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Kim

Campground Review: Long Lake Provincial Park

Long Lake Campground Review

As a camping family we like to try as many new campgrounds as possible each season. Sometimes, we go for the old favourites or the ones that have group availability- but my favourite thing to do is explore new places to camp. This past Father’s Day weekend we stayed at Long Lake Provincial Park, a first for us. A few years ago, on my way home from North Buck Lake Provincial Recreation Area, I drove through Long Lake Campground to check it out and it seemed lovely, so I was excited to finally try it out!

Here’s what I loved about Long Lake Provincial Park:

  • The Lake!

The lake is clean, for Alberta lake standards. There doesn’t seem to be any farming right along the lake and though not a very wide lake (hence “Long Lake”) it seems quite deep. This is only June though, so who knows what will happen to the water later in the season. My son and I swam 3 days in a row with no issues of swimmer’s itch!

Long Lake Campground Review

  • The Beaches!

Long Lake Provincial Park has 2 sandy beach options, one is the day use area and one is a private beach reserved for campers. Both have a playground and grassy play area. The day use is much larger, but much busier. Even on a super hot June weekend, we were able to find space though it wasn’t “serene” or quiet by any means. However, this is such a great beach for kids. There are no rocks, extensive shallow area, minimal weeds and lots of soft sand. On the Monday (we turned our trip into a long weekend) there was no one on the beach, so midweek would be your best bet for quiet.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • The Snack Shack!

There is a seasonal concession and store right in the day use area that is super convenient. It has a great selection of ice cream and the usual fries, burgers, etc. Great for a treat, if you run out of food while camping, want to take advantage of a day trip easy lunch, etc. We needed to buy some emergency supplies (sunscreen and toothpaste) and the store was fully stocked and priced fairly. There is also a laundromat, perfect for emergencies or longer stays.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • The Farmer’s Market!

On Saturdays from 11-2 there is a bustling Farmer’s Market with locals selling everything from meats, veggies, preserves, pies, knitting, woodworking and more. Bring cash, you’ll find something for sure!

  • The Boat Rentals!

There is a boat house in the day use area that has canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards for rent. All rentals come with paddles and life jackets. This is such an easy way to get out and enjoy the water! We tried SUP for the first time, and it was so much fun! You can rent for 1 hour, 2 hours or the entire day. A $200 deposit is required and you can do it via credit card.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • The Trails!

There is an amazing paved trail that extends the entire length of the campground, day area and group sites. Perfect for biking and strollers AND it goes along the lake, so the view are awesome. There is also a 17 km trail called White Earth Trail that more adventurous bikers or hikers can explore.

Long Lake Campground review

  • The Sites!

This is a catch 22. The sites are quite open (not many trees in between for privacy and shade) BUT most of them have power and many offer lakeside views….. If you want to be close to the day use beach and amenities choose Loop A. If you want to be near the private camper’s beach and towards the quieter back part of the campground choose Loops E or F. If you are tenting there are some cool walk in tenting sites.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • No Cell Service!

For me, this was a plus. I was planning to unplug over the weekend anyways and turn off all of my social media accounts. IF you need to use your phone, drive up to the gas station off the highway and park. Sometimes forced unplugging is what we all need;)

Long Lake Campground Review

  • Things to do!

Besides the boat rentals on site there are some fun activities in the Long Lake area including paintball and golfing. for a list of amenities in the area check out the Go East of Edmonton website here.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • Fresh Water & No Dumping Fee!

It’s always annoying when you pay for camping only to have to pay again to use the sani dump for your trailer, not here though! There is also fresh water to fill your trailer when you arrive- a huge gas saver:) Bring your own drinking water though.

Some things to be aware of when camping at Long Lake Provincial Park:

  • People

This is a busy and popular place. If you are seeking quiet solitude away from others, this might not be your spot. This depends on what you are looking for, I suppose. We did notice that the day use area was quiet and vacated by about 9pm and the campsite areas were actually quite quiet, considering it was full. You will need a reservation if you are planning to camp here, especially on a weekend.

  • Wood

Firewood can be purchased for $8 a bundle on site- it is a small bundle. Up at the gas station by the highway turn off it is sold for $6 a bundle and looked about the same size. There is a family selling wood from their acreage just south of the turnoff on highway 831. We didn’t check it out because we brought our own wood- but typically these places have the best price for the largest amount.

  • Sites

Most of the campsites at Long Lake Provincial Park are a bit out in the open. There’s no shortage of trees around the park, but not as many in between the sites as I prefer. That being said, many of the sites would be good for camping with groups of friends side by side. Again, it just depends on how much privacy you want, how much you like your neighbours and how yappy your dog(s) are! If you are tenting or have a smaller trailer and want privacy (but no power) check out Loop B which is no where near the lake but almost like it’s own separate campground away from the hustle and bustle.

Long Lake Campground Review

  • Cell Service

Again, this could be a pro or a con. If you are expecting to use your phone or get some work done it could be difficult. There didn’t seem to be any service in the park at all. A short drive back to the highway and you are back at it though.

Long Lake Campground Review

Long Lake Provincial Park can be found about 140 kms northeast of Edmonton and is about 20 kms south of the town of Boyle, Alberta. Given its proximity to the city, I think this makes a great day trip too! Want more Alberta summer travel inspiration? Check out our posts on Day Trips from Edmonton, Glamping Options in Alberta & Our Favourite Campgrounds in Alberta!

Tell us! Where are you camping this summer?

Every Day Girl

Kimberly Ouellette

Kim Ouellette is a wife and mom to 5 year old who lives in Edmonton Alberta. She is passionate about travel and creating experiences with her family and friends both locally and internationally. You can find her on Instagram at @kimouelletteyeg.

 

Short Day Trips from Edmonton!

day trips from edmonton

Summer and travel go hand in hand, but you don’t always have to leave for days to have fun! Day trips can really help when the vacation budget is strained, you have no camping gear or desire to sleep in the forest, you’ve already used up your holiday time at work and also for kids who sleep best in their own beds at the end of the night!

East of Edmonton:

Day Trips from Edmonton

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In Explore, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on
June 6, 2018

Tips for Safe Summer Travel

Summer Travel

Summertime and travel go together like peanut butter and jam. It’s just what we do: the kids are out of school, the roads are safe for travel and it’s too hot to work anyways, right? In our group of Alberta Mama founders we are planning on spanning most of the country and even the states with trips to BC, Ontario, Newfoundland, Montana and California this summer (of course lots of in Alberta explorations as well!). Yet, as most of us dreamily plan our summer travels we focus on the where to go and what to do, but we often forget about the what ifs…. Read more

In Camping, Explore, Lifestyle, Recipe, Uncategorized on
June 1, 2018

Camping Meals Made Easy with Simply Supper!

Camping meals made easy

Camping prep can be super time consuming. Just off the top of my head there’s packing enough clothes to suit Alberta’s unpredictable weather, bedding, toys, pots and pans, bikes, air mattresses, drinks, ice, first aid supplies, and all the outdoorsy gear…. sometimes I feel like we take the entire house with us! Our first camping weekend of the year was easy peasy though, because we didn’t have to worry about all the camping meals….. we tried Simply Supper meals for the entire weekend and it was fantastic! Read more

Learn to Bike this Summer with Pedalheads! (+ Giveaway)

Biking camps in Alberta

If you are looking for a day camp idea in Edmonton, St. Albert or Calgary we seriously suggest that you take a look at Pedalheads! Whether your child is just learning how to ditch the training wheels or you need a fun activity for your child(ren) so that you can ALL have a break this summer- this is it!

I’m speaking from experience here, my son tried Pedalheads for the first time last year and he went from not being able to even pedal a bike with training wheels (he had spent 2 years prior on a balance bike) to riding a 2 wheeler sans training wheels in less than 2 classes! He hasn’t slowed down since, and my husband and I get to enjoy the fun part- riding as a family instead of managing the tears and fear.

Biking camps in alberta

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In Lifestyle, Style, Working Mama on
May 2, 2018

Spring Fashion for the Busy Mom

Top Spring Looks

I feel like we may have by-passed Spring and headed straight into summer around Alberta…. This sudden change of seasons always seems to create some inner panic in me every year. It’s suddenly hot during the day, colder in the morning and evening and not totally appropriate to wear full on summer clothes yet BUT I’m totally over my winter threads. The panic is real, guys. This year, I’ll admit, I do feel a little more prepared. Maybe it’s because winter lasted so damn long this time around. None-the-less, I thought I would share my favourite spring fashion ideas with you.

1- The Kimono

I was rocking this item last year as well, and thank goodness it seems here to stay! My reasons for loving the kimono are: it covers you up when you need it (spring) and it makes you look put together in an instant when all you are really doing is throwing it on over your yoga pants and a tank top. The best.

Spring fashion trends

A selection of my personal Kimonos from Hot Dame (Sweet Boutique), Belle & Bliss Boutique & The Hudson’s Bay.

2- The Flats

As tempted as we are to wear sandals, some mornings are just not quite warm enough yet and nothing is worse than stepping in some wet, cold, mushy spring grass…. Investing in a pair of easy to slip on flats either in a sporty style or with a more dressed up flair will take you from the playground to a meeting to dinner, all without having to tie them or do up annoying straps. Heels, you say? No mama has time for running around in heels. None.

Spring fashion trends

Esprit flats from a clothing swap!

3- The Leather Jacket

Leather jackets can be difficult to wear in Alberta. It’s usually way too cold in the winter for them and then by full on summer you are sweating just thinking about wearing one. That’s why I wear my leather jackets as much as possible during spring. It’s so easy to throw on over jeans, a dress, even with yoga pants. No, I never stop wearing yoga pants #sorrynotsorry.

Leather Jacket for spring

BCBG Leather Jacket, yet another gem I acquired from a recent clothing swap!

4- The Mini Backpack

When this trend started, I hated it. It reminded me of the 90’s when girls would wear them. I guess it just made me feel old? I broke down and got one and I am now eating my words. A leather (or leather-like) mini backpack is like the crossbody purse, but even cooler. You look trendy, but you are actually just allowing yourself to be hands free and a super multi-tasker. This style is really difficult to pull off with a pouffy winter jacket, so I think it’s a great spring item.

Mini Backpack

My first adult mini backpack from Miniso.

5- A New Pair of Jeans

I’ve been coveting the casual and cool look of ripped jeans over winter, but who wants holes in their pants when its minus 20? Now that we’ve got some warmth out there I am loving this look.

Jeans for Spring

Spring denim from Grace & Lace

6- The Jumpsuit

I never, ever thought I would take the jumpsuit plunge. I tried one on recently and it was love at first fit. I feel like the jumpsuit is the new maxi dress. Once you find one that works for your body type, it’s so easy to wear! Note, I said jumpsuit, not romper. Spring gives you a chance to try the one piece trend with full pants first. I’ll report back to you if I ever get brave enough for the romper, haha.

A jumpsuit is a new spring fashion must have!

Chris, one of our gorgeous founders, rocking her jumpsuit from H&M.

7- The Swimsuit

Ok. Ok. This one isn’t exactly spring. BUT warm Alberta sun does get you thinking of beach season. And, we still take our kids swimming to the pool, so there. No one wants to be rushed once they realize they have to go to the beach and last year’s suit is just a little worn out. So, start looking now. Selection is at its best and you might need time for this one.

Spring is the time to start looking for the perfect bathing suit!

This sexy little one piece is from The Hudson’s Bay

I hope this helps you sort out some quick and easy ideas for updating your wardrobe into spring/summer/whatever season it decides to be today. If you want some more ideas, visit us at St. Albert Centre on May 16th where we (The Alberta Mamas) will be sharing some of our favourite curated Spring looks at the Denim and Dresses event!

Let us know, what’s your favourite new Spring fashion item?

Every Day Girl

 

In Calgary, Explore, Health on
May 2, 2018

Mexico Comes to the Prairies: Cerebral Palsy Association Gala!

Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta

The long winter this year has many Albertans dreaming of heading to warmer parts of the world like Hawaii, Palm Springs and Mexico. Who can blame us, right? Now as we head into May and see signs of spring (even summer!) we can begin to enjoy staying right where we are. This may be the case for most people, but not the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA). We have been in fiesta mode for months now and the party is just getting started.

For the past 11 years, the CPAA has hosted our annual fundraising gala in Calgary with a different theme each year. From a masquerade ball to the wild west to celebrating Canada, we have seen it all. For year 12 we are bringing Mexico to the prairies with a Cinco de Mayo theme! With Mexican inspired gourmet food stations, exciting live entertainment and the opportunity to bid on fabulous live and silent auction items this fiesta is sure to have our guests saying Olé!

Fundraising galas are an integral part to any non-profit organization. It’s not only a chance to raise needed funds, but it also brings together a community of valued supporters who get an opportunity to really know the people behind the organization. It can also be the perfect date night, girl’s night, or company party. It’s a fun and exciting way to give back.

Funds raised through events such as our Cinco de Mayo gala support the CPAA’s vital programs and services for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Through our programs, services and collaborations, we advocate and promote awareness, acceptance and understanding for persons with disabilities to live, learn and work in the community.

We are lucky to have the platform to offer affordable programming for kids and adults of all abilities in both Edmonton and Calgary. With awesome volunteers and instructors, we have everyone dancing, playing music, creating art, and literally diving into a world where they feel included and confident. This is all thanks to events like our gala and we are looking forward to a night of chippin, dippin and margarita sippin!

There are still a few tickets left to our Cindo de Mayo Gala which takes place at Calgary Stampede Park’s exclusive Ranahan’s from 6pm – Midnight, May 5th and we would love for you to join us! Please click here to visit our event website and to order your tickets.

Not able to join us? There is still an opportunity for you to help support our fundraising goal by bidding on some fabulous silent auction items. Take a peek at our online auction here.

For more info on our programs, please visit our website.

Cerebral Palsy Association of Alberta

In Edmonton, Explore, Uncategorized on
April 25, 2018

Shop for a Cause: Weehelp Sale!

Weehelp, one of my favourite Edmonton sales for getting second hand kids & baby clothes/shoes/toys/books is coming this Saturday! Here’s a few reasons why you should check it out:

The Prices!

Second hand shopping is where it’s at. Not only is it way cheaper, but it is so much better for the environment. Plus, kids. They have no idea how to treat clothes, they never stay in one size for too long and they are over their toys faster than you can blink. This way you can pick up multiple items and still keep your budget in check.

The Cause!

Weehelp Foundation donates all of its profits to local children’s charities, like the Stollery! All of the items have been donated by generous local families and the entire sale is run by volunteers. To date, Weehelp has donated OVER $85,000!

The Quality!

Andrea Peyton, founder of Weehelp, and her team of volunteers are meticulous about the quality of the items they offer up at the sale. For the entire year they wash, repair, test and ensure all items are in tip top shape for their next home.

The Selection!

I was at Weehelp last weekend to donate some items and the warehouse was packed! Here’s a look at just what the Weehelp Sale looks like:

The Details:

  • What: Second Hand Sale in Support of Local Children’s Charities with Items for 0-14 Year Olds (biggest selection is usually babies)
  • Where: Terwillegar Community Church, 1751 Towne Centre Blvd Edmonton
  • When: 10am-4pm
  • Need to Know: Cash only, please try to bring your own reusable bags. Get there early for the best selection!

You can RSVP via Facebook here. Please share with your friends to share the word! See you at the sale,

Every Day Girl

In Explore, Rocky Mountains, Uncategorized on
April 4, 2018

Visit Jasper on the CHEAP!

Jasper

If I told you that I spent a blissful weekend in Jasper and it only cost me $178.55, would you believe me? It’s true! A group of friends and I looked into booking a group trip over Easter a little too late and all that was left that would accommodate our tribe of 7 adults and 1 baby was the Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel. We are no stranger to more rustic accommodations, as we’ve done some pretty cool trips to back country lodges, but we way underestimated just how perfect and cozy this place would be!

Exploring Jasper does not have to cost a lot of money!

The Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel is located right off Highway 93 about 1 km past the stunning Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park. It boasts a ton of amenities such as solar power, a huge lodge with sitting area, dining area, full kitchen with stoves and fridges, tons of fresh water, an indoor wood stove, outdoor fire pit and patio! You can rent private cabins or stay in one of the shared ones. The cabins are basic, but include everything you need including cozy bunk beds, double beds, lots of heat and bedding.

Visit Jasper

Jasper/

Jasper

One of the great things about this place is that it’s accessible right off the highway. You don’t have to worry about bringing too much or lugging it all in on your back- just bring what you think you need that will fit in your car. I was worried that noise from the highway might be a concern. Highway 93 just past the hostel was closed for the first night (for avalanche control) but the next day it was open and we didn’t notice any traffic nuisances at all.

Jasper

Jasper

The Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel is the perfect staging point for all types of adventures. There are trails right from the parking lot, the falls only a short walk away and you are about 20 minutes by car from the Jasper Townsite. We had a group that was cross country skiing and snowshoeing and we explored the falls, a great groomed trackset trail along Leach Lake towards the Whirlpool Winter Hub and a somewhat challenging climb along the Pyramid Lake Fire Road. All were lovely and of course included the most gorgeous scenery in the country, in my opinion:)

Jasper

Here is how the cost broke down for me:

  • 2 nights at the hostel in a private cabin- $63.34
  • National Park Access- $19
  • My share of groceries- $46.50
  • Dinner out in Jasper- $34.71
  • Beer at a local Jasper Pub- $15 /w tip
  • Not included in my total- wine I brought from home, equipment (because I own it) & gas (since every vehicle is different).

Jasper

Things you should know before you go!

  • This is not the Jasper Park Lodge, so don’t expect to be pampered. You must bring your own food, cook it yourself and do your own dishes. This allows you to really make it as simple or as complicated as you wish.
  • There is no running water. The cabins have no water but the lodge had tons of fresh mountain H2O in a large tank. Bring a water bottle and enjoy! There are also lots of kettles and pots to heat water for washing.
  • There are no heated bathrooms or flush toilets, outhouses only. This can be a little chilly in the early morning, especially with the “spring” we are having- but this is all about the nature experience!
  • You can give yourself a little sponge bath in the private washing area, but no shower. Hello wet wipes, dry shampoo and touques!
  • There are staff on site who give you a little orientation when you arrive and are there to help answer all of your questions.

Jasper

Jasper

Jasper

The experience was perfect for our group and the baby that was with us did just fine. There was another family staying there as well with a 7 year old and they seemed to be enjoying their experience as well. One of the things that is so great about wilderness hostels is the people- young or old, single or in a group, from Alberta or across the world- everyone usually has a mutual respect thing going on that just makes the whole experience so enjoyable and unique from a hotel. This is important to remember sometimes, especially when you are brushing your teeth with strangers at midnight!

Jasper

You can check out the Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel website here and feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments below. If you’ve been here I would love to hear your stories and what type of exploring you did while in the area. I’m thinking it would be a great summer trip too!

Every Day Girl

*This post is NOT sponsored or endorsed by Athabasca Falls Wilderness Hostel, Parks Canada or Jasper Tourism. This is simply an account of my personal experience that I thought I would share for fellow explorers:)

Glamping in Alberta

glamping

Don’t get me wrong, camping is great, BUT it can be a large expense to accumulate all of the required supplies. Sleeping on the ground is also not for everyone, myself included! Sometimes it’s nice to just pack your essentials and go, especially when travelling with kids. Thankfully Alberta has many alternate ways that you can spend a night in the great outdoors. Read on to learn all about ‘glamping’ options in Alberta!

oTENTiks

A Parks Canada exclusive, these accommodations are like a cross between an A-frame cabin and canvas tent on a raised wood floor platform. Units are for up to 6 people, with a maximum of 4 adults. There are no bathrooms or running water inside oTENTiks. A table, beds/sleeping pads, lights and small heater are available in most units. You can enjoy TENTiks in Jasper (Whistlers), Banff (Two Jack Lake & Tunnel Mountain Village 2) & Elk Island (Astotin Lake).

glamping

Photo Credit: Teagan Photography

Yurts

Alberta Parks offers a unique experience with yurts! These are insulated, round, tent-like structures mounted on a wooden deck with a vented skylight. Conveniences include lights, an electric heater, electrical outlets for charging your devices, all cooking pots/pans, plates/utensils, a small fridge with freezer, gas BBQ and sleeping areas for 4-8 people. Yurts are available at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and Pigeon Lake Provincial Park.

glamping in alberta

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

Equipped Campsites

A new partnership between Parks Canada and MEC, you can now arrive at an equipped campsite that is all set up and ready for you! This includes a tent, sleeping pads, stove with propane, lantern, camping chairs and more. Please note that some campgrounds may offer slightly different items. You can enjoy equipped campsites in Waterton National Park, Banff National Park and Elk Island National Park.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

RV Rentals

This isn’t necessarily the cheapest option BUT it could end up saving you thousands of dollars! If you are thinking about buying an RV, test one out first! This is also a great option for people who have no storage options for a trailer or don’t have enough time to camp frequently or maintain their own RV. Go RVing has a great directory of RV dealers across Alberta that rent trailers, tent trailers and motorhomes. Some even offer roadside assistance and trailer delivery. Also check out WheelEstate, a new online peer-to-peer marketplace for RV’s. It’s like Airbnb or VRBO for vacation trailers!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Cabins

For those who prefer a more solid structure, there are lots of cabin rentals across Alberta. My mom and I stay in a cabin every summer as a girl’s getaway and here’s some of our favourites that include bathrooms and kitchens:

Comfort Camping

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

Tipis and Canvas Tents

I’ve never stayed in a tipi, but I feel like it would be really fun with kids, allow for some cultural experiences and provide more space than a tent. These are the ones on my list to check out: Sundance Lodge (Kananaskis), Old Entrance B’nB (Hinton) & Blackfoot Crossing (south east of Calgary).

Make sure you check out the Comfort Camping Canvas Wall Tents through Alberta Parks located at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Writing on Stone Provincial Park and Wyndham-Carseland Provicial Park. They all include queen beds, futons, a private deck and gas BBQs.

Alberta Parks

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

As you search for ‘glamping’ options in Alberta don’t be discouraged if you are having issues finding availability on your chosen dates. Many of these book up quickly, but there are always cancellations so keep your eye on them. Also, you will find more vacancy if you are able to travel midweek or in June or September.

What’s your favourite glamping experience? I would love to hear! Connect with us on social media on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram! Need more inspiration? Click here for our post on Our Favourite Campgrounds in Alberta.

Every Day Girl

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