Find your own Greenview Green Chair adventure
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Big country, big skies, big rivers, and big dinosaur bone beds. Up here, escape into lush landscapes, shimmering lakes and raging rivers. There are campgrounds, accommodations and lots of restaurants to fuel your entire day while you #ExploreNWAB.
M.D. of Greenview, AB - Charly jumps from the car and sprints to the hilltop where two green Adirondack chairs sit gilded in early morning rays. Tucked behind a small copse of boreal growth, most passersby have no idea of the pastoral views awaiting at the Valleyview Visitor Information Centre in northwest Alberta. It’s got Charly excited, and his humans, Justin Sonier and Danielle Stone, can’t help sharing his enthusiasm.
As the playful yellow labrador pup frolics, Sonier and Stone soak up the sun from the green chairs and gaze out at the blissful view. The little-known nature break is one of 11 locations that the M.D. of Greenview has recently connected into its green chair program. The program is all about encouraging travelers to stop and refresh in the abundant natural beauty of the region. Situated close to major roads but opening onto bountiful wild spaces, the M.D. of Greenview’s green chairs were conceived as a spark to inspire adventure. For Sonier, Stone and Charly, that’s how the day unfolds at six different green chair locations.
Starting from the southeast and working west, Johnson Park is the trio’s first stop. With a 20-site campground opened Spring 2020 (first come first serve), hiking trails and the Goose River winding through it (where Sonier briefly tries some fishing), there’s plenty more than just views here.
Valleyview Visitor Information Centre
Just 10 minutes’ drive north of Johnson Park, the chairs here are open to the sun and afford spectacular long views. It’s a little over two hours from the Visitor Centre to their next stop at Kakwa River Campground, but they stock up with Crooked Creek General Store’s famous doughnuts to help pass the time.
Kakwa River Campground
Southwest beyond Grande Prairie, the region’s landscape really opens up along Highway 40, as the foothills rise towards the eastern front ranges of the Rockies. The Kakwa River Campground green chairs lie in the high foothills on a quiet bend in the river, perfect for laying out a picnic lunch.
Southview Provincial Recreation Area (viewing platform)
Just another 20 minutes down the road on Highway 40, a left-hand turnoff leads to a partially hidden trail descending to a sturdy wooden deck. Stepping onto the deck, the couple find a surprising view of the green, sloping foothills that is unnoticeable from the highway.
Bird’s Eye View Park, Grande Cache Tourism & Information Centre
With all the nature exploration, exploring the historic buildings ranged around Bird’s Eye View Park in Grande Cache gives human context to the area. Outdoor outfitter Breathe Outdoors is also based here, offering kayaks or paddleboards for rent.
Grande Cache Lake
Any trip down Highway 40 should end with a mountain adventure. Launching their rented kayaks from the boat launch, Sonier coaxes Charly into the boat and the three adventurers get small in this suitably named grand landscape.
Since the beginning of their relationship, Sonier and Stone (who are engaged) have found common ground in adventure. But the green chairs succeeded in drawing them out to some new spots.
"We've driven by so many times and never knew they were there," Sonier says.
"It was cool to see places we never knew existed," adds Stone. "Especially the lake. I have driven by there so many times and never stopped, but it was beautiful."
For Charly, the food, the freedom to roam and to turn over some new rocks seems to have satisfied his adventurous spirit too, judging from the content look on his face as he settles into the back of the car for a nap.
- Pierre’s Grey Provincial Park
- Grande Cache Lake
- Bird’s Eye Park - Grande Cache Tourism Centre
- Southview Provincial Recreation Area
- Kakwa Provincial Recreation Area
- Grovedale Fish Pond
- Moody’s Crossing
- DeBolt Trails – by the DeBolt & District Pioneer Museum
- Swan Lake – Greenview Campground
- Valleyview rest stop – Tourism Booth
- Johnson Park – Greenview Campground
With a few more days of fall weather to come, now’s the time to get out and explore the region. Make the M.D. of Greenview's green chairs the spark for your next great roadtrip through northwest Alberta.
WHEN YOU GO
- Find tasty, fresh homemade doughnuts at Crooked Creek General Store, and stock up on other regionally produced foods like salsa and kombucha.
- Next door to the general store, Scotty’s Burger Shack serves up hearty grilled goodness in service of a good cause (a portion of sales go to Kids With Cancer Society/Ronald McDonald House).
- Visit the Grande Cache Tourism and Information Centre to get your local bearings, and rent your kayaks or paddleboards from Breathe Outdoors & Adventures (located in the centre).
SHARE YOUR GREEN CHAIR MOMENT
Make sure to get some photos and share them with us @ZenSeekers and the M.D. of Greenview using the #expandyourvision hashtag. Bonus points for photos taken at the green chairs at Pierre’s Grey Provincial Park - the chairs are on an island! (Don’t do it just for the ‘gram though - be sure to make safety and fun first priorities!)