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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.

Garner Lake is a small quiet family friendly campground with well-treed sites varying in privacy with some backing onto the trail leading to the beach. We chose two connecting sites {camping with friends} across from the playground and shower building; a plus for the kids but be prepared to hear children playing until 11 p.m. Garner Lake is great for a relaxing weekend camping trip with a remote feeling. We arrived around supper time and after setting up camp our vehicle didn’t move {just to grab some firewood} until we left. A new 2016 realization for us as a family was some of our most relaxing camping trips involve exploring the immediate area and limiting how much we drive around after setting up camp. We spend at least one day not leaving camp.  At Garner Lake Provincial Park we hiked the trail from the campground, explored the beach and shoreline, the older kids biked the loop {gravel road} around our camp sites, had a water gun fight {handy to be the near water tap!}, goofed around at the two playgrounds over and over again and had some down time.

At the time of our visit the lake was clear but chilly {the kids still wandered into the water a bit} and the sandy beach is huge! If going later in summer please check Alberta Parks Advisories for  warnings of blue-green algae. Even without water play  the large sandy beach and beach playground are great. Garner Lake’s campground beach, two playgrounds and hiking trails kept us busy for 2 nights with enough down time to relax. If we had stayed longer day tripping to explore the surrounding area would have been on our to do list {see bonus box & link list below}.  Also if you don’t have to rush back take advantage of Alberta Parks Regulations late check out time of 2 p.m. and eat lunch after you pack up before heading home. Garner Lake is far enough away to feel like you truly got away but close enough for a weekend camping trip.

Allison Hopkins is a tea loving, wannabe blogger, passionate planner of adventures and crappy house cleaner of 2. 

Want to see more camping in Alberta adventures? Check out the CAMPING section on our site!