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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 rugged-and-real beauty.

Here you'll find an abundance of lakes, rivers and trails to explore — in addition to the largest automobile-accessible lake in the province.

Provincial Parks in the Lesser Slave River Region

Chain Lakes Provincial Park

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.

Chain Lakes Provincial Park is located in a region that is often extremely dry. For this reason, only communal fire pits are provided in the park's campground. Communal fire pits may be used only during appropriate weather conditions (firewood is supplied at no extra cost).

Propane fire pits are not permitted.

Propane and gas cooking equipment is permitted, and charcoal briquette barbeques are allowed when there are no fire bans in place.

Activities include:

  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Group Use
  • Ice Fishing
  • Picnic
  • Power Boating
  • Sailing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wind Surfing
Cross Lake Provincial Recreation Area

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.

Chain Lakes Provincial Recreation Area was originally part of the network of Forest Recreation Program sites run by the Alberta Forest Service, but was transferred to Alberta Parks in the 1990s. It offers rustic camping and a taste of the boreal forest, with long summer days filled with swimming and fishing. You can fish from shore and from your canoe or electric powered boat. The lake is stocked with fish including tiger trout, and a boat launch eases your access to the lake

Cross Lake Provincial Park features an accessible campsite.

Activities include:

  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking - Front Country
  • Horseshoes
  • Ice Fishing
  • Power Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
Fawcett Lake Provincial Recreation Area

Beautiful in its boreal forest setting, Fawcett Lake Provincial Recreation Area was the site of a Chisholm Sawmills camp during the 1940s. In addition to Canadian loggers, sawyers, and support staff, 25 German Prisoners of War volunteered to labour here to escape the tedium of POW camps in other parts of the province. While most physical remnants of this history are now gone, the floating sawmill’s anchoring piers are an enduring reminder of this era.

The Fawcett Lake Campground provides basic facilities for campers who aren’t looking for frills. Pit toilets, pump water, and fire pits are provided.

In addition to appreciating the history of the site, you can enjoy fishing, swimming, paddling and boating (electric motors only) here.

Activities include:

  • Camping
  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Group use
  • Snowmobiling (off-site)
  • Swimming
  • Electric motors only
  • Geocaching
Grizzly Ridge Wildland Provincial Park

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.

Activities include:

  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking - Backcountry
  • Hunting
  • OHV Riding (On-site)
Hondo Natural Area

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.

Activities include:

  • Birding
  • Hunting
Hubert Lake Wildland Park

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.

Activities include:

  • Backcountry Camping
  • Hiking - Backcountry
  • Hunting
  • OHV Riding (On-site)
  • Snowmobiling (On-site)
  • Wildlife Viewing
Lawrence Lake Provincial Recreation Area

Originally created as an Alberta Highways wayside campground in 1958-1959, Lawrence Lake Provincial Recreation Area is nestled in the hilly lake country north of Athabasca. The hills are moraines – long piles of silt, clay, gravel, and boulders left behind by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago.

This site offers a rustic camping experience with opportunities for paddling, boating, and fishing. A boat launch eases your access to the lake.

Activities include:

  • Camping
  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Power boating
  • Geocaching
Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park

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.

Activities include:

  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing
Otter-Orloff Lakes Wildland Provincial Park

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.

Activities include:

  • Backcountry Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Hiking - Backcountry
  • Hunting
  • OHV Riding (On-site)
  • Power Boating
  • Snowmobiling (On-site)
  • Wildlife Viewing
Saulteaux Natural Area

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.

Activities include:

  • Birding
  • Hunting
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