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3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should Be On Your Radar

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Southern Alberta is home to some stunning scenery as evidenced by visits to Police Outpost Provincial Park, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park and Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area. They don’t see nearly the traffic as Alberta’s more popular parks, so it’s quite easy to get campsites. Bring binoculars, fishing rods, hiking shoes and a camera and you’ll have a grand time exploring this part of Alberta.

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Enjoy the view of Chief Mountain in Montana’s Glacier National Park from Police Outpost Provincial Park

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area is an easy place to visit if you’re driving through the Crowsnest Pass area as it’s just minutes off Highway 3 and not far from the junction with the Cowboy Highway (Highway 22).

There are two entrance points to Lundbreck Falls that provide access to either side of the river and both are signed from Highway 3. If you enter west of Highway 22 off of Highway 3 you’ll reach several scenic overlooks without having to hike. From here you can also access the Crowsnest River via a set of stairs. The second access point is via Township Road 74C east of Highway 22, off of Highway 3. Drive through the campground, park and then take the trail to the falls.

No matter how you get to the falls plan ahead; bring a picnic and then find a pretty spot along the Crowsnest River to admire them. Take the time to do short walks on either side of the falls. Reportedly the trout fishing on the river is also some of the finest in North America but make sure you have a license. And on a hot day, plan to cool off in the river.

Come winter, these falls are still worth a visit – with the river, a ribbon of turquoise flowing out of falls, shrouded in ice.

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Beautiful Lundbreck Falls

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

You can view the falls from many different angles

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Lundbreck Falls is in a windy part of Alberta as evidenced by the windmill in the background

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

It’s just as pretty around Lundbreck Falls in the winter

Police Outpost Provincial Park

You’ll find Police Outpost Provincial Park in southern Alberta on the border with Montana. (You’ll probably need to Google its location as it’s off the beaten path via a maze of Township and Range roads west of Highway 2.) This park takes its name from the fact the in 1891 the North-West Mounted Police established a post to bring a semblance of law and order to the area as it was popular with whiskey runners. But with a remote location, recruits didn’t last long so the post was closed in 1899, then reopened with a single officer from 1902 – 1909 before being abandoned completely.

Visit Police Outpost Provincial Park if you love fishing. Outpost Lake is stocked with rainbow trout. The lake would also be an easy, beautiful place to explore by kayak or canoe. Check out some of the lovely hiking trails – with one of the trails taking you down to the Canada – US border. There’s a fantastic amount of birding both in the park (the park is home to more than 50 bird species) and in a wetland area immediately west of the lake. With 240 plant species, there will be something in bloom no matter when you visit in summer. When we were there the Saskatoon berries were prolific – as were the Cedar waxwings feeding on them. There is loads of camping with a high probability of nabbing a spot even on a summer weekend but come prepared with everything you need as there are no services for miles.

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

It’s a beautiful drive just getting to Police Outpost Provincial Park

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Fishing for rainbow trout is very popular in this park

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Glorious prairie views

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Looking at the wetlands area immediately west of the park

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Take the boardwalk across to a small island in Outpost Lake

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Massive amounts of Saskatoon berries draw in the cedar waxwings

• 3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

You can take a trail down to the Montana border

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Both John and I fell in love with this park

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park located west of Pincher Creek is a great place to plunk yourself down for a couple of days. There are lots of campsites with RV style camping (reservations accepted) as well as walk-in tent camping. Once you’ve got yourself settled and oriented in the park you’ll find plenty of activities to fill your days.

There is some particularly good hiking with approximately 18 kilometres of trails in total. Pick up a brochure showing all the trails and then decide how little or much you want to tackle. The hike out to Scott’s Point and along Chipman Creek is particularly lovely as is a stretch along the lake. There are a couple of hikes that take you to viewpoints if you don’t mind some elevation gain. And if you’re feeling ambitious you can basically walk around the entire lake though doing it in a canoe or kayak would be more interesting. (Bring your own.)

With a diverse landscape around the lake that includes woodlands, wetlands and grasslands, there’s a range of habitats that are home to many uncommon birds. The lake also lies along a major north-south flyway so birding is extremely good, some of the best we’ve experienced in Alberta. Lying in our tent at tent we drifted off to sleep listening to two types of owls and loons. Come morning, we heard loads of songbirds and saw red-necked grebes, spotted sandpipers, ospreys and bald eagles.

In winter you can cross-country ski and snowshoe on 28 kilometres of trails or ice-fish on the lake.

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

The view from the Scott’s Point Trail

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

A couple enjoying a peaceful outing on Beauvais Lake; there are private cottages on the lake

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

The birding is first-rate in this park

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar - great birding at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park

A female yellow warbler

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Baby spotted sandpipers are super cute

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Hiking through mixed forest is really lovely

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

There’s a very nice hike that takes you most of the way around the lake

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Nature lovers will love the marshy areas

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Continue along this trail to a viewpoint

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Red necked grebe sitting on a nest just feet from the road

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

The Chipman Creek Trail is lined with wildflowers

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

A study in yellow

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Trout fishing is popular on Beauvais Lake

This young bird seemed to have imprinted on the fisherman on Beauvais Lake

This young bird seemed to have imprinted on the fisherman

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Peaceful canoeing

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

The South Shore Trail takes you down to the far end of Beauvais Lake

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Fall asleep listening to the call of the loon and the hoot of the owl

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

I wouldn’t call it the prettiest camping but it’s quiet and very lovely falling asleep listening to birds

Other posts you might enjoy related to southern Alberta

Click on the photo below to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

3 Southern Alberta Provincial Parks That Should be on Your Radar

Thank you to Travel Alberta for making this post possible.

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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