Cardinal Lake is located just west of Peace River. We put in in Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park. The boat launch requires a hard right as soon as you pass under the park archway (the left take you to an outdoor museum and rodeo ground).
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Saturday, September 4, 2021
We spent some time near Peace River this summer, which opened up some new paddling opportunities. Figure Eight Lake is located just west and north of Peace River. It was one of the nicer lakes that we paddled in the Peace country.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Hubbles Lake is a small spring-fed lake about 25 minutes west of Edmonton. The water quality is good and a paddle around the edge is maybe 3km or so. To get to the lake, take Highway 16 west past Stony Plain. Then turn south on Range Road 13 and go about 3km. There is a gate on the west side of the road.
The only public access is through the Allan Beach Resort and there is a charge (we paid $12 per adult). Best to check operating hours (when we went, they opened at 10 and restricted the number of visitors). You can drive down to the lake to load and unload but you need to return to the top to park (four-minute walk?).
Saturday, August 21, 2021
It has been a few years since I've been out to Coal Lake by Wetaskiwin. I went out this time specifically to paddle Pipestone Creek, which enters Coal lake at the south end.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Every year as a kid, we'd drive to Banff and I'd see this tiny island Lac des Arcs from the highway. It always had a picnic table, or tent, or flag on it. I always dreamed of visiting it. This year, we stopped to paddle out there.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
We paddled the Vermillion Lakes in Banff this summer because we could rent boats there while our own boats sat out the 48-hour drying period that is now required. Access and boats rentals are on in the Bow River at the Banff Canoeing Club.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
We had a chance to paddle Emerald Lake this summer. It is located just inside the BC border along Highway 1, maybe an hour west of Banff. Best paddle of the year so far and definitely one of my top 5 paddles ever.
You can rent canoes there (see picture below). If you bring your own boats, you can launch off a small beach about 200 feet west of the parking lot (keep walking past the bathrooms). The parking area also has pit toilets and picnic tables and is the trail head for a hike around the lake. There is also a lodge here (just across the bridge).
The lake itself is a beautiful glacial green and was dead calm when were there. This year Yoho and Banff have imposed some restrictions on private boats (self-check in and a 48-hour drying period between lakes) to control aquatic diseases and pests. Emerald is a part of this project and it is worth reading ahead of time so as to not be disappointed.
It took us about 90 minutes to paddle the shoreline (at a modest pace) and the lake was so pretty we did it twice, once each way.
Wildlife was a bit thin but we did have a nice time with two loons and a chick. The loons were pretty calm as long as we kept our distance.
The far end of the lake has a number of creeks dumping into it. The one below was small. Further to the east there is a larger creek with a silty delta. I managed to get about 40 or 50 feet up this creek (which is moving pretty fast) before the channel got too shallow to continue.
The lake started to get busy with other boaters by about 9 am. Every picture at Emerald looks like a magazine cover so I'll just let you scroll down.
On our way back, we stopped in at the natural bridge and then went into Field. Field is an old railway town and looks like a model train set up. We had ice cream at the Truffle pIds Bistro and Lodge.