Saskatoon Island Provincial Park is between two lakes, Saskatoon Lake and Little Lake. At one time this was an island; however, receding lake levels caused the island to connect with the mainland. Saskatoon Island is one of Alberta’s oldest parks, opening in 1932. It was originally established at the request of residents to protect berry bushes. Just one year later, the park had also become a refuge for the trumpeter swan. It became a Federal Bird Sanctuary in 1948.
At 247 acres (100 ha) in size, this provincial park provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy wetlands, shrub-lands, native prairie, and forest. With its variety of vegetation, Saskatoon Island is home to a number of different animals including birds, deer, and beavers. Explore the nearly 4 miles (6 km) of trails to take in the scenery. The trails are open for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Head out to the viewing platform on the lake and catch a glimpse of the rare trumpeter swan which frequents the park.
The campground is located along Lake Saskatoon and hosts more than 100 campsites. 55 of these have electrical hookups. Camping season runs from May through October and reservations can be made online or by phone. The campground has a number of amenities for its guests to enjoy in addition to the many activities throughout the park.
Saskatoon Island Provincial Park is located near Grande Prairie, Alberta. While the park may feel remote during your stay, it is only about a 25-minute drive to the city of Grand Prairie. You’ll find all services from gas to groceries to museums in Grande Prairie. It is also only a short drive to other protected areas of land.
Located west of Grande Prairie, you’ll find Saskatoon Island located off of Range Road 81. You shouldn’t encounter hazards during your drive, but do keep an eye out for deer and other wildlife that may be grazing along the roadside. Early and late in the camping season, as well as during the winter months, freezing conditions may cause the road to freeze. Watch for ice!
Once inside the park, you’ll find that the campground is located along the shore of Saskatoon Lake. There are parking areas at both the east and west ends of the park. Many of the campsites can accommodate RVs and travel trailers. The parking pad at each campsite is back-in.
Saskatoon Island Provincial Park has over 100 campsites which include 55 campsites with electric hookups and another 48 without any services. Most campsites are private from the hardwoods and shrub-lands surrounding each. Amenities at each campsite include a picnic table and fire pit. Water taps are located nearby as well.
There are a number of amenities for guests during their stay at the park. The amenities include playgrounds, a picnic area, and vault toilets. While there aren’t sewer hookups at the campsites there is a dump station located near the campground. Firewood can be purchased at the park. Be sure to check fire bans if visiting during a dry period before enjoying the fire pit at your campsite.
Camping season runs from May through October. The water and dump station are closed in October as the weather turns colder. Reservations can be made online or over the phone.
Bring along your kayak or canoe for your visit to Saskatoon Island. While out rowing along the shoreline or across the lake keep your eyes peeled for the trumpeter swan. You may catch sight of a number of other species of birds or wildlife as well. A hand boat launch is located on Saskatoon Lake near the entrance to the camping area.
In 1948, Saskatoon Island Provincial Park became a Federal Bird Sanctuary. One of its most anticipated visitors is migratory trumpeter swans. The best spot to view the trumpeter swan is from the bird viewing platform located on Little Lake. Many other types of waterfowl can be observed on both Little Lake and Saskatoon Lake. Songbirds, owls, and raptors also frequent the park.
There are a few playgrounds located throughout the park for children to enjoy during downtime from other activities. The playgrounds include a mix of traditional playground equipment as well as logs, rocks, and bushes to climb in or around on. Kids are sure to enjoy the fun these playground areas will provide.
Saskatoon Island is a great spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Both the Little Lake Trail and Shoreline Trail are open for winter activities. The terrain is great for beginners. The longer loops may be more appealing and challenging to intermediate cross-country skiers. While out on the snow-covered trails look out for the many animal tracks left by wildlife.
In addition to the birdwatching, there are many other species of wildlife to look forward to seeing during your visit to the park. Beavers, muskrats, and snowshoe hare can be spotted near the lake and out on the trails. You may also see deer and an occasional moose during your stay as well! Be sure to follow animal safety tips and don’t feed or get too close to wildlife.
There are nearly 4 miles (6 km) of hiking trails to explore at the park. The Little Lake Trail consists of interconnecting trails and totals about 2.5 miles (4.2 km). One of these trails leads down to the bird viewing platform on Little Lake. As you wander past the many different types of vegetation, keep an eye out for other wildlife that visits the park. The second trail, Shoreline Trail, is over a mile (2 km) round trip and runs along the shoreline of Saskatoon Lake.