3 ways to kick back with camping lakeside in Bonnyville

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Brunch, beach and camp lakeside in the M.D. of Bonnyville Region for an eastern Alberta lake camping adventure that rivals any in Western Canada.

From brunch at Kinosoo Ridge to the beach at Cold Lake, camping in the M.D. of Bonnyville Region can make the experience even more laidback and fun. “We’re a camping family, we’re quite big on the outdoors,” says Chawnsa Duterte, who recently discovered French Bay M.D. Park with her daughter Shelby (14) on a nature escape to the region. “So finding new campgrounds is amazing!”

Camping’s appeal, by and large, is simplicity. Find a beautiful spot, set up your tent or trailer, enjoy nature and make a couple meals. Maybe dip your toes in the water, roast some marshmallows. You can do it almost anywhere you find a bit of uninterrupted nature. 

But doing it in the M.D. , you can dress up camping with a bit of luxury and a huge helping of laidback fun. And with camping open up to October 2 for many M.D. campgrounds for 2022, there's still a lot of season yet to be had.

Sure, you can go west towards the mountains or BC lakes, but especially in the latter half of summer, going east is vastly underrated. For one thing, late summer weather on the prairies is often more predictably warm and dry than in the mountains. 

In the M.D. of Bonnyville, you’ll find the same sandy beaches and pristine lakes, chill lake life, fine food, craft beer and greenery as in the west, but only a three hour drive from the Edmonton area.

Kick back in Bonnyville, with camping by the beach.

Easier to book, less busy and friendly to a fault, camping in the M.D. of Bonnyville hits the sweet spot that is missing from so many of the hectic travels we tend to opt for in summer. 

Here are three great ways to enjoy the laidback M.D. of Bonnyville vibe, on your next camping adventure.

1. Brunch at Kinosoo Ridge Resort

Under the direction of the municipality, the M.D.’s Kinosoo Ridge Resort has undergone quite a transformation the last few years, with a new aerial park (opened spring 2022) and enhanced culinary experiences. And the brunch?

“It was quite the experience - I didn’t know they did brunch… and they have a Red Seal chef there now!” Dutertre exclaimed. “Brunch is their most popular dining experience and I can see why: the food was delicious and there were so many options. The eggs benny was superb. And it’s beautiful to sit on the patio overlooking the lake.”

Starting your day here will give you the fuel-up you need to take on the main event: the aerial park.

Kinosoo Ridge Resort brunch Cold Lake AB
Photographer: Susie O'Connor
A Red Seal quality brunch with a view of Cold Lake is hard to beat, especially camping!
2. Climb at Kinosoo Ridge Aerial Park

Picture yourself standing 60 feet above Cold Lake, having bested the hanging ropes, climbing holds and various creative obstacles awaiting climbers at the Kinosoo Ridge Resort Aerial Adventure Park. Feels good, right?

Book your Bonnyville adventure by the beach.

Aerial parks have grown in popularity in recent years, offering an excellent alternative to traditional climbing or linear ropes courses. You can curate your own climbing experience, selecting the level of challenge that is right for you. For the 2022 season, the park is open up to Sept 30, offering a great opportunity for a late summer escape.

It’s a great way to burn off that big brunch that started your day and work up a sweat before hitting the beach.

Kinosoo Ridge Resort Aerial Park Cold Lake AB
Photographer: Susie O'Connor
Learning the ropes on Kinosoo Ridge Resort's 60-foot high aerial park.
3. Kick back at Kinosoo Beach

Cold Lake’s largest beach supports an incredible lakelife scene. There are basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, water sport rentals, a concession, zipline and of course, great swimming in a clean, clear lake. 

And when it’s all done, new additions in 2022 create an even more chill beach experience. 

“They’ve added these high tarp sails for shade, with picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, awesome for lounging!” Dutertre says. 

For the avid beachgoer, you can even camp just down the road from the beach at the M.D. Cold Lake Park. 

Kinosoo Beach Cold Lake AB
Photographer: Susie O'Connor
Kinosoo Beach delivers lake life at its best.
Bonus tip: choosing your M.D. of Bonnyville campsite

Speaking of camping, the municipality operates two campgrounds lakeside on Cold Lake, including the aforementioned Cold Lake M.D. Park just down the street from Kinosoo Beach as well as French Bay M.D. Park.

Both are good choices, depending on what you’re looking for. To be nearer the bigger, busier Kinosoo Beach and Cold Lake’s waterfront strip (with eateries, marina and all the amenities), the former is your better choice. 

French Bay is quieter, more remote and natural. “Because it’s a small bay, the water is shallow and warmer, and really calm in there,” adds Chawnsa. “From the dock we could see the fish were just jumping in the water. And the campsites were clean, nice and open.”

With only so many days each season when camping and beach time align, a trip to the M.D. of Bonnyville allows you to make the most of both. 

WHEN YOU GO

Check out the aerial park and book your visit here - the park is open seasonally, until Sept 30, 2022.

Find a municipal campground on the M.D. Bonnyville's campgrounds listings. Book ahead online for your best selection.

Looking for a late season campsite? The M.D. has extended the campground season for 2022 up to Oct 2 at: 

  • Cold Lake M.D. Park
  • French Bay on Cold Lake M.D. Park
  • Crane Lake M.D. Park
  • Vezeau Beach on Moose Lake M.D. Park
  • Muriel Lake M.D. Park
  • Wolf Lake M.D. Park

For some of the many things to do around the region, check out the M.D. Bonnyville Visitor page here. Or, read on for more #NEAB #TakeItToTheLake adventures!

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