As the school nears the end, many people are looking forward to getting out of the City and back to nature over the summer months. If you are new to camping, or just looking for a new, family-friendly campground, here are the five best family campgrounds in Southern Alberta:
Dinosaur Provincial Park Campground
This campground is great for those looking to hike through the badlands, doing biking on the loop road through the hoodoos and playing in the mud. It's a guaranteed kid-paradise and it's easy to find spots on most weekends.
Writing on Stone Provincial Park Campground
This is another great campground for spring before it gets too hot in Southern Alberta (unless you prefer the dry heat of course). Similar to Dinosaur Provincial Park, you can spend your days hiking through the badlands and climbing hoodoos.
Waterton Springs Campground
This is a private campground located just outside of Waterton Lakes National Park. Camp here to escape the crowds inside the park and you can hike the nature reserve above the campground. There's a lovely paved bike trail that starts at the park gate and from there, families can ride into downtown Waterton for the day, and bike back to camp later in the afternoon.
Little Bow Provincial Park Campground
This little campground doesn't have much in the way of hiking, biking or even a playground, but it does have a lovely beach that will entertain the kids for a long weekend (or even longer). It's a great place for families with boats and those that like water sports from wake boarding to kayaking and canoeing on the Travers Reservoir. This is where you go in the summer to relax in the sun for a week when you want to camp close to Calgary without the long drive to the beaches of British Columbia.
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Campgrounds
From the Canyon campground, you can hike the Canyon Interpretive Trail, bike to Boulton Creek and back for ice cream on the paved bike trails or you can take your canoe or kayaks out for an evening paddle at sunset on the Lower Lake. Unfortunately, Canyon campground doesn't accept reservations so you will have to head out mid-week to get a spot in the summer. If you go in June or September though, you shouldn't have too many problems finding a spot. Families wanting a powered site for their trailer or RV, or just wanting to make a reservation in advance can also camp nearby in the Boulton Creek Campground or the Elkwood Campground which are also located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. There are no bad campgrounds in this park and you'll be a short hour and a half away from Calgary which is great for a short weekend outing.