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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.

 

Summer Bucket List – Red Deer

Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, Jasper, Drumheller and Red Deer? Yes! We often overlook Red Deer as a summer destination but we have discovered there is SO much to do in Red Deer and area. From great camping, lakes, rivers, outdoor water attractions, good food, and more; read below why we think adding Red Deer to your Summer Bucket List is a good idea!

Red Deer Summer Bucket List:

Read more

9 Things I’m Looking Forward to This Summer in Alberta

I’ll be working full time so I’ll be squeezing every last drop out of my Alberta summer weekends. Here’s what I’m most excited to experience this summer in Alberta.

The Road Trip

Is there anything better than packing up your wheels, stopping for snacks and hitting the open road? Yes, yes there is. It’s called re-living your childhood. One of my earliest memories is playing cards in my grandparents motor home, road trekking through Alberta, to the States into Mexico. Hanging out, while you watch the landscape race by. Snacking, gaming, talking – the journey more important than the destination. The in-laws bought a small motor home and they’re letting us borrow it – squeee!

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

In Camping, Edmonton, Northern Alberta on
May 25, 2018

Tenting at Garner Lake Provincial Park

By Allison Hopkins

Our first camping trip of 2016 was a two night weekend tenting at Garner Lake Provincial Park. We had gorgeous weather {ironically this mid June camping trip was our best weather weekend of our entire camping season!}. The rest of the summer was hit and miss weather with lots of rainy camping trips for us. Every year we pick a campground north of Edmonton that is new to us. that year, Garner Lake Provincial Park was our choice.

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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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Do Your Kids Miss School for Vacations?

Do you let your kids miss school to go on vacation?

This week we are leaving for a vacation (YAY!) but for the first time I wondered about pulling the kids out of school to be on holidays.

***Full disclosure I am still getting on that airplane no matter what the consensus is because this Mom needs a vacation. Although travelling with kids sometimes feels like more work…

We have pulled them out of school the past few years without a thought but this year my oldest is in Grade 4 and it feels different. His teacher was amazing when we told him our son would be missing a week and a bit of school which I was grateful for. He said there’s no point giving him work to do while we are away. When we get back he will see what he missed and what he needs help catching up on but not to worry about it while on holidays.

No homework was getting done on this trip either.

I am a firm believer that kids don’t need to be in a classroom to learn. By making sure our kids get the travel bug early I hope that they will never stop exploring and questioning how our world works. I am just wondering if we should keep that exploring to two months in Summer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below or on Social Media.

 

In Camping, Explore, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on
February 14, 2018

Get Ready: Alberta Parks Opens Camping Reservations on Tuesday!

How to book a campsite in Alberta

Are you looking to snag one of the best camping spots that Alberta Parks has to offer this summer? Well…..you are going to want to get organized this weekend because regular camping will open for reservations, within the 90 day window, starting Tuesday February 20th!

How to book camping in Alberta.

What You Need to Know:

  • Alberta Parks only lets you book single sites 90 days in advance of the time you will begin your camping trip. SO, this means that if you plan to camp on the May Long Weekend, you can reserve a site starting on Tuesday February 20th.
  • You can book a site for up to 16 days in a row.
  • You need to have an account with Alberta Parks reservation system: reserve.albertaparks.ca
  • Make your account now so that you are not wasting time on opening morning.
  • Think about your needs. Do you want to be close to the beach or playground? Do you require power? How long is your RV? Is a shower house a must? Do you want a park that has interpretive programming? All of this information can be answered by exploring the various campsites here. 
  • Once you’ve determined your family’s camping needs and parks that meet them make a list of the campsite numbers that you would like. You can even see pictures of many of the sites, giving you a better idea of privacy and size. Always have a back up in mind, in case that site is already taken.
  • Do some math. Due to the 90 day booking window if you want to book a site for later in the summer, say over Canada Day, you will have to count back 90 days and then note that date in a calendar to log back in and reserve a site. This is especially important if you really want a waterfront site, plan to camp over a long weekend, must have a power site, are looking for a campground close to Calgary or Edmonton or are planning to stay for an extended amount of time.
  • It sounds like a lot of work, but really, it’s just planning ahead. Once it’s done, it’s done and you can now start to plan the rest of your summer!
  • If you really hate the idea of over planning for summer or just have no idea what your summer availability is like (it is only February…) you can always wing it. BUT, personally, I would never recommend attempting to get a first come first served campsite on any weekend in the summer. During the week, at most campgrounds you will probably be ok. It’s just a risk with kids that I wouldn’t want to take!
  • Don’t throw in the towel if you miss the boat and your preferred campsite or campground is full. Keep checking back! Often as the departure date gets closer people cancel their reservation and if you’re lucky you can snag it once it becomes available.

How to book a campsite in Alberta

Other Camping Options:

Where do you plan to camp this summer?

Booking a campsite in Alberta

Every Day Girl

In Camping, Contests, Edmonton, Style, Uncategorized on
January 19, 2018

Edmonton Renovation Show Giveaway!

We don’t know about you but we are SO excited for camping season to start!

We camp on average 45 nights during the summer so our trailer has been very well used. That is why we are excited to see that the Edmonton Renovation Show has a new Camping Chic section at the show! Our little trailer could use a bit of a facelift so you know we will be checking out how to personalize our home-away-from-home. They will also be giving space saving tips to get the most out of your RV.

Check out this trailer reno! Serious camping goals right there!

The 2018 Edmonton Renovation Show has Bryan Baeumler HGTV Host & Owner, Baeumler Quality onstage Friday January 26th @ 6:00pm & Saturday January 27th @1:00pm  which we are excited for as well. The TELUS future home will also be there, the Edmonton Zoo will be onstage talking about all of their projects they are working on, and many many more things to see over the three days!

The Edmonton Renovation Show runs:

Friday, January 26th, 2018              12PM –   9PM
Saturday, January 27th, 2018          10AM –   9PM
Sunday, January 28th, 2018            10AM –   6PM

Buy your tickets online here to save $3 OR enter to win passes below in our GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to the Renovation Show we have TWO four packs of tickets to giveaway! Tickets can be picked up at the show box office and the draw will be Wednesday, January 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway