Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is a recreation and protected area conveniently located between Edmonton and Camrose. It is a popular day use area and camping destination.
The 1,300 hectare park provides year-round access to nature with a large campground, beach area, and scenic trails that showcase a landscape formed by retreating glaciers over 12,000 years ago.
Things to Do at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
There are plenty of recreational activities at Miquelon Lake that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Here are some things to do at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park.
Spring, Summer and Fall Activities
- camping (comfort camping yurts available)
- non-motorized water sports (canoeing, kayaking)
- birding and wildlife watching
- stargazing (Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve)
* The lake condition is not favourable for swimming.
* A privately run 18-hole golf course is adjacent to the park.
- cross country skiing
- winter camping
- wildlife watching
Hiking Trails at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
There are over 20 km of maintained hiking trails at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Many of the trails are connected loops that traverse the park’s knob and kettle terrain.
The starting point for most hikes in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is at the overflow parking area. This is where the trailhead for the so-called “backcountry” trails can be found. These six connected loops range from 0.9 km to 3.7 km and can be mixed and matched to create hikes of various lengths.
The backcountry hikes are generally easy, but some people may consider them moderate because of the rolling terrain. Trail maps and directional signs are posted at intersections, making it easy to plan your hike as you go. There are also a few benches and outhouses. These wide grassy trails are multi-use so you may see mountain bikers and in the winter, cross country skiers.
Some hikes that can be reached from the park’s visitor centre include the Holdsworth Trail, a 3.5 km out and back route with a loop, the Shoreline Path, a 3.7 km trail that goes along the beach and into the campground, and the short but scenic Grebe Pond interpretive trail.
Distance: 7.5 km
Elevation Gain: 35 m
Surface: Grass and soil
Time: 2 hrs
This route is one of the longest hikes you can do in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. It follows the outer edge of all six connected backcountry loops, including Grouse Loop, which is the largest at 3.7 km.
Starting from the overflow parking area, the route goes down a treed path to Beaver Hills Loop then turns right and continues along a treed trail to the junction of Chickadee Loop and Grouse Loop. Keep right to get on Grouse Loop.
The trail is nicely shaded by aspen trees with occasional views of the area wetlands. It then opens up to a nice viewpoint above a kettle pond, one of several which can be seen on this hike.
The hike continues through the forest, passing by more scenic wetlands. There is plenty of evidence of beaver activity on this hike, like lodges in the ponds and chewed off trees.
At the far end of Grouse Loop there are remains of a homestead built by early settlers sometime between 1910-1920. The barn has fallen to a pile of rubble, but the house is still standing.
Towards the end of Grouse Loop, the trail opens up on one side for another nice view of the wetlands and later, a secondary basin of Miquelon Lake. Further ahead the trail passes through a low-lying area that can get flooded with water in the spring and after a heavy rainfall, so waterproof shoes can come in handy.
Next up the trail comes to a junction with Fox Loop. Keep right to stay on the outer edge of the loop trail.
Much like before, the trail meanders through the forest and along the shores of the wetlands. Eventually you’ll come to Ermine Loop, then Deer Loop before arriving at Chickadee Loop.
Certain spots along Chickadee Trail are quite scenic, especially when walking on higher ground that overlooks the ponds.
The final leg of this hike is on Beaver Hills loop, which is also rather pretty because of its close proximity to the water. Look for beaver lodges here.
At the end of Beaver Hills loop you’ll be heading back to the parking lot on the same trail you walked in on.
Grebe Pond Trail
Distance: 0.6 km (one way)
Grebe Pond is one of the most scenic places in Miquelon Provincial Park and the short interpretive trail should not be missed.
The path is located near the road into the park and can be accessed from the visitor centre. Interpretive panels along the trail provide interesting information about the park’s birds while two docks and a lookout make great vantage points for viewing wetland wildlife.
Camping at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
For camping at Miquelon Lake there are individual sites, group sites, and a few yurts for comfort camping. One of the camping loops is open for winter camping.
Miquelon Lake Campground
The Miquelon Lake campground features 276 campsites arranged into three loops. Four of these sites are equipped with 6-person yurts for comfort camping. There are also seven group campsites spread out around the northeast end of the park and an unserviced overflow camping area for when the main campground is full.
The campsites at Miquelon Lake Campground can accommodate a range of unit sizes from tents, trailers and long RV’s. The pull-through RV sites are especially spacious and nicely sheltered by trees, as are many of the other sites. Some of the smaller sites, while still surrounded by trees, offer a little less privacy because of their close proximity to one another.
There are power and unserviced sites to choose from and all have fire pits and picnic tables. Other campground amenities include playgrounds, showers, flush toilets, tap water, and sewage disposal. Firewood can be purchased in the campground.
The Shoreline Path connects the campground’s three loops with the beach area and provides access to the park’s hiking and biking trails.
Wildlife Viewing at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is a great destination for bird watching with over 200 species residing in the area. Miquelon Lake was declared a federal bird sanctuary back in 1920 and later was designated as one of Canada’s Important Bird Areas and a Provincial Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
Some birds that breed at Miquelon Lake in significant numbers are Ring-billed gulls and California gulls. The endangered Piping Plovers also have nesting areas in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, as does Alberta’s great horned owl.
Other birds that can be spotted in the park are ducks, trumpeter and tundra swans, goldeneyes, red-tailed hawks, thrushes, finches, and yellow warblers. Pelicans have even returned to Pelican Island in Miquelon Lake after a century-long absence.
In addition to birds, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is also home to beavers, muskrats, moose, coyotes, deer, weasels, squirrels, snakes, and snowshoe hares.
Review of Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park makes for a fantastic local getaway from Edmonton or Camrose. The day use area is well equipped with a beachfront playground and picnic tables, a hand boat launch for kayaks and canoes, a visitor centre, and access to easy hikes and nature walks.
The undulating hills of the backcountry trails provide beautiful views of the park’s protected wetlands. These slight but consistent elevation changes add some variety that other hiking areas near Edmonton lack. The historic sites and interpretive panels on some of the trails add interest too.
One downside is that the park’s close proximity to Edmonton means it gets busy on summer weekends. For some people, the lake’s poor condition for swimming could also be a downside.
Overall though, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is well worth visiting on a day trip or for a few nights of camping.
Tips for Visiting Miquelon Lake Provincial Park
Location: Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is located about 67 km southeast of Edmonton in Camrose County. It’s 30 km north of the city of Camrose.
Getting There: From Edmonton you can take Anthony Henday Drive to Hwy 14 then go south on Hwy 21 until you reach 623 where you will go east until you reach the park entrance.
- Another option from Edmonton would be to go south on Hwy 2 then head east on 625 at Nisku to Hwy 21. At Hwy 21 go south until 623 and follow that to the park.
- It’s about a 50 minute drive from central Edmonton and a 25 minute drive from Camrose.
Campground Reservations: Campsite reservations for Miquelon Lake Campground can be made by calling Alberta Parks or through their website.
Park and Campground Map: Here is a map of Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and Miquelon Lake Campground.
Trail Map: Here is a map of the hiking trails in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park.
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