Obed Lake Provincial Park is a small park that packs a big punch in terms of activities and nature viewing. Situated in the Lower Foothills, northeast of Hinton, this beautiful park serves as a small access point to three smaller lakes, known as the Obed Lakes. This park allows the seven or so groups of RV campers on its campground to enjoy very private access to some very popular lakes.
The park was established to protect and conserve the ecosystem around these natural lakes as well as the surrounding upland areas and wetlands. Campers who have a love for adventure and the great outdoors will love the abundance of wildlife and the birds that reside in this area. The lakeside campsites allow vacationers to look out at the stunning views of lakes and forests from the comfort of their RVs and tents. The park offers campers opportunities for fishing, canoeing, power boating, and kayaking in the placid Obed Lake waters.
In the past, Obed Lake Provincial Park didn’t provide access to its three lakes. However, it was later expanded to over 800 hectares to include the adjacent lakes and highlands.
Small it may be, but to RV campers it provides a mix of everything under its expansive skies. The landscape surrounding the park includes Boreal Forests, wetlands, marshes, rivers, streams and hills offering visitors the opportunity to explore this versatile landscape to their heart's content. The woodlands surrounding the lake have many species of tall trees including lodgepole pine, aspen poplar, and white spruce. Moreover, the campsites provide a very close view of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, magical sunsets, and mesmerizing night skies.
If driving by car, RV or motorhome head towards west-central Alberta for Yellowhead County, which is about 80 km or 50 miles northeast of Jasper and 284 km or 175 miles west of Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton. There, at the intersection of Yellowhead and Bighorn Highway, you’ll find the town of Hilton.
Once you arrive at Hilton, Obed Lake Provincial Park is only 20-minutes of a drive from there. Drive 55 km west of Edson, off highway 16, and you’ll find the park located north along of Yellowhead highway. Paved and gravel roads lead to the various amenities and campsites once you inside park grounds.
Obed Lake Provincial Park houses one small campground with seven unserviced campsites for RV campers. All the sites are assigned on a first come first served basis and none of the sites can be reserved. All campsites have fire pits and firewood is also available for purchase within the park grounds. Picnic tables are set up by each site and a water pump provides access to clean water. The campground features pit/vault toilets and most of the sites are quite wooded, offering plenty of privacy from nosy neighbors.
Other amenities in the campground include a fish cleaning station and quick access to the boat launch area.
While the water from the pump is always available for campers and Alberta Parks strive to maintain the highest quality of water, it is still recommended for campers to bring their own supply of drinking water.
With three lakes in the park, there are loads of water-based recreational activities for campers and visitors to partake in. A wide and long gravel boat launch area makes this is a great park for boating enthusiasts to take to the open waters. Power boats, canoes, kayak, and paddle boards are all allowed on the lake waters. You can either bring your boats and head out to deeper parts of the lake for a bit of fishing or simply float around admiring the spectacular landscape. The lake is usually quiet and is a great place for paddling around in peace.
Summers and winters are both good seasons for anglers visiting the park. The lakes are abundant with fish throughout the year and the park also has a fish cleaning station near the dock. Fish in the lake any time of the year and expect to rake in some trophy-sized brown trout, yellow perch, suckers, and eastern brook trout for supper with pictures to impress all your folks back home. Matter of fact, two of the largest brown trout caught in Alberta in 1999, were actually the finds of the anglers fishing in Obed Lake. These deep lake waters truly hold some freshwater giants.
The riparian habitat surrounding Obed Lake Provincial Park is home to many birds. As a result, campers get to spot many exotic and rare bird species up-close, including the visiting trumpeter swans who nest by the lake and feed off the rich lake waters. Other bird sightings include mallard, surf scoter, common loon, blue jay, brown creeper, redhead, Dark-eyed Junco, boreal chickadee, black-capped chickadee, and many others. The marshes, wetlands, dense woodlands, and surrounding lake make this the perfect natural habitat for birds to thrive in.
Those seeking a relaxing lakeside picnic will love Obed Lake Provincial Park for the privacy and comfort it offers to its day-use visitors. The park has four campsites dedicated to being used as a day-use area. Locals, cross-country travelers and outdoor enthusiasts all love to stop by this location for a spot of fishing and picnicking with family and friends. Access to clean water and dry toilets make for a fairly comfortable day-stay at the park. Picnic tables and firepits are also available while other facilities for the temporary guests include kiosks, signage, potable water, woodbin, garbage disposal, fishing docks, boat launch area, and a fish cleaning station as well as access to the stunning views of these vast lake waters.
The diverse coniferous forests and wetlands surrounding Obed Lake Provincial Park are a shelter for a number of wild animals. Campers can often manage to catch a glimpse of elks in the summer and moose during the winters. Black bears, brown bears, and even grizzlies patrol these dense woods and the healthy population of fish in the water make for rewarding hunting grounds for many local and migrating bird species. Make sure you steer clear of wildlife and only watch from afar. Remember to keep your food and belongings locked up in storage containers as this is well and truly bear country.
While there are no exclusive or designated hiking trails in the park for nature enthusiasts to hike along, all campers are still welcome to walk around the park grounds and appreciate the versatile natural features that the area has to offer. The diverse topography of the land includes plenty of wetland communities home to many species of towering trees like black Spruce-Tamarac fens, lodgepole pine, aspen poplar, and white spruce. Plenty of wildflowers can also be found as you venture deeper into the woods. The rich flora and fauna of these lands make for some short but highly entertaining hikes.