Edmonton | 5 comments
By Zdenko Kahlina
Experience the Bounty in Beaver County.
It is camping season and you don’t have to travel far from Edmonton, if you are looking for a weekend getaway. Do you enjoy camping, the outdoors, fresh air, and nature?
Camp lake Park
If so, come and visit Camp Lake campground in the Beaver County. We went there to visit our son and his family when they were staying there over the Labour Day holiday in September. This is a great little campground where you can get away from it all and relax in one of the private well-treed sites or meet with friends and camp in one of the group areas.
Heading east on Highway 14
How to get there
Beaver County is home to two great campgrounds – Camp Lake and Black Nugget Lake. Camp Lake is only 134 km away from Edmonton on highway 14 east or less than 2 hours drive. When you get to small village of Viking, turn left (north) and go over the rail tracks and than immediately turn right. The campground is located 18 km east of Viking on Secondary Highway 619. From highway 619 than turn north onto Range Road 112. Last two kilometers on Range Road 112 are still gravel road. Camp Lake Campground is located at 48118 – Rge Rd 112. This campground can be also accessed from 2 other routes:
- From Kinsella on Sec Hwy 870, 12.5 km north & north 2 km on Rge Rd 112
- From Innisfree 28.5 km south on Sec Hwy 870 & 1.8 km east on Twp Rd 482A & 0.7 km south on Rge Rd 112.
Entrance into the campground
The Camp Lake is a great campground where you can relax, meet friends or spend the day. The owners would like it to stay “small” as I heard them say to their visitors: “Don’t tell anyone about our little camp, we don’t want to become too busy… we prefer to have our regulars only!”
Once you enter the camp, you have a choice of turning left at the concession house to non-serviced site or turning right to the site with full power access. Our family was staying at the non-serviced site, and very close to the beach. They were a large group of friends with small children, all camping very close to each other.
Our grandson enjoyed his play in the sand
The Campground has two beaches, a boat launch, boat trailer parking, cookhouses for shelter, showers, washrooms, and a sewer dump station for your convenience.
Take in some swimming, boating, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, hiking, and horseshoes. A playground, basketball hoop, volleyball court and beach volleyball are also available for your enjoyment. Some of the campsites are surrounded by dense brush and trees so they are nice and private. Some of the sites are in open grassy area. Some sites have lake views.
Water skiing on the lake
Another beach at the Camp Lake
The water was calm and clear and the giggling shake of aspen leaves provided just the right amount of shade on the beach. This is not a murky lake of algae and sludge; rather, it’s sand-bottomed with translucent water. The true test: it lured even me, a chicken of cold water, inside—after a two hour drive in a heat up car. The kids loved splashing about in the water. Our grandson enjoyed his play with the sand on the beach, as he’s still too small to play with other kids.
The concession house
The concession is located at the entrance to the Campground where you will find wood, ice cream, and other concession items for sale. The Campground offers power or non-serviced sites and has two beaches, great swimming, a boat launch, cookhouses, playground, volleyball court, beach volleyball, basketball hoop and day use areas. The camp is open from May 15 to September 15. Both power and non-power sites are available for daily, weekly or monthly stays.
The campsites are surrounded by dense brush and trees so they are nice and private
The best part (or at least the kids’ favourite part)? The little local lake store sells ice cream and treats. This is good incentive if the kids get tired or bored halfway around the lake. Bribes aren’t always bad…
So pack up your bikes or don your boots. This is a peaceful paradise approximately two hours southeast of Edmonton. It’s time to head out of the big city. And don’t forget your swimsuit.
Games: Launching water balloons into the air with a sling
Visiting Beaver County – Viking
When approaching Beaver County on highway 14, you have to pass through town of Viking. Viking is an excellent travel destination when looking to get away from it all and head out to Cottage Country. Viking is full of nature to explore. When you visit Viking be prepared to take advantage of all the excellent activities Viking has to offer.
Viking railway station
Very few travelers make their way to Viking when visiting Canada. The majority of economic activity is in the agriculture, oil and gas, textile, and manufacturing industries. The town had a population of 1,085 living in 494 dwellings. As a flag stop Via Rail’s The Canadian calls at the Viking railway station three times per week, in each direction.
Viking: It was Sunday and the streets were deserted
This is THE place to get your beer
Church in Viking
On July 7, 2005, the community ice arena was severely damaged by fire. Construction began on a new arena, called the “Viking Carena Complex”. Many parks and flower gardens are maintained throughout the town. One of the most notable parks is Troll Park. It celebrates Vikings’s rich Scandinavian history with native plants, trolls hidden throughout the park, and a giant troll mountain. Viking won the national Communities in Bloom contest in 2000.
Alberta grain elevators
Between Edmonton and Viking there are a number of sites that have grain elevators still standing by the highway, representing real rural areas in Alberta. I took pictures of the new mega grain elevators that are replacing old-fashioned wooden elevators from the past.
Typical wooden elevator in the prairies
Not that long ago grain elevators were being built in just about every town along the railroad on the Canadian prairies. The grain elevator spelled prosperity to the town and region where they were located. Quickly they became the commercial and social centers for the new “Last Best West”. Rows of brightly colored elevators became cultural landmarks, a symbol of greatness for the productive prairies.
Another wooden elevator by highway 14
These days the old-fashioned Prairie sentinels are gradually being replaced by mega elevators made of concrete and steel. These high-tech storage sites can hold up to 10 times more grain than a typical wooden elevator and are fitted with the latest grain sorting and cleaning machinery.
New mega elevators made of concrete
As a new century unfolds, these same elevators are being demolished as fast as they went up! With the loss of the physical structures comes the loss of history associated with them, the loss of a spot on the horizon that identifies a community, a region and a way of life. AGES sees the need for progress, but they also ask “’what about the legacy”? What are we leaving future generations? How will we know how for we have progressed if we don’t know where we’ve been? AGES says “Let us preserve some of our history, our heritage, and leave some of these beautiful prairie sentinels for the future.”
Hope to see you somewhere in the camp grounds.
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