Big Knife Provincial Park
Guide

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Introduction

A small but picturesque park nestled in Alberta’s Battle River Valley, Big Knife Provincial Park offers an outdoor escape to all those wanting to spend time with nature. The park features family-friendly grassy campsites, hiking trails and plenty of water-based activities.

The park’s unique geological landscape features rivers, estuaries, woodlands, hoodoos, and coulees that can only be found in this part of the world. Hoodoos and coulees are formed from thousands of years of water, wind and frost erosion that create natural rock sculptures that are a sight to behold.

Apart from its unique terrain, which offers plenty to see during your hiking adventures, Big Knife Provincial Park is also home to Battle River. This meandering river with its many tributaries offers campers plenty of water-based activities to indulge in including fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming.

This small park is also home to many species of local and migrating birds as well as wildlife. A large playground and picnic tables located along the banks of the river also offers the perfect spot for a day out picnicking or relaxing in this beautiful landscape.

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Transportation in Big Knife Provincial Park

Driving

Big Knife Provincial Park is located about 12-miles away from its nearest town, Forestburg and about 60 km south-east of Stettler. When arriving at Forestburg turn onto Highway 53 and drive west from about five-miles before taking the exit to Secondary Highway 855 South. Drive for about seven miles and you will reach the park entrance. Once inside, the campsites are spacious and can accommodate RVs and motorhomes. Well-maintained gravel roads connect to the amenities and facilities available at the park as well as the grassy campsites.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Big Knife Provincial Park

Campsites in Big Knife Provincial Park

Reservations camping

Big Knife Campground

Big Knife Provincial Park accommodate both tent and RV camping with a total of 50 campsites. A few walk-in tenting sites are also available nestled in the woods for a more remote and primitive camping experience.

The regular fifty odd campsites at Big Knife Campground are spacious and equipped with picnic tables and firepits with firewood available at the campgrounds. Access to nearby pit and chemical toilets, sewage dumping area, park office, boat launch, hiking trails, and recycling plant make for a relatively comfortable and entertaining camping experience. Pets are allowed on campgrounds as long as they are leashed.

If you are seeking a quieter more peaceful camping experience devoid of too many people Big Knife Provincial Park might just be your cup of tea.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Big Knife Provincial Park

In-Season

Boating

Battle River provides plenty of opportunity for paddle boating, kayaking and canoeing on the calm river and estuary waters. Boating offers the ideal way to get some exercise while looking out for wildlife, birds and picturesque spots from which to gaze out at the beautiful green valley and surrounding hills. A spacious gravel boat river launch area offers plenty of room for boating enthusiast to take to the river waters.

Hiking

The park offers rugged as well as nicely groomed hiking trails that wind through the Battle River Valley. The Lowland trail offers picturesque views of the surrounding river landscape as well as its associated bird and wildlife. The Lowland trail also passes past the Big Knife Hoodoos and is about a 4.5 km or about 3-mile round-trip. The Highland trail offers a more challenging hike with an uphill climb that may leave you breathless. Not just from the hike but also from the panoramic views of the beautiful Battle River Valley below.

Fishing

Battle River offers angling enthusiast the opportunity to fish from the banks or boat their way to more remote fishing sites for a peaceful, secluded and thrilling fishing experience. The river waters have a healthy population of Northern Pike, Walleye and Perch that can be caught to your heart’s content as long as you have your fishing license.

Off-Season

Geocaching

Big Knife Provincial Park is also home to hidden geocaches spread all around its small but unique terrain. Make sure to bring your GPS along and explore the geocache locations that offer a fun and educational activity for children and adults. The unique geology of the Big Knife Hoodoos also makes for a fascinating understanding of the intricate complexity of nature and its powerful unseen forces.

Winter Activities

Even though the campsites and various amenities are unavailable during the winter months the park is still open for winter enthusiast that want to spend a day out cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the well-groomed winter trails. The park is transformed during winter and offers its own beauty with frozen rivers and streams, barren trees, icy formations, and the traces of winter wildlife.

Picnicking

Enjoy a beautiful day out picnicking at Big Knife Provincial Park. The shaded picnic areas come equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, horseshoe pits, plenty of parking space, access to dry toilets and drinking water. The large playing field is also great for playing outdoor sports with friends and family or teaming up with other campers for some added fun and entertainment.

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