Miquelon Lake is a fun nature escape near Edmonton with wetlands and forest trails.
“Can we walk around the grebe pond again, Mom?” my youngest asks. My oldest chimes in, “Yeah, can we? Maybe we’ll see the beaver again!” It’s a short but scenic walk around the Grebe Pond which is teeming with life. Just like the day before, the beaver is busy at work, and garter snakes bask in the sun on the floating docks. We watch coots feed their young while rednecked grebes dunk for dinner. The highlight of our walk is seeing a massive American Pelican fly overhead. With the help of a birding app, we ID twelve species of birds. Not bad for amateurs! Over 200 species of birds, however, can be seen in the park.
We had planned to paddle and have beach time, but the Miquelon Lake’s brackish water is smelly (due to low water levels and rotting vegetation). Signs around the park and at the Park Centre describe how the lake is changing and why its salinity is increasing. The lakeshore is still pretty, so we enjoy the sunset from the beach before returning to camp.
The best things to do in the park are to go on a nature walk around the Grebe Pond, attend an interpretive program or amphitheatre show, hike the backcountry trails, and bike the paved 3.7 km bike path.
Things to Do
Interpretive Programs: During the summer, you can take part in guided nature walks and Family Programs, watch an amphitheatre show, or visit the Farmers Market on Fridays. For a complete listing of events in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, visit Alberta Parks | Miquelon Lake Provincial Park Events.
Hiking and biking: Miquelon Lake Provincial Park has 20 kilometres of hiking trails that wind through wetlands, forest, and knob and kettle terrain. There’s also a 3.7 kilometre paved bike trail – Shoreline Path – that is perfect for kids (no hills)! For more information, check out the park brochure here: Alberta Parks | Miquelon Lake Brochure.
Wildlife and Bird Watching: Look for birds, beavers, and garter snakes on the nature trail around the Grebe Pond (across from the Park Centre). The park is rich in biodiversity and is part of the Beaver Hills UNESCO Biosphere. See how many types of birds you can spot! Over 200 species of birds have been seen at Miquelon! Deer, moose, porcupines, and coyotes also live in the park.
Star gazing: Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is within the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, so expect to be dazzled by tons of stars on a clear night!
Paddling: You can paddle on Miquelon Lake, but vegetation in the lake makes it smelly in the summer. Try early or later in the season.
- Campsites at Miquelon are spacious and private thanks to their forested location. Power sites and unserviced sites are available.
- Firewood is sold at the park.
- There is a playground in every campground loop, as well as one at the Day Use Area.
- The Park Centre is open on the weekend. Firewood, ice, and camping essentials are sold here.
- There are showers and flush toilets, but they are closed until further notice (to allow for physical distancing during COVID-19).
Know Before You Go
For the 2020 camping season, Miquelon Lake campground is 100% reservable.
Miquelon Lake is brackish (salty), so it is not a swimming or fishing lake. Depending on the time of year, the lake can smell bad, but you can’t smell it from the campground.
Cell service is spotty here – it seemed better by the Park Centre – so if you’re meeting friends, have a designated meeting place and time before you head out.
Miquelon Lake Provincial Park is located 65 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
In the Area
Camrose is 20 minutes south of Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Check out the historic downtown and Rotary Park.
Elk Island National Park is 40 minutes north of the park and offers great wildlife viewing opportunities (bison and elk!), and several hiking and biking trails.