To be totally honest, we weren’t sure what to expect when we decided to take a day trip out to Parkland County. We’ve driven through before on our way to Jasper, and my husband has played golf at a couple of the courses, but we’ve never really checked the county out beyond that.

It turns out that there’s a lot to do here! We wanted a close camping trip to test out our new trailer so we booked a site at Wabamun Lake Provincial Park since we knew the kids would love the beach, plus with a small grocery store nearby we knew we’d be good if we forgot anything major.

In all honesty, it feels like we didn’t take enough time to see everything. We stopped at the Botanic Gardens on our way out to the campground (a bit of a detour but worth it!) but some of our campsite neighbours were telling us about some of the camping at Pembina River and that sounds amazing too.

STROLL IN THE GARDEN


I kept hearing about the U of A Botanical Gardens from a friend whose sister got married there, so I semi-forced my husband to detour south on our way camping. The kids loved wandering and seeing all the different flowers, and the easy pathways around the gardens meant they weren’t moaning to be carried the whole time. Plus, we had no idea there was a cafe, so it was nice to grab a snack for the road on our way out!

“The beach was quiet and serene. Our morning walk was really special for the whole family.”

Wabamun Beach For the Day

Getting to the campground at Wabamun Lake was super easy. The kids and I took off to the beach while Jake set up the trailer, then we roasted hotdogs just before the sun set. The next morning we made coffee and went for a walk. The beach was quiet and serene. It really was special for the whole family. We saw ducks landing on the lake at sunrise. It really was a morning I won’t forget.

The whole family can’t wait to explore Parkland County more. The kids are really looking forward to camping at Pembina River some time soon, and we’re planning some day hikes next month as well.

The Mason Family

Last summer I surprised my husband with a twilight picnic at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden for our anniversary. Neither of us had been before, and we were pleasantly surprised. The food was just so good, and the wine and beer pairings were perfect. We were worried it was going to be cloudy but things cleared out while we ate and we were treated to a great sunset too.

Since then we’ve been back to visit a couple times, once when my parents were in town and then just the two of us to explore during winter as well. It was a good spot for my parents too since the pathways make for pretty easy walking and there’s so much to see.

My favourite part is definitely the Aga Khan Garden. The terraces, water and pathways create this serene space that I know I’ll never be able to describe perfectly. You really just have to see it for yourself!

Aisha and Mark

“You really just have to see it for yourself!”

As soon as the kids could walk, we started coming to the Edmonton Corn Maze. It’s fun to see how the maze changes each year, and it seems like there’s always something new to do. My youngest was adamant we take a ride on the Corn Cob Express this year, which was a nice break from walking for all of us.

The farm animals are always a hit with my daughter, especially the goats. They’re so cute! There’s some straw bales for the kids to climb on too, and those jumping pillow things they put in the ground. What I’m trying to say is, this is a good place to burn some energy for the afternoon!

The kids aren’t quite old enough for the mini-golf but next year I think we’ll give that a try too.

The Ryan Family

If you ride in Edmonton, you know about the river valley trails. They’re great for me, I ride all the time. But it’s easy to get in over your head sometimes when things get too technical, so I brought my girlfriend out to the trails at Chickakoo Lake last summer for something a little different where she could focus more on riding and not full-blown tech stuff.

It turned out to be a great way to get her riding more. We always enjoy the trip out, there’s lots of birds to see around the lakes, and it mixes things up for me versus always riding in the Valley or having to drive all the way out to Hinton or something.

Justin and Ashley

I never really golfed, but a couple of my girlfriends got into it with their husbands a few years back and dragged the rest of us into it. Fast forward to now and it seems like we are getting out a couple times a month all summer long.

Before I golfed I didn’t realize there were so many courses in Parkland County. I live in St. Albert, but honestly, the courses out this way have so much on offer that I keep coming back. And with the rest of the girls living kind of all over Edmonton now it’s easy for us all to head west and meet up.

It’d be tough to pick a favourite course, but lately I’ve really been liking the challenge over at The Ranch. And it’s ranked one of the best courses in Alberta too I think, so we’re pretty lucky to have access to that.

Lynne

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