If you're looking for a quiet getaway, Minnow Lake Provincial Recreation Area is the place to go. Located just a short, two-hour drive west of Edmonton, Alberta, it's the perfect way to spend a few days outside of the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Minnow Lake PRA is a very small park - it only has ten campsites, and its primary attraction is, as the name states, the peaceful Minnow Lake. Surrounded by grassy fields and lush greenery, the lake is perfect for water activities such as boating, kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
When you head to Minnow Lake, be prepared for the refreshing, off-grid solitude with a stunning and serene lake view. It's the ultimate relaxation spot, and your trip can be spent on the water or, simply, hammocking among the trees.
If you're heading to Minnow Lake from the west, head about 20 km (12.5 mi) east on Hwy 16, then turn right onto Range Rd. 150 to head south for another 25 km (15.5 mi).
If you're coming from Edmonton, head west on Hwy 16 for 173 km (107.5 mi) until you get to Range Rd 150. Turn left and head south for the 25 km (15.5 mi) to get to the entrance.
Highway 16 is a major highway in Alberta, so it is very well maintained. Additionally Range Rd. 150 is also paved, so your rig shouldn't have any problem getting to Minnow Lake. The campground is just a short drive from the entrance, and it should lead you straight to the lake.
Minnow Lake Campground only has ten sites and is first-come, first served, so get here early to snag a good campsite with a lake view! Because it's so small, amenities are limited. It has pit toilets and water pumps, but no hookups for RVs or campers. They do allow generators until 11 pm, so make sure to bring all your essentials for going off grid during your trip.
The campground has fire pits, and firewood is sold on-site during the weekends. If you'd like firewood during the weekdays, bring your own wood - or, alternatively, you can call the park and request wood delivery to your site.
The sites are located in a grassy field, so it's perfect for bringing your family and furry friends. Pets are allowed in the park, but they must be kept on leash at all times. For those of you who enjoy fishing, the campground even has a special fish cleaning station so you can have fresh fish for dinner.
Minnow Lake provides many opportunities for water activities, and the recreational area allows power boating. Speed around the lake, lay out in the sun or bring your fishing poles for a peaceful afternoon on the water.
If you're planning on bringing a larger boat, make sure you call the park ahead of time to check the water levels. If the water level is too low, the formal boat launch may be closed, but you can still hand launch smaller water crafts.
If you're looking for more activity during your trip, get out your paddles and go canoeing or kayaking at Minnow Lake. The shore is always open to hand launch your smaller water crafts, regardless of the water level, so as long as the park is open, you can always count on a good workout on the lake.
If you want the ultimate lake experience, bring your canoe AND your fishing poles, paddle out to the middle of the lake, and fish in peaceful bliss and serenity.
Fishing is the most common activity at Minnow Lake Provincial Recreational area, so bring your poles during your visit! In fact, fishing opportunities are abundant in the park's surrounding areas, so you could even plan for a few additional stops during your trip.
Stand at the shore, or better yet, take your boat out the middle of the lake to catch some pike, walleye or jacks. Fishing is so popular here that the campground even has a fish cleaning station so you can prep your daily catch for dinner!
Although the campground is closed during the off-season, it's close enough to surrounding cities to plan a fishing trip for the day. Make sure to bring your rods, augers, and shelter for a quiet and relaxing, albeit cold, day on the lake.
Pike and walleye have been caught during the off-season times, but you might have to wait a few hours before a catch. Bring a buddy to keep you company (and also help you haul your gear) to make your trip even more enjoyable.
If you're still looking to explore the area around Minnow Lake during its off-season, there is an abundance of cross-country skiing trails in Yellowhead County. So bring out your poles (your ski poles this time) and head to the world-class trails at Athabasca Lookout and Nordic Center or the Hornbeck trails northwest of Edson, where both beginner and experienced cross-country skiers can find well-maintained ski trails.
Want to explore the snowy landscapes of Alberta at a faster pace? Check out the hundreds of kilometers of trails in Yellowhead County that are maintained by the Edson Sno-Seekers snowmobile club. The maintained trails are all beginner friendly, and there are many opportunities for more challenging rides off of the groomed trails. Head to Edson to pick up a trail map and check the trail conditions before heading out on your snowmobile.