Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park was developed during the 1930s. Many of the trees which provide shade and privacy in the campground today were planted by volunteers during the park's development. Gooseberry Lake which once provided recreation is now aging into a wetland and is a sanctuary for many different species of birds, even being designated an Important Bird Area.
The shallow nature of the transforming Gooseberry Lake makes it unsuitable for fishing, boating, or swimming. This natural wetland is, however, an excellent viewing spot for the many different types of waterfowl and shorebirds that frequent the park. Instead of swimming, both kids and adults can enjoy the many water features at the spray park. After a day filled with activity, head back to your campsite to enjoy the starlit sky. The park is located hours away from the light pollution of cities, making for a pitch black sky.
Camping season at Gooseberry Lake is open from mid-May to mid-October. The exact dates may vary from year to year. The park hosts a mix of unserviced sites as well as campsites with electric and water. Only the serviced campsites are reservable in advance. Be sure to pack a light sweatshirt or jacket for your trip to enjoy star-filled skies next to a roaring campfire. Though it can get warm on summer days, the nights and early mornings can still bring chilly to mild temperatures.
Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park is about a 16-minute, or 9-mile (15 km), drive from the village of Consort, Alberta. Though the village is small, you’ll find services including a grocery store, hospital, gas station, and a couple of restaurants.
About three hours southeast of Edmonton and nearly four hours northeast of Calgary, the park is a great escape from the bustle of the city. You can expect to encounter few, if any, hazards during your drive to the park. If visiting late in the season and traveling early in the morning or late at night there may be icy patches.
The roads in the park are paved and the parking pads are gravel. The campsites can accommodate rigs up to 50 feet, including the towing vehicle. You should find it easy to drive through and around the park. There is additional parking at the day use area.
Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park has 18 campsites with power and water which are reservable online. There are an additional 32 sites which are unserviced and are available on a first-come, first served basis. The campground also has group sites for those planning a large gathering. Visitors should be aware that there is no potable water in the park from mid-September to when it closes in October.
RVs and trailers up to 50 feet in length, including the tow vehicle, can be accommodated. The trees and shrubs throughout the campground provide shade and privacy to some campsites. Other campsites aren’t as private being in open, grassy areas.
The campsites have a fire pit for which firewood can be purchased from the park. Other amenities to enjoy include a playground, picnic shelters, and showers. There is also a dump station between registration and the campground.
With the nearest cities a few hours away, there is no light pollution, creating a very dark sky. Visitors can enjoy these dark nights gazing up to the sky to point out the different stars, planets, and constellations while around a warm campfire. The best viewing is during the spring and fall when there are fewer hours of daylight.
There are picnic shelters in the day-use area of the park. Plan a family reunion, birthday, or anniversary at the park. With plenty of room for a large group, the picnic areas are perfect for gatherings of all types. If planning a large weekend gathering, there are group sites in the campground for overnight stays.
While staying at Gooseberry Lake you can plan to practice that golf swing. The well-maintained, 9-hole Consort Golf Course is located at the park. Golfers can rent equipment or bring their own. You’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the lake as well as views of the Neutral Hills to the north while out on the green.
While the lake isn’t suitable for swimming or other water sports, kids and even adults will enjoy cooling off at the spray park, also known as a splash pad. With several different water features, the spray park will bring hours of enjoyment during warm summer days. Picnic tables and restrooms are near the spray park.
There are several trails in the park which are open for hiking and biking. The interconnecting trails circle the campground and the various points of interest within the park. Enjoy birdwatching, different types of vegetation, and beautiful landscape as you explore the area. The trails are easy and can be enjoyed by all ages, though there are a few hills.
Gooseberry Lake Provincial Park is designated as an Important Bird Area. A fantastic spot for birdwatching, visitors will have the opportunity to observe many different species. Sanderlings and red-necked phalaropes are two types of birds that are common to the park. During the late summer months, you can expect to see ducks, geese, swan, and other waterfowl near the lake. The endangered piping plover may be spotted as well.