#TakeItToTheLake in Bonnyville and Get Happy


Crane Lake, M.D. of Bonnyville - We all know we need more happy in our lives and you can find it on the lakes within the M.D. of Bonnyville.

Meet Ron Young, “Captain Ron” as he’s known locally, probably one of the happiest people I have ever met. Ask him a question, and it is met with an enthusiastic and contagious laugh. As our guide to the region recently, Captain Ron rolled out the welcome mat and a smile that went on for miles.

Watch #TakeItToTheLake in Bonnyville and Get Happy on YouTube.

When I ask this retired school principal what “Take It To The Lake” means, his answer is simple. “This is the place where everything good happens.”

#TakeItToTheLake this summer. Plan your trip to Bonnyville/Cold Lake Region...

And if your definition of good things includes boating, camping, or simply lounging on a beach, then the three-hour drive from Edmonton to the M.D. of Bonnyville’s Crane Lake is a place you need to put on your radar.

Pulling up to Captain Ron’s lakeside cabin, we see the sign “On Lake Time,” which translates into “absolutely no stress.” We quickly find out he lives up to his philosophy, teaching his kids to approach life the same way.

Crane Lake
Photo: Doc Pow
Captain Ron looking out over Crane Lake, Alberta. 

Born and raised only four kilometres from the lake, Young’s grandma ran the lakeside ice cream shop in the 1950s. “Early in our days of raising our kids, we got them addicted to the lake life and it kept them around. All three of our kids live within 15 minutes from here.”

Crane Lake is just one of 18 lakes within the Municipal District of Bonnyville, all easily accessible by car. Now factor in the neighbouring County of Lac La Biche and its lake count, and it stacks up as one of the most concentrated lake countries in all of Canada.

Crane Lake
Photo: Doc Pow
Dave and Lori Blake live life “On Lake Time” in Northeast Alberta’s lake country.

Like Captain Ron, locals Lori and Dave Blake, have the same life outlook, holding strong an appreciation for the value of their lake time. “Being out here is the dream retreat because it’s just that, quiet and peaceful. This place fills my soul with happy. When we’re in the boat it’s like heaven on the water, any stresses just melt away,” says Dave.

But back to Captain Ron. I just enjoyed being around him because he embodies the #TakeItToTheLake lifestyle to a tee. A former hydrofoil enthusiast, he organized the biggest hydrofoil competition in the world on Crane Lake in 1999.

Now his son Neil Young (yes, that is his real name and he sports musician Neil Young’s signature tattooed on his arm), carries that torch forward, in some pretty epic hydrofoil moves you will find embedded in the video above.

Crane Lake
Photo: Doc Pow
Neil Young doing what he does best at Crane Lake - flying on a hydrofoil.


What I took away from my time with Captain Ron, his son and his friends, is that they’re happy people with a positive energy and content with their lake-living life. If they could bottle up that and sell it, they’d be gazillionaires. But experiences like this don’t come in a package, it’s best to go and experience the real thing, by making the trip into Alberta’s Northeast.


Meet Captain Ron and score an adrenaline kick by checking out some hydra-foiling action via this ZenSeekers FB live 

Get happy and go #TakeItToTheLake.

Here are some top tips to #TakeItToTheLake from Captain Ron

  1. The waters around here are warm, because many of the lakes are not very deep, meaning the sun heats them up to a temperature you can just hang out in for most of the day.

  2. Crane Lake has lots of bays so you can always find flat water for water-skiing and other lake adventures. Either bring along your boat or you can rent one at Bonnyville’s L & D Marine Rentals which can get you set up with everything you need for waterskiing or wakeboarding. L & D will not only rent the boat and all the gear but can drop it off to the lake of your choice in the region.

  3. Live “On Lake Time” – with absolutely no stress.


The M.D. of Bonnyville’s #TakeItToTheLake adventure guide has all you need to ensure you’ll be “on lake time” – download a copy of it here

For the list of the 11 lakeside campgrounds operated by the M.D., you’ll find those here

Keep in mind, yes there is a bounty of lakeside camping to be had, but if camping isn’t your thing – the communities of Cold Lake (home to about 15,000 people) and Bonnyville (around 6,000) offer hotels, provisions and all the rental gear you’ll need to #TakeItToTheLake.

For more options, visit the M.D. of Bonnyville's official website.

For more on how to #TakeItToTheLake this summer, either search the tag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or read more here.

Our friends at Travel Alberta want you to #ExploreAlberta this summer - get going by visiting www.TravelAlberta.com

Be sure to let us know what you find and share your adventures with the hashtag #TakeItToTheLake as you might be featured on ZenSeekers and our partners' social media channels.

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