Lauded as the "Gateway to the North," Edmonton is known as a cultural, government, and economic centre, sitting on the North Saskatchewan River valley. With ravines and various waterways, the land around Edmonton is known for its aspen parkland, with prairies down south and forest up north bridged by a humid continental climate.
Edmonton sees all four seasons, from cold winters through hot summers, opening the doors wide for outdoor recreation opportunities. This includes water recreation, for which Edmonton offers something for everyone. Here's a list of top picks for water activities in Edmonton.
World Waterpark Amenities
- Splash pad
- Kiddie pool
- Water slides
- Swim club
- Surf club
The World Waterpark in Edmonton's West Edmonton Mall features over 20 slides and attractions for visitors of all ages. For smaller children or "beginners," there are smaller rides, a splash pad, and even a kiddie pool. From there, visitors can move up to the intermediate rides, which include a corkscrew water slide and slideboarding.
More advanced rides involve longer slides at higher speeds, including the Blue Bullet, the Howler, and the Twister. Visitors interested in the extreme rides will love the Cyclone, with its 26-metre tall slide and near-vertical 360-degree loop; Nessie's Revenge, a slide that promises a zero-gravity experience; the Sky Screamer, with its high speed of 60 km/h that each rider endures before a free fall into the landing pool; and the Tropical Typhoon, which whirls riders around at high speeds before dropping them into a three-metre splash pool.
The World Waterpark also has a swim club and several levels of surf club available. There are special times set aside for toddlers. Reservations for birthday parties are also possible.
Admission includes free life jackets and swim diapers and ranges between $29–$49 per day depending on height, age, and whether the visit is on the weekend. There are season pass options and equipment, locker, and cabana rentals that may be purchased as add-ons. The park's hours vary throughout the year, so it's best to check their website for hours, the latest news on any special events, classes, and current promotions.
Fishing in Edmonton
Popular Edmonton Fishing Spots
- North Saskatchewan River
- Wabamun Lake
- Muir Lake
- Long Lake
- Calling Lake
- Pigeon Lake
People from far and wide come to fish in Edmonton and its surrounding areas, which offer both lake and river fishing. The area is known to be friendly to beginning anglers through experts, with various opportunities to catch fish of all types. Edmonton's lakes are generally open for ice fishing in the winter, although it's a good idea to check conditions in advance.
The most popular fishing spot in the area is the North Saskatchewan River, which flows right through the city, although most people tend to drive east for some quieter spots where they are likely to catch more fish. Trout, sturgeon, pike, and walleye are the most common fish that can be caught in this river.
Heading in the opposite direction, or about an hour west of Edmonton, adventurers will explore the Wabamun Lake, known best for its massive pikes that can exceed 100 centimetres in length. The pike catches are best in the winter, so this is a popular spot for ice fishing.
Forty minutes northwest, Muir Lake has a well-stocked trout population that tends to boom in spring and fall. Rainbow and brown trout may be found here, with consistent trophy-size availability. Drive a bit over 40 minutes more and reach Long Lake, known for its fishing and boating. Two and a half hours north of Edmonton is Calling Lake, the largest lake close to Edmonton and the most likely source of a trophy-sized catch.
The adjacent Lake Provincial Park boasts RV hookups and beachside concessions. A closer spot for camping is Pigeon Lake, found south of Edmonton and right next to the Ma-Me-O Beach. Pigeon Lake has winter campsites that make ice fishing that much easier.
Alberta River Surfing Association Offerings
- Equipment rentals
- River surfing instruction
- Wave reports
Surfing is popular in Alberta, and the non-profit Alberta River Surfing Association (Alberta RSA) helps make sure that continues to be a fact. Alberta RSA offers equipment rentals at a few outposts, plus detailed guides to every possible concern surrounding river surfing. First and foremost, the Alberta RSA prioritizes safety for all surfers along with education to anyone seeking to try out river surfing or convert from ocean to river surfing. Because the river waters tend to be cold, there are additional gear concerns to consider.
The Harvie Passage is the key river surfing site in Alberta, but it can be dangerous. As a result, the Alberta RSA takes safety extremely seriously, providing detailed instructions on how to safely river surf here. They also offer wave reports to accommodate river surfers at every level, indicating wave conditions, depth, and even proximity to emergency responders if the need should arise. River surfing can be enjoyable, but every surfer must be deliberate as they decide how to take on the water.
Tubing on the Pembina River
The gentle current of the Pembina River is an ideal spot for river tubing, a beloved summer activity that gets people outdoors without requiring strenuous activity. The scenic river valley offers wildlife, walking trails, a 62-metre gorge, and a lovely winding river.
Reservations must be made for tubing because a shuttle will have to cart people back from the downstream location. Tubes can be rented along with shuttle service, ranging from $10 for a cooler tube to $32 for a 52" XL tube. Tubes without shuttle service cap out at $28 for a 52" XL tube. Every tube rental includes key security, tube ties, paddles, life jackets, and parking. Life jackets and shuttle service without tubes may be rented separately.
The final shuttle pick-up is at 7:45 p.m. As a result, the last tube rental is generally at around 4 p.m. Adults must accompany children.
Pembina River Tubing Additional Information
- Address: Pembina River Tubing, 53217 Range Rd 74 A, Entwistle, AB T0E 0S0
- Phone: 780-515-1754
- Cost: Ranges from $10 (cooler tube) to $32 (52" XL tube and shuttle service)
Allan Beach Resort
Sometimes, life calls for a day lounging in the sun and dipping toes into cool, clean water. For this reason, the Allan Beach Resort enjoys continuing popularity. This beach can be found on Hubbles Lake, less than an hour's drive west of Edmonton. For over 60 years, this beach has been open for public use. Non-motorized watercraft can glide over its gentle waters. Scuba diving, windsurfing, and fishing (primarily pike and perch) are all permitted.
Lakeside, there are 29 RV hookups. In the upper hill part of the resort, there are 31 one-RV and six two-RV sites. Sixty-eight more RV sites are adjacent to the pond area of the park. These all tend to book out very quickly, so it's important for anyone interested in visiting to make reservations as soon as possible. The cost of this reservation varies by site and length of reservation.
Day use of the beach is possible and includes parking and access to fire pits, shopping, and portable toilets. The cost is $12 per day for adults, $6 for children older than six, and children under six are free. An annual day pass is $300 for two adults and two children. A single adult pays $125, and each child over the age of six costs $75. There are no pets allowed at this beach.
Allan Beach Resort Additional Information
- Address: Allan Beach Resort, Hubbles Lake, AB T0E 0H0
- Phone: 780-515-1754
- Cost: $12/day for adults, $6/day for children older than six, $300 for annual day pass (two adults, two children), $125 annual day pass (one adult), $75 annual day pass (child over the age of six)
Explore the Outdoors in Edmonton Today
From surfing to fishing and amusement parks through pure leisure, there is truly something water-related to meet anyone's interests in Edmonton. Yet, water recreation is just one aspect of the outdoor recreational opportunities available in this city, giving visitors and residents ample opportunity to engage with all the beauty Canada offers. It's no surprise that lake houses, condos, and Edmonton townhomes continue to sell as the city's population expands. As if the outdoors and recreational opportunities weren't enough, Edmonton is rich in cultural offerings and boasts a booming economy. Experts predict it will continue to grow, so it's worth getting a piece of today.
If the water in Edmonton has caught your eye, contact the RE/MAX Excellence Team with Edmonton Real Estate at 780-800-9644 to get in contact with an agent and discover your perfect lakeside residence in Edmonton.
By Justin Havre