Local Events & Festivals

A vivid display of northern Alberta pride.

A region that’s well-known for playing just as hard as it works, Lesser Slave River’s seasonal festivals, tournaments and cultural events never disappoint. They're well-known to most locals, and some events even warrant an annual pilgrimage for thrill-seekers across the nation. From a world-renowned fishing derby to fairs, rodeos and a wide variety of native cultural activities, the reasons to celebrate our uniquely beautiful boreal home know no bounds.

Here’s where you’ll find an ever-growing inventory of must-see festivals and events happening across Lesser Slave River. Notice something missing from the list? Please contact Alanis Marleau, Communications Coordinator for the MD.

 

The Slave Lake Region Tourism Strategy is our plan to showcase the thousands of unique outdoor pursuits of our rugged-and-real boreal region to Alberta, Canada and the world at large. Give it a read and discover how we plan to spread the word.

Don't miss out on these special events

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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

The Smith-Hondo Fall Fair and Rodeo is held on Labour Day weekend and showcases the rodeo, chariot racing and calf roping, with a large dance and open festival. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

Provincial Parks & Wildlands

Boreal beauty at its purest.

The sun-sparkled water and endless white sand beaches of Lesser Slave Lake make this provincial park one of Alberta's best summer destinations. Just 2.5 hours north of Edmonton, the largest auto accessible lake in the province features resorts, campgrounds and marinas dotted along its shores. The town of Slave Lake anchors the southeast corner and has everything you need for your stay. Cycle, paddle, swim, fish and watch for wildlife. Hike up to Marten Mountain Viewpoint for a spectacular overlook of the lake. The Trans-Canada Trail runs the length of the lake shore and is used year round for hiking and cross-country skiing.

The entire north shore of the lake is protected, other reserves being Hilliard's Bay Provincial Park, Lesser Slave Lake Wildland and Grouard Trail Park Reserve.


Be bear smart. Remember, when you’re exploring Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, you are in bear country. Both black and grizzly bears can be found in the park.


Explore the Region's Provincial Parks & Wildlands

Chain Lakes Provincial Park is a provincial park located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains west of Nanton, Alberta, Canada. It was established along the Chain Lakes Reservoir. The Cowboy Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the park.

 More Information
 780.675.8213

Summer Activities

CMPG Camping HIKE Hiking elbo Electric Motors Only
FISH Fishing SWIM Swimming  elbo Power Boating

Cross Lake Provincial Park is located 62 km (39 mi) west from Athabasca and 57 km (35 mi) north of Westlock. The park is situated at an elevation of 655 m (2,149 ft) and has a surface of 27.7 km2 (10.7 sq mi). It completely surrounds Steele Lake, which is cruciform, hence its other name "Cross Lake". It was established on November 22, 1955 and is maintained by Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

 More Information
 780.675.8213

Summer Activities

CMPG Camping HIKE Hiking - Front Country CAN Canoeing/Kayaking
FISH Fishing SWIM Swimming  HOSH Horseshoes
POBO Power Boating WSKI Waterskiing WIND Windsurfing

Winter Activities

CCSK Cross Country Skiing ICFS Ice Fishing  
     

 More Information
 780.675.8213

Summer Activities

CMPG Camping CAN Canoeing/Kayaking elbo Power Boating
FISH Fishing    

This park includes the headwaters of Sawridge, Adams and Mooney creeks. Devil's club, mountain ash, elder and other plants typically associated with the western ranges of the Rocky Mountains have been found here. Forests containing stands of large white spruce, balsam fir, jack pine, balsam poplar & white birch occur on the ridge top. There are mineral wetlands and springs along the west-facing escarpment and one small lake near the park's southeast border.

 More Information
 780.849.7100

Summer Activities

FISH Fishing BHIK Hiking - Back Country HUNT Hunting
OHVO OHV Riding On-Site    

Hondo is part of a group of natural areas (including Otauwau and Saulteaux) used for botany research and study by the University of Alberta. Collectively, these sites represent a diversity of forest communities within easy access of Highway 2. Hondo Natural Area consists of a mosaic of undulating sand ridges and wet depressions with pine-lichen stands, mixed aspen-white spruce stands, black spruce-sphagnum fens, patterned fens and lake shoreline. The area provides excellent habitat for wildlife.

 More Information
 780.849.7100

Hubert Lake Wildland Park consists of a sand dune complex and numerous small lakes and wetlands. Jack pine is the dominant tree species on the dunes. Intervening depressions support black spruce and larch, with open fens in wetter areas. The park is an important nesting area for great blue herons and sandhill cranes. A small caribou herd wanders in and out of the park.

 More Information
 780.675-8213

Summer Activities

BCNT Camping - Back Country BHIK Hiking - Back Country HUNT Hunting
OHVO OHV Riding On-Site WILD Wildlife Viewing  

Winter Activities

SNVO Snowmobiling On-Site    

Just 2.5 hours north of Edmonton, the largest auto accessible lake in the province features resorts, campgrounds and marinas dotted along its shores. The town of Slave Lake anchors the southeast corner and has everything you need for your stay. Cycle, paddle, swim, fish and watch for wildlife. Hike up to Marten Mountain Viewpoint for a spectacular overlook of the lake. The Trans-Canada Trail runs the length of the lake shore and is used year round for hiking and cross-country skiing.

 More Information
 780.849.7100

Summer Activities

BEAC Beach BDNG Birding CMPG Camping
CAN Canoeing/Kayaking ee Environmental Education  FISH Fishing
grcm Group Use HIKE Hiking - Front Country HOSH Horseshoes
intt Interpretive Program CYC Mt. Biking/Cycling POBO Powerboating
SAIL Sailing SWIM Swimming WSKI Water Skiing
WIND Windsurfing    

Winter Activities

CCSK Cross Country Skiing  SNVO Snowmobiling On-Site  SNSH Snowshoeing

Wetlands and forests in this park support a variety of wildlife. Lakes contain walleye, pike, perch and lake whitefish and are important habitat for beaver, muskrat and waterfowl. Orloff Lake has a great blue heron colony. Younger forests in the park contain white spruce and aspen. Mature forests contain birch and balsam poplar. White spruce and balsam fir dominate old growth stands. Black spruce and larch occur in wet areas.

 More Information
 780.675.8123

Summer Activities

BCNT Camping - Back Country CAN Camoeing/Kayaking FISH Fishing
BHIK Hiking - Back Country HUNT Hunting  OHVO OHV Riding On-Site
POBO Power Boating WILD Wildlife Viewing  

Winter Activities

CCSK Snowmobiling On-Site    

Saulteaux is part of a group of natural areas (also includes Hondo and Otauwau) that is used for botany research and study by the University of Alberta. Collectively, these sites represent a diversity of forest communities within easy access of Highway 2. Saulteaux contains upland pine and mixed aspen and white spruce forest. Moister areas have black spruce/Labrador tea/feathermoss forest.

 More Information
 780.849.7100


Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

The Lesser Slave River region hosts the Show n’ Shine Car show, Geocaching events, an Easter Family Egg-stravaganza, Relay for Life, Community Corporate Challenge, Spooktacular Halloween Party, and various Christmas Charity events. With all of these events, there is something fun for everyone almost every weekend in the Region. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

Birding

Dedicated to admiration and conservation.

Every spring, billions of gem-like songbirds and waterfowl migrate to Canada’s boreal forest. The dawn chorus of singing birds in the spring is a symphony of melodies and a feast to the ears. Birders will not want to miss the annual Songbird Festival, held the first weekend in June, to hear and see up to 23 of Canada’s 28 warbler species. The park protects diverse bird habitats including lakeshore, old growth forest, wetlands and mixed wood forest. There are a number of owl species to be found including the great grey owl, the northern hawk owl, the barred owl and a fall migration of northern saw-whet owl. As well, there have been rare sightings of the pygmy owl, the black guillemot and lazuli bunting.

Important long-term research is conducted in the park by the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory Society at Alberta’s northern-most migration monitoring station. The observatory is a vital link in the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. Visit the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory online at www.lslbo.org.

Visitors can learn more about the work of the observatory and boreal birds at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, located near the middle of the park..


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Be bear smart. Remember, when you’re exploring Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, you are in bear country. Both black and grizzly bears can be found in the park.

Visit the amazing Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, a unique research and education facility dedicated to the study of the world of birds and their relationship with the boreal forest. Tour the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory where researchers will introduce you to the tiny migratory songbirds that take refuge here. Calling all birdwatchers for spring and fall migrations: more than 254 species on the checklist! Come in early June for the annual Songbird Festival.

 Website
 780.849.8240

The Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory (LSLBO) is dedicated to bird conservation through research and education. As one of the few banding stations located in the Boreal Forest, the LSLBO collects critical infomration on the boreal forest breeding grounds of migratory birds. It is a full member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network.

 Website
 1.866.718.2473


Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

Lesser Slave River is “Iyaghchi Eennu Sepe “ in Cree, meaning "River of the Strange People." The river itself is a major tributary of the Athabasca River. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

Parks, Beaches and Trails

Explore our rugged-and-real region.

Amid the splendor of the boreal forest in north central Alberta lies a tract of virtually unspoiled beauty filled with fish and wildlife, campgrounds, trails, parks and beaches, and many other natural wonders unparalleled in the province. The vast expanse of sun-sparkled water is almost too much for the senses to take in. Endless white sand beaches stream away in opposite directions. Your toes can’t wait to wiggle. Welcome to Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, right in our backyard and home to the largest auto accessible lake in Alberta.

Nestled in northern Alberta’s boreal forest, Lesser Slave Lake covers 1,160 sq km (448 sq mi). Small towns, beach resorts, campgrounds, and marinas are dotted along its shores. Boating, waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, paddling, fishing – pick one or pick them all.

Be bear smart. Remember, when you’re exploring Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, you are in bear country. Both black and grizzly bears can be found in the park.


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Parks

 

Wildfire Legacy Park

Officially opened July 1, 2016, the Canyon Creek Wildfire Legacy Park was created as a tribute to the region's bravery, resiliency, and hope in the wake of the devastating May 2011 wildfires. With the collaboration and support of the Red Cross and the Widewater Athletic Association, this rest area and one-of-a-kind playspace was built for the benefit of all who live, work, and play in the region. The park overlooks the waters of Lesser Slave Lake.

Permitted Activities

In May 2012, the Jean-Luc Deba Memorial Park was created on the shore of Canyon Creek to honour the sole casualty of the devastating May 2011 wildfires that ravaged the Lesser Slave River region. Deba, 54, died the year prior when his Bell 212 helicopter crashed into the waters of Lesser Slave Lake while trying to drop water on the flames from a bucket attached to his helicopter.

Located near a collection of popular local camping and recreational facilities, the park offers a place of enjoyment and quiet reflection.

Permitted Activities


Multi-Use Trails

The third largest park in Alberta, Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park features the longest stretch of sandy beach in Western Canada, the easternmost foothills in the province, and home to the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory (LSLBO). The observatory is located on a migration corridor on the eastern shore of the lake and is the northernmost bird observatory in Canada. More than 230 bird species have been observed in the area, including 23 species of wood warblers. The observatory studies neotropical migratory songbirds and offers regularly scheduled bird banding demonstrations and bird hikes, "citizen science" projects for volunteers, and family bird watching packs. Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park is home to some excellent hiking trails and one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the boreal forest.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

Found at the south end of Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, Devonshire Beach is a 1.5 kilometer stretch of natural and groomed white sand beach. Part of a 1500-year-old sand dune complex, Devonshire Beach is a unique environment in the province of Alberta and an important habitat for several rare plants and animal species.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

At 983 metres, Marten Mountain Viewpoint overlooks the striking panorama of the lake and lakeshore hiking trails Take in a truly breathtaking panoramic view of Lesser Slave Lake and its forested slopes, ancient beach ridges and shifting sand dunes. Marten Mountain is the highest point of land for hundreds of square kilometres. The extreme elevation of the mountain creates a unique micro-climate, providing the perfect growing conditions for lodgepole pine, devil’s club, and running raspberry.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

This 23 kilometre trail follows the shoreline of Lesser Slave Lake and can be accessed from Devonshire Beach, North Shore Day Use Area, the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation and Marten River Campground. The trail gives visitors fantastic views of the lake and surrounding boreal forest. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities abound on this portion of Canada’s longest continuous recreational trail.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

This trail offers visitors breathtaking views of the park’s backcountry. Accessible from Marten Mountain Viewpoint, the trail descends 2.8 km to beautiful Lily Lake, which is stocked with eastern brook trout.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

 

Signs along this self-guided interpretive trail lead you through a magnificent old growth forest. The trail is 500 metres in length and can be accessed 300 metres down the Lily Lake Trail.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

This 1.75 kilometer trail is ideal for family bike rides. It is an easy gravel trail that runs from Marten River Campground to Marten River Group Use Area.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

This 1.5 kilometer self-guided interpretive trail is actually a small section of the Trans Canada Trail. Accessible from Devonshire Beach parking lot, it tells the story of the park’s provincially significant 1500-yearold dune complex.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

This 600 metre loop trail is located next to the Boreal Centre and meanders through a towering aspen poplar forest. Self-guiding interpretive signs introduce the secret lives of birds of the boreal forest. Benches on this trail are a great place to stop, watch, and listen for birds.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

There are two other provincial parks in the community. Cross Lake Provincial Park, just east of Flatbush, and Lawrence Lake Provincial Park are known for their excellent camping and fishing adventures.

 Reservations
 1.877.537.2757

Permitted Activities

The Peace River Trail, part of the Trans Canada Trail, is maintained by the Athabasca Landing Trails Association. This 60 km route winds its way along the Athabasca River through Boreal forest and offers an spectacular wilderness area with interesting native flora and fauna and breathtaking views of the Athabasca River. This is a multi-use trail for hiking, biking, quadding, sledding and horseback riding.


Cross-Country Ski Trails

Ski along the whispering sands trail to the beach road and the Trans Canada Trail to Northshore. Explore the south end of the park behind ancient sand dunes and through jack pine forests; crest the beach ridge and follow it to the Northshore Day Use Area. This trail has some small steep hills and descents

Take the Trans Canada Trail through a mixed wood forest along the shore of Lesser Slave Lake. Bison at the Northshore Homestead Ranch can sometimes be seen along the fence line during the winter. This is one of the longest trails in the park with relatively flat and easy skiing.

This flat and easy loop trail is just outside the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation and is a great place to learn and practice your cross-country ski skills. Keep an eye out for winter residents like the black capped chickadee, downy woodpecker and pine siskin.

Plan for a round-trip, as the Lily Creek group site cannot be accessed by vehicle during the winter months. When you reach the group site head down to the beach to look for the ice ridges, off the mouth of Lily Creek, that can pile up as high as 15ft. This trail is flat with easy skiing.

The Nine Mile Creek Recreation Area offers visitors 8 km of trails groomed for classic skiing. Junctions at this site are clearly marked with signs portraying maps of the surrounding trails and denoting the visitor’s present location. This trail system offers visitors with beginner and intermediate level trails. Visitors seeking beginner trails are encouraged to explore the Box Trail. Those wishing to have a longer ski are encouraged to extend their path along the intermediate section of this trail, looping back along Regeneration Way. The Conifer Valley Trail offers visitors a beautiful loop near the beginning of the trail system.

Trail Overview and Highlights:
• 8 km of trails track set for classic ski use.
• No trail fees are in effect, however donations to the club are encouraged.

Site Facilities: A chalet is located on site and is open on weekends.

Ski Equipment: No equipment is available in the local area.

Club Information: The Nine Mile Creek Recreational Club has only been founded in the last three years. Club members are currently working in conjunction with the Department of Sustainable Resource Development to expand the trail infrastructure.

Access to Site (when open/accessible): Visitors may access the site anytime during the ski season.

For more information about recreational activities in and around Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, visit the Government of Alberta’s Tourism, Parks, and Recreation website by clicking here


Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

The Lesser Slave River region hosts the Show n’ Shine Car show, Geocaching events, an Easter Family Egg-stravaganza, Relay for Life, Community Corporate Challenge, Spooktacular Halloween Party, and various Christmas Charity events. With all of these events, there is something fun for everyone almost every weekend in the Region. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

 

Wildlife

Nature like you've never seen it.

Lesser Slave Lake Region is one of the largest pristine wilderness areas in Alberta. Nestled in the scenic Provincial Park, the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory is the ideal place for wildlife viewing.

Depending upon the season, bird-watchers will see several species of migratory songbirds, the common raven, bald eagles, geese, rare trumpeter swans, numerous species of ducks, sharped-tailed grouse, spruce grouse and ruffled grouse. We also have willow ptarmigan, gray jay and boreal chickadee and several species of woodpeckers.

Mammals include boreal bison, moose, elk, woodland caribou, bears, cougars, timber wolves, fox, martin, wolverine and squirrels, snowshoe hare and lynx. The Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation also provides a variety of interpretive and educational exhibits, events, and programs. Bring your camera and get set for an unforgettable adventure.

Be bear smart. Remember, when you’re exploring Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, you are in bear country. Both black and grizzly bears can be found in the park.

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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

As goods and people come from Edmonton via steamboat, a small outpost called Mirror Landing was founded 70 km east of Sawridge, opposite what is now the Smith townsite. It supplied those making the journey to the Peace Country, and offered weary travellers food and rest. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

MD of Lesser Slave River

Just a few hours due north of Edmonton, Lesser Slave River is a truly unique place to live, work and play. From breathtaking expanses of boreal forest and unspoiled natural wonders to a thriving economy and genuine work/life balance, opportunities abound. Here you'll discover a place of rugged beauty. A place of real people. A place you'll never want to leave.

General Contact Info

 info (@) mdlsr.ca
 780.849.4888
 1.866.449.4888
 780.849.4939

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