Summer in the Slave Lake Region
In the summer, visitors are drawn to the Slave Lake Region to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. The region’s many beaches, lakes, rivers and trails provide endless opportunities for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Some of the most popular summer activities in the region include:
Lesser Slave Lake is Alberta’s largest automobile-accessible lake and is over 1,160 sq. kilometers in size – enjoying it is easy! Paddle boarding, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and water skiing, are all very popular. Boaters can launch from the free municipal boat launch on the Lesser Slave River or from spots around the Southshore such as the Canyon Creek Harbour. Fawcett Lake, Lawrence Lake and Cross Lake also have water sport opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. For a unique adventure, try free tubing down the Lesser Slave and Pembina Rivers.
Boating on Lesser Slave Lake.
Devonshire Beach is a 1.5 km white sand beach in the Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park and is the destination of choice for many families to enjoy the sun, sand and water each summer. Friends also gather to play beach volleyball and hike along the almost 7 km of dunes. Annually, Devonshire Beach hosts the Alberta Open Sandsculpture Championships in July, showcasing sand castle sculpting skills and creations around a common theme with family friendly activities on the beach. Additionally, there are beaches around Lesser Slave Lake, as well as Fawcett Lake and Cross Lake.
The Slave Lake Region is also well-known for its world-class freshwater fishing. Lesser Slave Lake is home to large walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and whitefish. Every year, fishing tournaments such as the Canadian Tire Anglers Cup Walleye Tournament, bring hundreds to the lake hoping to catch “the big one” and cash in on over $145,000 in cash prizes. In Slave Lake, try fishing from the Sawridge Creek to catch some elusive Arctic Grayling. Don’t forget about Fawcett Lake and Lawrence Lake in the Smith area.
ATVing is a passionate pastime for many within the region. Spending the day with friends, family or simply taking off for a day solo to get out into the backcountry is a common activity. Many gather friends together and make a day of it, stopping for a wiener roast and enjoying the quiet of the deep forest. Summer and winter, quads, rangers, sleds and Argos can all be found navigating the wooded terrain, such as the Peace River Trail, to engage those seeking adventure in the boreal forest. Those looking for a sandy terrain to ride machines can explore the Chisholm and Smith/Hondo areas. With plenty of sandy trails and places to have campfires, this area is an ATVers dream! Spend a full day in the eastern portion of the region and explore some of the back lakes that can only be accessed through trail riding. All ATV riders are encouraged to use a GPS device as many trails are not marked and trails branch off.
ATVing near Slave Lake.
One of the most popular summer recreation activities in the Slave Lake Region is camping and it’s home to one of the top campgrounds in Alberta. There are 12 campgrounds in the area with over 900 sites to serve a diverse range of campers. Choose lake-front lots with prime viewing for dramatic summer sunsets or, if you are an early bird, sunrises. For the more adventurous, choose a site close to the plethora of trail systems that run throughout the area.
Campground sites range from full service, powered, and unpowered, with options for tenting, campers, and RVs. For families looking to have the convenience and lifestyle of an annual site, there are long-term rentals available—a great way for families to make the most of summer without having to pack up every weekend. There are also cabins rentals and various B&B’s in the region for those looking for a retreat without the tent or camper. Check out the full listing of campgrounds and tourism operators in our hospitality directory.
The Flat Top Motocross Track is an epic adventure for local riders and those that attend competitions hosted by the local association. The track has an uphill start with lots of natural elevation changes and is surrounded by forest and endless trail riding opportunities.
The Gilwood Golf Course and Country Club is built on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake and provides an 18 hole oasis in the thick of the forest. It’s only 10 kilometers from Slave Lake and another favorite pastime for people in the region. The course is challenging even for experienced golfers and hosts numerous tournaments throughout the season. A second golf course is in Flatbush, the River Valley Golf Course, gives visitors and locals a relaxing 9 hole quest.
The region has a young population and plenty of activities specifically for families with children to enjoy. There are ten parks and one spray park ready for fun and action. Hilda Eben is a large park located in Slave Lake with tennis courts and a skate park, as well as a jungle-jim and ice rink. Runners and walkers can enjoy a 10 km paved walking path which winds through the forested areas next to the Sawridge Creek and out to Devonshire Beach before connecting with the Trans-Canada Trail.
Schurter Park including the spray park.
Baseball diamonds are widely used throughout the summer months in the Slave Lake Region. You’ll find opportunities for playing baseball, softball, fastball, and slow pitch. Local teams practice and host events and tournaments in Slave Lake, Widewater, Smith, and Flatbush.
Stealing a base. Credit: Lakeside Leader Newspaper