Millions of people visit Alberta every year to explore our provincial parks, catch a glimpse of our wildlife, take in the views and engage in countless recreation opportunities. In 2022 alone, more than 10 million people visited Alberta’s provincial parks.

Alberta’s government is investing more than $211.3 million over three years to improve and expand recreation in and access to provincial parks and Crown land across the province so that Albertans and visitors alike can continue to enjoy Alberta’s parks now and in the future.

“Our provincial parks and public lands support recreation opportunities and connect Albertans and visitors to the great outdoors. This investment allows us to expand and enhance campgrounds, trails and recreation infrastructure, ensuring these areas will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism

Currently, 60 campground, day-use area and trail enhancement projects are underway across the province, representing an investment of $50.9 million in 2023. 

“Many Albertans have discovered or rediscovered the enjoyment of getting outdoors in the past few years, and thanks to investments in new and improved provincial campgrounds, there’s never been a better time to enjoy the beautiful provincial parks and camping spaces across the province.”

Gerry Harasci, executive vice-president, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Alberta

Alberta’s government is committed to developing and expanding provincial campgrounds over the next 10 years with the goal of creating more than 900 new campsites and several new locations for comfort camping across the province.

In collaboration with Travel Alberta and in alignment with their tourism development zones, Alberta’s government will identify locations for new and expanded campgrounds to ensure equitable access to recreation for rural communities and to help meet visitor demand. Sites with potential for immediate expansion include the Blue Rapids Provincial Recreation Area, Castle Provincial Park and Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park.

“The investments being made by the Government of Alberta in expanded outdoor recreation experiences – such as expanded provincial campgrounds and enhanced system of trails – is a welcome move, one that responds to TIAA’s call for diversification of Alberta’s outdoor recreation economy while ensuring the sustainable use, and protection, of Crown lands and provincial parks.”

Darren Reeder, president and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Alberta

As part of this three-year investment, $14 million of capital funding will enhance trails and tourism on public land, largely along the Eastern Slopes. The projects supported by this investment will ensure safe access to recreation, improve public safety and enhance visitor experiences.

“As volunteers who love and actively support outdoor recreation like camping, fishing, horseback riding, hiking and a wide variety of other activities, the Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association appreciates the government’s commitment to increase environmentally sustainable, affordable access to the magnificent opportunities afforded to us by Alberta’s backyard.”

Dale Marshall, president, Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association

Alberta’s provincial parks and public lands benefit every Albertan, supporting physical, mental and social well-being while attracting visitors from around the world and contributing to the provincial economy.

All development in provincial parks and on Crown land is subject to strict environmental and cultural reviews. This environmentally responsible framework resets a vision for Alberta Parks – keeping parks for people, sustaining the environment and supporting tourism and recreation outcomes.

Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.

Quick facts

  • $211.3 million is being invested over three years to improve and expand recreation and access in parks and across Crown lands. This includes:

    • $500,000 for Year 1 and $11 million for years 2 and 3 to build new campsites and campgrounds and develop more recreation and tourism opportunities.

    • $2 million for Year 1 and $12 million for years 2 and 3 to build and improve Crown land trails.

    • $7.6 million for Year 1 and $2 million for Year 2 to establish Big Island Provincial Park.

    • $67.1 million for Year 1 and $109.1 million for years 2 and 3 in capital investment to improve existing infrastructure in provincial parks and public lands across the province.

  • Budget 2023 capital investment across the province:

    • Parks Kananaskis Region: $15.1 million

    • Parks Central Region: $18.1 million

    • Parks Northern Region: $18.3 million

    • Parks Southern Region: $14.6 million

    • Public lands: $5.6 million

    • Provincial initiatives: $3 million

    • New campgrounds: $500,000

    • Crown land trails: $2 million

  • Highlights of 2023-24 funded capital projects:

    • $1.7 million to refurbish, formalize and maximize the capacity of Spray Lakes West Campground and for road resurfacing in Spray Valley Provincial Park.

    • $3.9 million to continue modernizing Aspen Beach Provincial Park, including developing a new shower building and refurbishing campsites, electrical systems, water and wastewater infrastructure and toilets.

    • $6.2 million to repair and upgrade sanitary stations and wastewater systems at Long Lake Provincial Park, Cross Lake Provincial Park, Garner Lake Provincial Park, Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, Lakeland Provincial Park, Saskatoon Island Provincial Park and Young’s Point Provincial Park.

    • $1.6 million to repair and refurbish trails and crossings in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Castle Provincial Park and Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

    • $260,000 to complete assessment, planning and design work for trail refurbishment at Cardinal Headwaters in Coal Branch Public Land Use Zone, the MacKenzie Creek watershed, Mount Hamell, Muskeg Falls and Twin Falls.

    • $1.3 million to refurbish trails and amenities in the Kananaskis Public Land Use Zone and for design work to refurbish the Powderface Trail in Kananaskis Country.