The Wolf Lake Provincial Recreation Area is located 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) north of the Town of Bonnyville, Alberta, in northeast, central, Alberta, Canada. The recreation area and campsite is situated in a boreal forest on Wolf Lake. This Provincial Recreation Area is in a secluded location, a fair distance from the nearest large townsite, and situated on “Crown” land, that is, property owned and maintained by the government.
The forested terrain provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and the lake attracts waterfowl, birds of prey, and migratory birds which makes it an ideal spot for those that enjoy birdwatching and wildlife viewing. RV campers that appreciate wilderness camping away from the hustle and bustle, a woodland environment, and wildlife, will find plenty of opportunity here to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.
The lake is also an excellent destination for those that enjoy fishing, either on the lake from a boat, or from the shoreline or dock. The lake has a variety of species including Northern Pike and Walleye which are plentiful. The campsite has many amenities and RV accessible sites. Lake activities also include a beach with a swimming area, kayaking, and canoeing.
Wolf Lake Provincial Recreation Area is a fair drive from the nearest major town of Bonnyville, which is about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) away, but it is well worth it for the natural setting and relaxing atmosphere. From Bonnyville you head north on Highway 41, which is a paved highway, for 22.5 kilometers (14 miles), to highway 55. Turn left on Highway 55, which is also paved, for 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), and then turn north on Range Road 73. This access road provides a winding route to the recreation area.
Take Range Road 73 north for 11 kilometers ( 6.8 miles), then Township Road 644 for 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) west, then Range Road 75 north for 7 kilometers (4.3 miles). You will see signage to the access road which takes you to the recreation area and campsite. The access road is about 8 kilometers (5 miles) long. This is an all weather road and may have rough spots and washboard, so take it easy with a motorhome or RV trailer. Bonnyville can be reached from Edmonton, Alberta, the nearest large city, by heading northeast on Highway 28 for 310 kilometers (192.6 miles). You can also approach Wolf Lake from Cold Lake using Highway 55 to access Range Road 73. Signs are posted occasionally along the route on Range Road 73 providing directions.
The Wolf Lake Campground is open from mid May to mid September each year and offers 67 unserviced sites for campers and RVers to stay while enjoying the area. Reservations can be made in April each year. The campground has a boat launch, fish cleaning station, dock, beach, and a swimming area, allowing campers to enjoy the lake. Motor boats are permitted as well as non-motorized watercraft.
Amenities include fire pits, and firewood is available for sale. There are occasional fire bans in the area during dry conditions that may prevent campers from enjoying open fires. A hand pump supplies water, but campers are encouraged to bring their own drinking water. There is a sani dump for RVers to dispose of waste.
For campers with kids there is a playground available at the campsite to keep them entertained. If you are bringing your pet, remember that dogs must be leashed at all times. The campground has five loops with sites situated on them, and there is an outhouse on each loop for campers to use.
Located remotely in a boreal forest with a lake, and relatively undeveloped setting, the Wolf Lake Recreation Area provides plenty of natural habitat for wildlife. Bird watchers can spot a variety of migratory birds, raptors and waterfowl including pelicans, eagles, rare blue herons, swans, ducks, and geese. Large herbivores such as moose and deer frequent the area as well. Use caution, especially around moose, which are large and potentially dangerous, and can become unpredictable if crowded. Always be respectful and keep your distance.
The lake is popular for fishing from the shoreline, dock, or using motorized or non-motorized watercraft. Species that you will find in the lake include lake whitefish, walleye, yellow perch, and northern pike. Fish cleaning stations are provided at the campsite and a boat launch is located here to aid in getting your boat out onto the lake. Be sure to have a current Alberta fishing license, and be aware of rules and regulations for Wolf Lake prior to your fishing trip to avoid issues with wildlife officers.
There is a swimming area and beach at the Wolf Lake Provincial Recreation Area. Swimming usually has to wait until later in the year, during the summer months as lakes in Alberta tend to be cold and do not warm up until well after the spring thaw. Swim shoes are usually a good idea, as rocky shorelines with weeds and areas with soft bottoms are unpleasant on bare feet. Be sure to wash off after swimming in Alberta lakes to avoid swimmer's itch which can be transmitted from the feces of waterfowl on and around the lake.
Ice fishing is a popular activity in Alberta during the winter when lake surfaces are frozen solid enough to allow vehicles access to the surface of the lake. An auger to create a hole to fish through the lake surface and shorter poles are employed. Many people feel that fish from the cold water are even better than in the summer, or maybe they just taste better after a day out in the cold! You will need a valid fishing license at Wolf Lake, even off season, and make sure you know limits, rules and regulations for the area.
Hiking and wildlife viewing in the spring and fall are a special treat in the area, and there are marked trails from the campground. Migratory birds making their way north in spring, and south in the fall, and can be seen passing through the area. The sight of Canada Geese in their “V” formations and the sound of their calls is extremely exciting during the transitional seasons. In the autumn months the changing colors on the leaves of deciduous trees in the surrounding boreal forest put on a spectacular display and hiking trips in the area are a special treat.
Where you can hike in the warmer months, you can snowshoe or cross country skiing during cold winter months! Snowshoes prevent you from breaking through the deep snow and skis allow you to glide quickly through the snow on the lake or on the trails. You may need to set your own tracks, so wear warm but breathable outdoor gear to stay dry and keep warm. If you choose to venture out on the lake make sure that the ice is of sufficient thickness and it is safe to do so.