and they are affiliated with a chain of high quality markets offering Alberta-produced products that consumers can trust.  It indicates that we have met the government guidelines to offer you the best market experience possible.

 

Visit the Athabasca Farmer’s Market on Facebook to learn more and to stay up-to-date with vendors and Market dates. You can check out their Instagram, too.

 


 

Boyle Farmers’ Market

The Boyle Farmers’ Market is held on Thursdays from noon to 3 pm, May to September, at the Boyle Community Centre in Downtown Boyle. Boyle Ag Society is its main sponsor.

At the Boyle market, you’ll find a great assortment of baked goods, home preserves, crochet toys, woodworking and more. They feature fresh seasonal vegetables later in the summer.

You can find some special markets during the summer! They will be at the Boyle Wildberry Festival, and the Shoreline Shore RV park, plus they have Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas season special markets. You can stock up on all your holiday treats!

Visit the Boyle Ag Society’s Facebook page for more information.

 

Make it a day trip!

Boyle and Athabasca are within day-trip distances from Edmonton, Fort McMurray, St. Albert and other regional locations. Make a day of it by visiting the Farmers’ Market, having some lunch and then finishing off with a hike!

Share photos of your Farmers’ Market finds with the hashtag #VisitTheAthabascaRegion. #LiveLifeOutside

Tourism Spotlight: Rocky Lane Fairways and Recreation

Rocky Lane Fairways and Recreation is one of the Athabasca Regon’s unique tourism destinations. It’s a Par 3 golf course just south of Athabasca, about 1 and a half hours north of Edmonton.  They offer a unique experience by having 4 different types of golf available, which can be played simultaneously by your group. How great is that?



The Course

The course is set in the Boreal Forest, with rolling hills and natural water features. It’s beautifully landscaped and offers some great views.

Rocky Lane is located just off Hwy 2 for easy access. It’s about 10 minutes to the town of Athabasca where you can find hotels, Airbnb’s, restaurants and other services.

 

 

5 Ways to Golf

At Rocky Lane, golf can be fun for everyone! Whether you are an experienced golfer, an up-and-coming disc golf player or have never golfed, there is a way to experience the beautiful course and have fun.

You can play 9 or 18 holes on the par 3 course for traditional golf. There are clubs to rent if you don’t have your own.

Disc golf is a sport that is rising in popularity. Disc golf involves throwing a disc (think Frisbee) down the course to land in a basket. Rocky Lane has one of the highest-rated Disc Golf courses in Alberta.

They have hosted several tournaments in the past few years. Watch for two tournaments they have coming up, The Hidden Gem and Wally’s 100th. Get more information about these tournaments here: The Hidden Gem June 15 -16, 2024   |  Wally’s 100th

Fling golf is similar to traditional golf, using the same ball, but instead of hitting the ball, you fling it, similar to lacrosse.

For those players who are new to the game, there is foot golf or soccer golf. For this version, you kick a soccer ball along the course into a “hole” under the disc golf baskets. This could be a great way for younger kids to golf with their parents!

Finally, you don’t have to be a fair-weather golfer at Rocky Lane! They have two indoor golf simulators available year-round. Keep your swing in shape all winter long!

You can rent the gear you need for disc, fling and soccer golf, so don’t worry about having your own.

A Google reviewer said:

“Great course. I’ve tried the disc golf and the fling golf. Both are a lot of fun. It is a great way to have a good time with friends and family. The course is in a great shape, the owner is very friendly and helpful. Highly recommend.”

 

RV Park

Rocky Lane has a 10-site RV park available to make a play-and-stay getaway! Each unserviced site has a fire pit and picnic table. Firewood is available to purchase. The RV site can be booked by individuals or groups, for events.

Events

Rocky Lane can accommodate you if you are looking for a beautiful outdoor venue for your next family or corporate event. They have tables and chairs for 2oo people as well as tents, BBQ’s, sound system and more. There is ample parking for all of your guests.

Book Your Round

To book your next round of par 3, disc, fling, or soccer golf or your upcoming event, call 780-327-9671. Visit rockylanefairways.wixsite.com/recreation for more information.

Share photos of your Rocky Lane experience with the hashtag #VisitTheAthabascaRegion. #LiveLifeOutside

Get Ready For Camping in the Athabasca Region

Spring is here, so it’s time to start planning your camping trips for 2024! If you’re looking to experience a Boreal getaway, take a look at the Athabasca Region!

The Athabasca Region is rich in camping opportunities for all tastes and skill sets. From fully serviced provincial campgrounds to RV parks to backcountry wilderness, you will find a special place to camp! There are more campgrounds than there are weekends in the summer!

Most camping opportunities now have online booking, so click the provided links to secure your spot. Most Athabasca Region campgrounds are open until the end of September, so take advantage of the amazing fall colours and generally mild weather.

When camping in the Athabasca Region, be sure to note weather conditions and fire bans and always have bear smart food storage. If you are using a watercraft, please clean it before and after use to prevent the spread of invasive species. If you use an ATV remember to keep your wheels out of water and stay on designated trails.

 

A view of Long Lake from Long Lake Provincial Park

Long Lake Provincial Park

 

Provincial Campgrounds

Provincial campgrounds in the Athabasca region vary in size and amenities. All have lake access, except Poacher’s Landing, which provides access to the Athabasca River. While most have water available, please bring potable drinking water. Some sites sell firewood.

The Region’s provincial parks are from 1.75 to 2.5 hours from Edmonton and 2.5 to 3 hours from Ft. McMurray.

 

Calling Lake Provincial Park

  • 35 minutes to Athabasca
  • Excellent opportunities for watercraft and fishing
  • Firewood for sale

Chain Lakes Provincial Recreation Area

  • First Come, First Serve (No advanced booking)
  • Unserviced sites with tables and firepits
  • Great for watercraft, fishing and hanging out on the sandy beach

Cross Lake Provincial Park

  • 40 minutes to Athabasca
  • Great hiking and wildlife observation
  • Showers and flush toilets
  • Sani dump for registered campers

Lawrence Lake Provincial Recreation Area

  • 30 minutes to Athabasca
  • Fishing, watercraft and bird watching
  • Easy access from Hwy 2

Long Lake Provincial Park

  • 15 minutes to Boyle
  • Many amenities including a concession, firewood for sale, flush toilets and showers
  • Great for watercraft and has a trail system that connects with the White Earth Valley Natural Area

North Buck Lake Provincial Park

  • 20 minutes to Boyle
  • Amenities include a beach, bike trails, a playground and firewood for sale
  • Excellent opportunities for watersports, fishing and birdwatching

Poacher’s Landing Provincial Recreation Area

  • 40 minutes to Athabasca and 40 minutes to Boyle
  • Boat launch into the Athabasca River and connected to the LaBiche River Wildland
  • Trails for hiking, ATVs and horses, unserviced lots and first come/first serve

 

View of the lake from Jackfish Lake Campground A small tent set up under some trees

Jackfish Lake Campground

 

Athabasca County Campgrounds

Athabasca County manages 9 campgrounds throughout the region. Set in the Boreal forest, all are on lakes and have access to the water. Some are as small as 3 campsites with basic amenities, while Forfar Recreation Park has 72 sites and more amenities. All County sites can be reserved online. Firewood is available at some sites, and others close by. Get supplies in Boyle or Athabasca, and take in one of the many events happening throughout the spring, summer and fall camping seasons.

There are seasonal sites available at Hope Lake and Forfar Recreational Area.  Fill out an application before Jan 31st of the upcoming camping year and pay a non-refundable $50 fee to apply.  You can find more information and the application at the County website: athabascacounty.com/seasonal-camping

Athabasca County campgrounds are around 2 to 2.5 hours from Edmonton and 3 to 3.5 hours from Ft. McMurray.

 

Baptiste Lake

  • 15 minutes to Athabasca
  • Tent sites only
  • Day-use area, playground, pier and boat launch

Forfar Recreation Park

  • 30 minutes to Athabasca
  • Group camping and ATV storage
  • Beach, swimming area, hiking trails and boat launch

Ghost Lake

  • 25 minutes to Athabasca
  • Boat launch for small boats only
  • Great fishing with a fish cleaning station

Hope Lake

  • 25 minutes to Boyle
  • Park office, firewood, ATV compound and cookhouse
  • Excellent for hiking, fishing and swimming

Island Lake

  • 25 minutes to Athabasca
  • Good fishing with a fish cleaning station
  • Birdwatching station and watersports

Jackfish Lake

  • 25 minutes to Athabasca
  • good fishing and fish cleaning station
  • Day-use area with beaches and swimming

Long Lake

  • 25 minutes to Athabasca
  • Only 3 sites, with a boat launch for small boats
  • Fishing, watersports and hiking trails

Narrow Lake

  • 30 minutes to Athabasca
  • Great fishing, with a boat launch for small boats
  • Day-use area and pier

North Buck Lake Narrows

  • 25 minutes to Boyle
  • Boat launch for small boats only
  • Great bird and wildlife watching on the birdwatching platform

 

River Meadows RV Park

 

Private Campgrounds and RV Parks

Mostly catering to seasonal RV campers, the Athabasca Region has several private campgrounds. Some are adjacent to other recreational offerings including golf, disc golf (fling and footgolf, too), hiking, water access, and more.  Some of these private operators offer online booking on their websites. Be sure to check the links for more information and rates.

Athabasca Acres RV Resort

  • 15 minutes east of Athabasca and 20 minutes to Boyle
  • Adjacent to a forested area with trails
  • Across the highway from the Amber Valley Cultural Centre

Athabasca Lions Campground

Blueberry Hill RV Park

  • 10 minutes to Athabasca
  • Seasonal RV park with some nightly camping
  • Adjacent to Athabasca Golf & Country Club

Boyle RV Park

  • Located right in the Village of Boyle
  • Close to the ball diamonds and historical walking trails

Chump Lake Campground

  • Close to Boyle, on Chump Lake
  • Beach and day-use area

Corrigal Lake (Round Lake) Campground

  • Close to Wandering River
  • Limited amenities
  • Access to lake for small watercraft

Highway 63 RV Park

  • Close to Wandering River
  • Full-service RV park

Katherine’s Kamping Korner

  • 15 minutes to Grassland
  • Sites have power, water and sewer and WiFi is free

view of trees and water feature at Rocky Lanes Fairways and Recreation Golf fairway at Riverbank Golf and RV Park

Left – Rocky Lane Fairways & Recreation | Right – Riverbank Golf & RV Park

 

Long Island RV Resort

  • 45 minutes to Athabasca
  • Serviced seasonal campground

Riverbank Golf & RV Park

  • 5 minutes to Wandering River
  • Mostly seasonal sites, but do have overflow sites
  • 9 Hole scenic golf course

River Meadows RV Park

Rocky Lane Fairways & Recreation

  • 10 minutes to Athabasca
  • Unserviced sites with firepits and picnic tables; firewood available
  • The golf course includes traditional golf, disc golf, fling golf and soccer golf

Shoreline Shore Resort

South Baptiste Cabins, RV & Camping

  • 15 minutes to Athabasca
  • Fully serviced campsites and shower/laundry facilities
  • Close to quadding trails and Baptiste Lake water access

 

Back Country Camping/Wilderness Areas

If you’re looking for your next great adventure, check out the backcountry camping in the Athabasca Regions wilderness areas! Experience the boreal forest up close and personal in some untouched forest areas.

These areas have limited amenities and are set in boreal forest areas including wetlands, small lakes and wildlife. Some areas may have limited cell coverage. Use caution during hunting and fire seasons. Many trails are ATV-friendly, but please stay on the provided trails to preserve our amazing forested areas.

 

George’s Point Walk-in/Boat-in Tenting

  • Located at Cross Lake Provincial Park
  • Hike the trail (7 km, check for conditions) or use your watercraft to cross the lake
  • Has some amenities like picnic tables, fire pits and toilets.

Hubert Lake Wildland

  • Random backcountry camping
  • ATV trails

La Biche River Wildland

  • Access from Poacher’s Landing
  • Undisturbed Boreal forest setting; random backcountry camping
  • Good for horseback riding, ATV

Otter-Orloff Lakes Wildland

  • Random backcountry camping
  • The access road can have seasonally poor conditions

Peace River Wilderness Trail

  • Part of the Trans Canada Trail
  • The staging area is 25 minutes north of Athabasca
  • Has some informal campsites with toilet facilities

 

 


Blueberry Hill RV Park

 

More Info

Sani-Dumps

Blueberry Hill, Forfar, Long Lake Provincial Park and Cross Lake Provincial Park have sani-dumps. Most private and provincial sites are for guest use only. Contact your host for details.

Public access:

Fishing Licences

Cheap Seat Sports

Canadian Tire Athabasca

Fire Bans

Please check here for current fire ban alerts.

Purchase Firewood

You can purchase firewood in multiple places in the County or Athabasca. Click here for listings. Many local gas stations and hardware stores sell bundled firewood.

 

 

Enjoy Your Trip

Whether you choose to RV or hike into the wilderness, you’ll experience the Boreal forest, lakes, rivers, wildlife and people of the region at their finest! You’ll want to return for your next camping getaway, and bring your friends too!

To make sure you enjoy your trip to the maximum, be sure to bring appropriate gear and supplies, make a plan and plan to have fun. If you have any questions about camping in the Athabasca Region, email ted@athabascacounty.com

Share your Athabasca Region camping experience on social media using the hashtags #LiveLifeOutside and #VisitTheAthabascaRegion.

Fall Events in the Athabasca Region

While the days are getting cooler and leaves have changed their colour, not everything in the Athabasca Region is getting ready to tuck in for winter! Our Fall events schedule is heating up and getting ready to rock!

Take a look at some of our feature events coming up in October and November! And be sure to check our Events Calendar to see any updates.

 

 


 

Heartwood Folk Club Fall Series

The Heartwood Folk Club is a staple of Athabasca’s arts & culture scene. They present a seasonal series of amazing musicians from around Alberta, Canada and the world!

Performances happen in the fantastic Nancy Appleby Theatre, an intimate setting with a retro feel and great lighting and sound!

Make it a date-night-getaway and enjoy 10% off your meal at both Johnny’s Eatery or 49th Street Grill. Just show your server your ticket to the show!

Get more details here about the Heartwood Folk Club and their Fall 2023 Concert Series and how to buy tickets.

 

 

Tina Hart – September 29

“Spice up your night with the delightful sounds of Tina Hartt singing a coquette-ish mixture of originals, jazz standards and French chansons with a playful retro Parisienne cafe twist. Intimate, rhythmic and fearless – fully expect a toe-tapping soirée along with some downright pleasant surprises!

From Montreal but now living in Calgary. Tina has sung in a gamut of musical ensembles: “Cowtown Opera” (Calgary), Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the 18-piece GTA Swing Band (Toronto), acapella jazz quartet “Tongues ‘n Groove”(Toronto), “Tina Hartt Quintet” (Toronto), and the rock bands “Rebel Hartt’s” and “Papa So Mean” (Montreal).”

Learn more about Tina here.

 

 

 

Ray Bonneville – October 14

“Acclaimed raconteur Ray Bonneville strips his bluesy Americana down to its essentials and steeps it in the humid grooves of the South, creating a compelling poetry of hard living and deep feeling. His ninth release, At King Electric, delivers more than his trademark grit and groove. Songs such as “The Next Card to Fall” and “Codeine” gleam with intimate narratives of characters reaching for hope and wrestling with despair. Rich guitar and harmonica lines resonate over spare but spunky rhythms, while Bonneville’s deep, evocative voice confesses life’s harsh realities.”

Learn more about Ray here.

 

 

Jake Vaadeland & The Sturgeon River Boys – November 2

“Jake Vaadeland is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Saskatchewan, Canada. His traditional sound and unique style could be defined as a blend of Bluegrass and 50’s Rockabilly, with Jake also specializing on guitar and banjo in addition to his impressive vocals.

Jake strives to write and play with a focus on storytelling and messages that he hopes his audience can relate to, all packaged in foot-stomping, high-energy performances with The Sturgeon River Boys.”

Learn more about Jake here.
 

Crystal Plamondon – November 17

“Crystal Plamondon hails from Plamondon, a town in Northern Alberta founded by her Franco-American great-grandfather in 1908. Crystal is a talented bilingual singer/songwriter/performer with a 35-year track record of consistently delivering passionate concerts that cover an emotional range from heart-warming ballads; as she demonstrates in her sixth studio album “TORCH” realizing a dream to sing Jazz classics; to her rockin’ country, cajun, roots style. Crystal never fails to connect with her audience because of her warmth, wit and report! Crystal has toured extensively in live music venues, theatres, and festivals throughout North America and Europe.”

Learn more about Crystal here.

 


 

Boyle Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market – October 5

Visit the lovely Village of Boyle the Thursday before Thanksgiving, October 5, from 12 pm to 3 pm, to stock up on treats, veggies and unique handicrafts for your holiday festivities!

If you’re heading from Fort McMurray to Edmonton (or vice versa), leave early so you can visit this great, accredited Farmers’ Market!

The market is held at the Boyle Community Center in Downtown Boyle. There is good parking on the street. Google map link to Community Centre.

 

 

 

Athabasca Farmers’ Market Fall Schedule

You know summer is coming to a close, 🙁 , when the Athabasca Farmers’ Market moves to its indoor venue at the Athabasca Multiplex! But don’t be too sad, because you can still get all the amazing food, treats, crafts and more from the region’s market vendors. Same local products, cozy indoor setting.

Grab a snack and then head over to Muskeg Creek Trails for a gorgeous hike afterwards.

Upcoming dates: October 7 & 21, November 4 & 18, December 2, 9, 16

Check out their Facebook or Instagram profiles for more info!

 

 

 


 

Monster Pro Wrestling

Are you ready to rumble? Get your pro-wrestling fix at the Monster Pro Wrestling: Rise Up! Saturday, October 14th, 2023 at the Rotary Fieldhouse at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex.

Doors Open: 6:00PM
Show Time: 7:00PM

Tickets:
$25 Each Advanced (Contact any MPW wrestler/staff member or contact mpwrestlingevents@gmail.com)
$30 Each At The Door


 

One Book, One Community

“One Book, One Community (OBOC) is an event in Athabasca designed to encourage people to all read the same book and then come together to discuss it and participate in a program of related events. One Book, One Community-Athabasca supports reading, celebrates books and writing, promotes Canadian authors, and builds a sense of community through the shared experience of reading. OBOC is run by the One Book, One Community Committee which consists of local book club members, library staff, and members of community betterment groups.”

Join the Athabasca community in learning more about the refugee experience with the immersive events the One Book, One Community program hosts.

Learn more here.

 

 

 

Book Discussion – October 14

The book for the One Book, One Community program this year is Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung.

Join members of the community and the OBOC committee to discuss this award-winning account of two people’s refugee stories.

2 – 4 pm, Athabasca Seniors Center. Lots of great parking. Map to the Centre here.

 

 

 

 

Author Chat and Film Screening – October 21

Meet Author Winnie Yeung as she chats about the book she co-authored: Homes: A Refugee Story.

Then enjoy a screening of the award-winning film, Peace By Chocolate, the award-winning film about Syrian refugees who build a life in Nova Scotia one delicious piece of chocolate at a time. Based on a true story.

Both events at the Nancy Appleby Theatre. The chat begins at 5:30 pm and the film at 7 pm.

 

 

 

 

Taste of Athabasca – November 4

Get your tastebuds ready for a tour through Athabasca’s multi-cultured community! Community members will be cooking up traditional and cultural treats to share! Grab some bite-size nibbles from around the world and learn more about what makes Athabasca and the region a truly multicultural community!

By donation at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex from 11 am to 1pm.
 

 

 

 


 

Fall Into Place October 21

 

 

 

Rock out at Neighbours Pub with local talent Fall Into Place! These local rockers will be bringing the tunes and Neighbours will be serving up delicious food and beverages! Come out and support local live music!

Wear a costume (celebrate Halloween early!) to win prizes!  The band starts at 9 pm. No minors.

Check out Fall Into Place here.
 

 

 


 

‘Tis the Season: Moonlight Madness & Market – November 24 & 25

Kick off the holiday season with the Moonlight Madness Festival and Market! There will be a parade, a market at the Multiplex and more.

Stay tuned for details!

 

 

 


 

Make it a Getaway!

With so many fun, entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking events coming up in the Athabasca region, why not plan a weekend or long weekend getaway? There are some perfect date nights, so get out of the city with your S.O. or friends and experience the arts & culture scene of the Athabasca Region!

Get information about upcoming events, dining, accommodations and more at visitathabasca.ca!

Thrift & Finds Crawl in Downtown Athabasca!

If you love thrifting and finding unique gifts and homeware, yummy coffee and treats, and delicious brunches and lunches, Athabasca has an afternoon of fun for you!

Downtown Athabasca is perfectly set up for an awesome “Thrift & Finds Crawl”. If you don’t know what a “thrift crawl” is, think pub crawl but with second-hand shopping! And here in Athabasca, you can visit some unique retailers along the way, too.

For this order of stops, you could park at the Riverfront, but there are other parking options where you could start your crawl. There’s parking on 51st Street and you could loop around from there.

Wear walking shoes, this crawl is about 3 km long. The Town of Athabasca is built on the Athabasca River Valley, so there are some hills. There are a lot of places for refreshments along the way if you need a break.

If you are looking for more thrift & finds opportunities, there are a few to drive to. You’ll never know what you’ll find, so it’s worth it.

Ready, Set, Crawl…

1. Paddymelon Gifts, Espresso & Eatery – 4911 – 49 Street

Starting from the Athabasca Riverfront Park, walk south (away from the river) on 49th Street. About halfway up the block, you’ll come to the first stop.

Paddymelon Gifts, Espresso & Eatery is a great place to start your crawl. Fuel up on one of their espresso drinks and an in-house baked treat, or a breakfast wrap! They have a daily lunch special and other delicious meal items.

Paddymelon isn’t just on the list as a fuel stop, but as a place to find unique home decor, candles, scarves, Canadian-made jewelry, baby gifts, books, and more!

www.facebook.com/PaddymelonGifts

2. A Little Bit of Everything – 4913-49 Street

Just a couple of doors down from Paddymelon is A Little Bit of Everything

A Little Bit of Everything is exactly that: some used, some new, some food, some clothing, some arts & crafts! They are a local favourite, always bringing in new and exciting items and crafts.

Facebook Page

3. Ella & Birch Collective – 4916 A 50 St

From A Little bit of Everything, continue walking south (back past Paddymelon) to the corner, turn right and walk over to 50th St. Turn right and walk down the east side of the block until you come to Ella & Birch. You can’t miss it… they always have an amazing window display.

Ella & Birch Collective is a boutique with a collection of clothing, accessories, soap and spa products made and designed by women in Canada! Comfy well-made clothing, handmade soap (the store smells amazing),  lovely jewelry and more.

www.ellaandbirch.ca

4. Bubel’s  – 4922 50 St

After leaving Ella & Birch, continue down the block (north) about 3 buildings down. There you will find Bubel’s department store.

Bubel’s is a family-owned and operated department store that harkens to the past. It carries clothing and footwear for the whole family! They also carry a unique selection of swimwear, toys, games, models, movies, CDs and vinyl records.

Facebook Page

5. Glas Floral Studio – 5003 50 Ave

From Bubel’s, continue walking towards the river. When you get to the corner you’ll see a newer building kitty corner. That’s where you’ll find Glas Floral Studio.

“Glas offers unique home decor curated from designers throughout Canada and the United States. Our preference lies with local, woman-owned companies and items with a story, quality of material and eco-friendly practices.”

Glas always has interesting and inspiring finds of all kinds. Their flower art is one of a kind, too.

www.glasfloral.com

6. Rhi-Defined New & Used –  5506 50 Ave

From a Glas Floral, you could walk to the Train Station. On the west side of the station is a walkway that leads to the Rotary Trail which follows the river. Walk west (away from downtown) on the Rotary Trail until it swings up and meets the highway again. Cross the highway there and you’ll see Rhi-Defined New & Used.

Rhi-Defined is a classic thrift store with a mix of furniture, household goods and clothing. They also have new jewelry, collectables and more.

Facebook Page

7. Riddle & Gift Shop at Athabasca Native Friendship Centre – 4919 53 St

From Rhi-Defined, walk along the highway back towards Downtown until you get to 53 ST. Turn right and the second building up is the ANFC.

At the Athabasca Native Friendship Centre, you can get 2 shopping experiences in one! Upstairs is their Gift Shop which has a beautiful selection of Indigenous-made gifts, jewellery and arts. Downstairs you’ll find Riddle, their second-hand store. Tons of clothing, household goods and more are available.

If you do the crawl on a Friday, they will sometimes be serving delicious homemade soup and bannock. Also a local favourite!

Riddle Facebook
ANFC Facebook

8. Lolly Pop Thrift Shop

When you exit the Friendship Centre, head back down to the highway. Continue east (towards downtown) until 51st ST. Turn right and go up the block about 5 buildings. You’ll find Lolly Pop Thrift Shop there.

Lolly Pop Thrift Shop has a great selection of used housewares, clothing and more. They pride themselves on having a neat and tidy space for you to do your best thrifting! Another family-owned business that delivers great service.

Facebook Page

9. Flowers by Christina

And finally, to your last stop, Flowers by Christina. Head back down to the highway from Lolly Pop and walk back to the main street (50th ST). Turn right and head to halfway up the block to find Flowers by Christina.

Flowers by Christina has a beautiful assortment of gifts and flowers for any budget. Home decor, food items and more, plus their gorgeous flowers.

Facebook Page

 

Take A Break

If you’re getting tired from carrying your haul, no worries, there are plenty of places for snacks, drinks and meals along your route. From convenience stores, fast food, food trucks, Chinese food, family dining and pubs, Downtown Athabasca has it!

Get something to go and enjoy it at the Riverfront Park. There are picnic tables and seating with river views for your convenience.

Take a look at our website listings for more info on where to eat/drink: www.visitathabasca.ca

 

Other Thrift & Finds in the Region

Country Bliss Treasures & Gifts – 5114  3 St, Boyle

“Welcome to Country Bliss! We are very excited to share some wonderful decor! Whether you’re searching for a piece of character to fill that special area of your home or need a heartwarming gift for your loved ones…..we have it!!”

Facebook Page

Second Time Round & More – 5800 Elm Dr, Boyle

Second Time Round has an amazing selection of thrift items, from clothing, household goods, furniture and more.

Remember, small towns have some of the best thrift items around!

Facebook Page

 

What will you find?

If you are looking for a day trip out of the city, or want to spend some time before an event in Athabasca, be sure to take on the Downtown Thrift & Finds Crawl. You’ll be sure to find some items that won’t be found anywhere else!

For more information about retail stores in  the Athabasca Region, check out our website: www.visitathabasca.ca/things-to-do/shopping/stores-boutiques

 

Golf & Stay in the Athabasca Region

Are you looking to combine a getaway with a great round of golf (or two)? Look no further than the Athabasca Region!

We have some amazing choices that pair scenic and sometimes challenging courses set in the Boreal, with camping, vacation rentals or in-town accommodations. Check it out!

Main photo courtesy of Athabasca Golf & Country Club

 



Athabasca Golf & Country Club

The Athabasca Golf & Country Club is located just north of the Town of Athabasca. It is nestled in the Boreal forest along the banks of the Athabasca River. It is considered one of the premiere courses in Northern Alberta and challenges the most experienced players.

scene of trees and golf fairway with green in the distance

Athabasca Golf and Country Club was originally a nine hole layout designed in 1963. The course was expanded to a full eighteen holes in 1995 by Sid Puddicombe. Now with a recent $1.8 million renovation (also by Puddicombe) it boasts the 4th most difficult challenges in all of Canada. This beautiful course has much to offer even the most experienced golfer. During your round you may encounter a variety of wildlife including fox, moose, deer or even the occasional bear. Come test your skill and enjoy the natural beauty of Northern Alberta. – AGCC website.

The AGCC is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year! To celebrate they are hosting a 60th Anniversary Championship Tournament on September 10, 2023. If you haven’t experienced the area in the fall, this would be a fantastic way to soak in the usually warm and dry weather and the fall colours.

They also host multiple themed tournaments and special events, including the upcoming Road to Hope fundraiser on September 7, 2023.

The clubhouse is home to their Pro Shop and the Fox Den Restaurant. The pro shop offers all the clothing and equipment you will need for a successful round. Please note that the club does have a dress code of preferred golf attire and footwear.

The Fox Den serves up a mean burger (veggie choice available, too), fish and chips, salads and delicious craft beers. They boast a gorgeous patio to enjoy your meal and the view after your round.

If you are looking for camping accommodations, the Blueberry Hill RV park is just across from the clubhouse. They also manage the Lions Campground, which serves as their overflow. About 10 minutes away is the scenic River Meadows RV Park, situated right on the river.  If you want to rough it a bit, check out the Riverside Recreation Area about 10 minutes away.

If you are looking for a hotel/motel or AirBnB, Athabasca has many choices. Check out our “Stay” section for details.

The AGCC has partnered with the Tawatinaw Valley Retreat Bed & Breakfast for a Stay and Play Package! The Tawatinaw Valley Retreat is about 40 minutes from Athabasca and is set in the gorgeous Tawatinaw River valley. After you are finished golfing, take in the view of the lake at the end of the dock or go on a stroll. It’s a peaceful place away from everything! Check out their website for details on the package.

 

Contact Information

Website: https://athabascagolf.ca/
Phone:  780-675-4599
Email: info@athagolf.com
Photo courtesy of Athabasca Golf & Country Cub

 

Rocky Lane Fairways & Recreation

Rocky Lane Fairways & Recreation offers fantastic, family-friendly recreation for all skill levels. And if you aren’t a golfer, they have something for you, too!

golf course scene with a pond in foreground

Located about 10 minutes south of the Town of Athabasca, just off Hwy 2, Rocky Lane has a 9-hole par 3 course, disc golf, soccer golf, fling golf and a golf simulator. It is a gorgeous course with water features and lots of lush landscaping. The really cool thing is that the course has been designed so that your crew can golf, throw discs or fling balls together, all at the same time!

Rocky Lane has a 10-stall campground as well, so you can camp & play without having to leave the site. Each stall has a picnic table and fire pit. You can purchase firewood for your evening s’mores, too.

If you’re looking for a space for an event like a wedding or family gathering, Rocky Lane can accommodate you. They have tables and chairs, a sound system, event tents and more.

 

Contact Information

Website: https://rockylanefairways.wixsite.com/recreation
Phone: 780-327-9671
Email: rockylanefairways@gmail.com
Photo courtesy of Rocky Lane Fairways & Recreation

 

Skeleton Lake Golf & Country Club

view of golf fairway with some sparse trees at the end

Skeleton Lake Golf and Country Club is located in the Summer Village of Bondiss, about 8 km east of the Village of Boyle, with access off Hwy 663. This is a scenic 9-hole course that is as fun as it is challenging.

Their clubhouse has a licensed restaurant and lounge and their pro shop features great golf merchandise along with cart and club rentals.

If you are wanting to stay overnight, Shoreline Camping and Fishing Resort is located just on the other side of the bay. There is a gorgeous lakefront  AirBnB cabin in Bondis as well.

 

Contact Information

Website: https://www.skeletonlakegolfandcountryclub.com/
Phone:  780-689-2455
Email:  slgolf@mcsnet.ca
Photo courtesy of  Skeleton Lake Golf and Country Club

 

 

Northern Ridge Golf & RV Resort

fall scene on golf course with trees on both sides of fairway

Also not too far from Boyle, about 12 km south, is Northern Ridge Golf & RV Resort.

This is another scenic 9-hole course set in the Boreal forest. They have a licensed clubhouse with a deck that overlooks Hole 5.

They have over 30 fully serviced campsites and a few that have power only.

Located close to a paintball course and Long Lake Provincial Park, which offers camping and lake access, this site makes for a getaway with lots to do!

 

Contact Information

Website: https://www.northernridgegolf.ca/index.html
Phone: 780-576-3939
Email:  information@northernridgegolf.ca
Photo courtesy of Northern Ridge Golf and RV Resort

 

Riverbank Golf & RV Park

Last but not least, at the far northern end of the region, you’ll find Riverbank Golf & RV Park

scene of a golf course hole overlooking a pond

This hidden gem is nestled along the Wandering River about 1 hour north of Athabasca and 2 hours south of Fort McMurray. This 9-hole course is a Par 36 regulation course that will challenge you while you soak up the Boreal forest setting.

They host a number of tournaments over the season, with the next public one set for August 26th

Riverbank has a licensed restaurant with a full-service menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner selections.

They also have a 50-unit RV park:

Riverbank RV Park has 50 fully serviced RV sites that are 50 feet wide by 60 to 100 feet long. Unlike many RV Parks in the area, which are built in the middle of an open field, our sites either back onto the river or have beautiful views over the river and golf course. Come and have a look for yourself to compare to the other parks! Power, fresh water and no hassle sewer make the difference in a scenic river valley setting. – Riverbank website.

Contact Information

Website: https://www.riverbankgolfandrv.com/home.html
Phone: 780-771-2582
Email:  riverbankgolfandrv@gmail.com
Photo courtesy of Riverbank Golf and RV Park

 

Whether you are looking for a day trip round or a week of golf and sun, the Athabasca Region has multiple choices for a great golf & stay getaway. Be sure to try them all!