Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

A family-friendly relaxation spot, with scenic lake views, comfortable camping options, and a long list of recreational options, Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area gives visitors a unique encounter with nature and a serene outdoor experience. Located in Alberta, Canada, the resort is spread over 288 acres of tall hills, clear-water river, grassland, and an all-round beautiful landscape.

The park's major attraction is the Red Deer River. The 724km river runs through the park, offering visitors recreational opportunities such as kayaking, fishing, and boating. The river also supports the region's ecosystem, with the area's diverse plant and animal life relying on the river for survival.

The diverse landscape at Red Deer River Recreation Area also helps in supporting plant and animal life. Moose, black bears, white-tailed deer, and wild cats are some common animals visitors may encounter here. Birds like grey falcons, warblers, common ravens, blue jays, and woodpeckers also live on the marshlands surrounding the river.

This resort is ideal for RV camping. Roadways within the resort are RV friendly. There are two comfortable campgrounds with over 60 campsites available. Basic amenities are provided at the campground with modern facilities also available ensuring visitors have a wonderful stay.

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Transportation in Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area

Driving

Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area can be accessed 60km southwest of Sundre on Forestry Trunk Road on Hwy 734. Permits or vehicle passes are required to access the park.

Roadways are RV friendly with signposts directing road users within the park. Each campground is located approximately 2km either side of the stop sign on Hwy 734.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area

Campsites in Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Red Deer River South Campground

Red Deer River South Campground has 53 pet-friendly campsites available from May to mid September. The campground is located about 2km (1.25 mi) south of Hwy 734. There are pit toilets at the campground, as well as coin operated showers.

Some other amenities at the campground include picnic shelters, fire pits, and free firewood. The river is a short hike away from the campground and there is also a small eatery nearby. Reservations for campsites can be made online or by phone and can be made up to 90 days in advance. Unreserved campsites are distributed on a first come first served basis.

First-come first-served

Red Deer River North Campground

Red Deer River North Campground has 14 family-friendly campsites available from the beginning of May to mid September. Campsites are located on the north bank of the Red Deer River. There are pit toilets at the campground, with shower facilities also available.

Other amenities at the campground include fire pits, free firewood, picnic shelters, and water pumps. The campground offers easy access to the river with a restaurant and medical facility also close by. If you're a rafter, kayaker or canoer, you'll appreciate the easy river access offered here.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area

In-Season

Fishing

Red Deer River is a great spot for anglers to catch a wide variety of fish species. The river has some of Canada's most diverse fish concentration with over 150 fish species.

Anglers can fish from the banks but often take Kayaks into the river for better opportunities. Northern pike, salmon, bull trout, red face, white fish, river shiner and yellow perch are some of the popular catches at the river.

Hiking

Red Deer Provincial Recreation Area is a premium destination for hikers. The area, like most of Alberta's parks, offers visitors great front country hiking with spectacular views of the area's landscape, plant life, and animals.

The trails by the river are the longest and give you the best views of Red Deer River. There are trails with higher altitudes by the hillside which give you a wider view of the region and there are also birding trails available to hikers.

Canoeing/Kayaking

Canoeing or kayaking at Red Deer River is one of Alberta's major tourist attractions. The river runs for over 700km, with a stable flow, making it a family-friendly ride no matter the time or season.

There are numerous paddling options at the river from a day's ride up to a week. Paddlers can spot some wildlife on the river banks all through the ride while they take in a unique view of Alberta's landscape.

Off-Season

ATVing

ATV riding is a popular activity at Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area. There is an extensive channel of spectacular off-road trails and roads that take you through the heart of Central Alberta and gives you spectacular views of Red Deer you wont get by hiking or canoeing.

Some of the best ATV trails are along the Blind Man River, with other trails available keeping you as close to or as far away from the campgrounds as you wish to go. The summer heat might make off-roading uncomfortable, so the first few months of the year is the best time to ride your ATV around the area.

Exploration

Red Deer, Alberta's third largest city, has a rich history and culture and visitors to the Red Deer River Provincial Recreation Area can immerse themselves in some of this history and culture by exploring the region.

Some of the popular places for visitors near the recreation area include the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Red Deer Memorial Center. Family-friendly events like the Central Alberta Children's Festival, Alberta Culture Days and many other cultural festivals are held in Red Deer annually.

Birding

The city of Red Deer and Alberta in general is home to a wide range of bird species. Visitors to the park can see some amazing birds anytime they visit the park, but peak birding weeks in Alberta come in migration season between late February and early May.

Birds of prey like peregrine falcons and hawks are popular. Horned larks and mountain bluebirds can also be seen all over the park. Some year-round residents include house finch, ravens, plovers, pileated woodpeckers, and magpies. There are designated birding trails that give visitors better viewing opportunities.

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