Campgrounds and Parks

Closure of Parks & Campgrounds Q & A: 

Saddle Hills County:

What outdoor recreation areas are open and which are closed in Saddle Hills County?

All parks and campgrounds in Saddle Hills County are currently Closed.

They are expected to be open June 1st.

Please visit this page  to see the most recent recreation bulletin with the most up-to-date information on all outdoor recreation sites in Saddle Hills County.

Why is the County closing campgrounds? 

In March, both Parks Canada and Alberta Parks have closed the park amenities and vehicle access to their recreation areas to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Saddle Hills County wants to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by also temporarily restricting access to our parks and campgrounds. We understand these restrictions are difficult, but until the pandemic threat is reduced, we’re encouraging Albertans to choose recreation options like taking a walk close to home. 

How long will the campgrounds be closed?

County staff and the Central Peace Regional Emergency Management Committee are monitoring the situation closely; our goal is to re-open these sites as soon as it is safe to do so for the public to enjoy. We recognize the importance of connecting to nature and the mental and physical benefits outdoor recreation provides.

Further questions and concerns relating to County operated facilities can be directed to Michelle Horncastle, Recreation Coordinator at Saddle Hills County by email at mhorncastle@saddlehills.ab.ca or by phone at 780-864-3760.

Where do I report unauthorized activity at County operated campgrounds and parks?

Afterhours please contact the County at 1-888-864-3760. Your observations will be passed on to the appropriate staff so they can assess what, if any, type of follow up may be needed.

Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

On April 17th a Fire ban and ATV ban was put in place in the Forest Protection Area (FPA). 

Click on the link o see the Ministerial Order for more details.

Click on the link to see a map of the Forest Protection Areas.

Image of Fire Protection Areas

Alberta Provincial Parks, Recreation Areas and Public Land

On Friday, March 27 Alberta Parks announced the provincial parks are closed to vehicle access to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Included in the vehicle access closures are provincial recreation areas and public land recreation areas, where parking lots and staging areas exist. In addition to facility closures, like washrooms at these sites. You can still hike in and make use of parks and public land, but if you need to drive into a provincial park, parking lot or staging area, you should change your plans.

Information on provincial parks is available at AlbertaParks.ca, but as a general rule do not drive to a provincial park. Maps of Public Land Recreation Areas and provincial recreation areas can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/public-land-use-zones.aspx

What about parks that are less busy?

Restricting vehicle access only to high-use areas will just drive people to the sites that remain open – that only transfers the problem to somewhere else.

Traditional Land Use:

First Nations and identified Metis Harvesters access is still permitted to practice their rights and traditional land uses.

Public Lands not zoned for recreation:

The restriction does not apply to oil and gas, forestry operations, grazers and other disposition holders.

How will government enforce the vehicle restrictions that are in place?  

We want to focus on public education first. Conservation officers will be visible and they’ll be doing routine checks in these areas to support education and awareness with the public on the restrictions.   This is about everyone’s safety and wellbeing and we’re hoping Albertans will comply.  If public education doesn’t work, enforcement staff will be able to fine Albertans who are not adhering to the restrictions.  

How much are the fines?

Fines for violating public health orders (i.e. exceeding mass gathering limits of 15) can be $1,000 per occurrence.

Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

Fines for littering can be up to $250.

Can I still go camping in parks and on public land?

Dispersed random camping on public land is permitted currently, however; further restriction may be necessary in the future as a result of the COVID-19 situation. All random camping must adhere to the direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health; no mass gathering and exercise physical distancing.

Can I ride my horse into a site?

If it’s safe to ride your horse on a legal trail, you may continue to do so.  Remember to practice physical distancing at all times to ensure your safety.

Can I still go fishing and hunting on Crown land?

Yes. Fishing and other recreational pursuits are still permitted, however, driving into a park or parking a vehicle in parking lots and staging areas in public land recreation areas is not allowed.

If I see cars in a parking lot or staging area, where should I report it?

We ask that you please call the Alberta Parks call center at 1-877-537-2757 and pass the information on to them. Your observations will be passed on to the appropriate staff so they can assess what, if any, type of follow up may be needed.

 

 


 

There is so much to do while you're Visiting Saddle Hills County, and we are happy to host you at one of our campgrounds while you're here!

 Moonshine Lake Provincial Park

Only a five minute drive from Blueberry General Store, Moonshine lake has plenty to do for visitors looking to relax and enjoy nature. With 110 stalls all with electric hook ups going year-round, the Park is ready for your next adventure. Whether you're looking to get out in your paddleboat and fish for rainbow trout or cross-country ski on the Park's relaxing trails and get some ice fishing in, Moonshine Lake is a must-see while you're in Saddle Hills County.

For more info, visit Alberta Parks.

 Cotillion Campground

With 20 overnight stalls, all with parking space, fire pits, and picnic tables, Cotillion Park is your best spot in the County to stay if you want to explore the Peace River. The sheltered group area has a firepit, washroom, showers, and a playground nearby for a relaxing day with the family. Just a minute down the road past the sheltered group area, the woods open up to the glorious Peace River. The best boating in all the Peace Country is along this iconic river, and Cotillion Park has some of the best access in the area.

For more info, visit Travel Alberta.

 Hilltop Lake Campground

Located southwest of Woking, the Hilltop Lake Campground is a great getaway from the city life. The lake is fantastic for a relaxing day out paddle boating, and has a fantastic day use area complete with horseshoe pits. There are no user fees for camping, so Hilltop is fantastic for when you just want to get out into nature.

For more info, visit Travel Alberta.

 Spring Lake Campground

Just an hour northwest of Grande Prairie, Spring Lake Campground is your stop in the County for fishing. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout and brookies which you can prep at the fish cleaning station in the day use area (if you catch any, that is). Non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake, and the 30 overnight stalls come with parking, fire pits, picnic tables, and of course, space to camp.

A limited number of Seasonal Sites are available for an annual fee. To apply please fill out and submit a Spring Lake Seasonal Campsite form.

Visit the Campground's Facebook Page for news and info.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Recreation Coordinator.