Cold Lake’s west shores create several things to do for Albertans in summer (and for those in Saskatchewan as the lake straddles the Provincial border). And the lake’s central location makes it a convenient vacation spot for pretty much any Albertan!
When travelling to Cold Lake in the summer you can expect sandy beaches, summer village vibes, many chances to get out on the water, as well as secluded natural areas perfect for hiking, camping, and escaping.
Cold Lake and its massive size make it an inviting place for powering up your boat. The waters can look endless at times, so there is much to be explored. If you don’t own a boat, simply visit Wicked Water Sport Rentals who can offer kayak, paddleboat, paddleboard, and pontoon rentals. There is a boat launch at Kinosoo Beach and Cold Lake Provincial Park from where you can launch and begin a day of paddling, powerboating, or floating.
Water-skiing, wakeboarding, tubing
With power watercrafts being permitted on Cold Lake, there comes another big window of recreational opportunities. This lake is big (sort of an understatement), so once you are on the water there is an abundance of space to rip around behind a boat on a tube, water skis, or a wakeboard. Wicked Water Sport Rentals can offer the speed boat and tubes for an afternoon of thrills, or you are free to bring your own!
Enjoy a beach picnic, a park picnic, or a picnic with a view! The Provincial Park has a day-use area with a large lake on one side, and a small inlet of the lake on the other. This picnic area is also surrounding by the Lakeshore Trail which can bring you some spectacular views and Hall’s Lagoon. Or set up a blanket on the beach and have your meal lakeside with the convenience of Lakeshore Drive beside you.
The Provincial Park’s Lakeshore Trail is a wonderful way to see all of Cold Lake’s natural beauty. This trail takes you through the lagoon area, along the Lake’s shores, and through a bit of forest before you see the campground. A great way to see town is to take a walk down Lakeshore Drive which can connect you to the town’s Millenium Trail- this will take you through the entire town of Cold Lake while keeping to the more natural parts.
Cabin glamping & beach getaways
If you are in search of a beach vacation but prefer not to camp, there are a few accommodation options which can make your beach getaway a bit more comfortable. The Evergreen Birch Lodge offers cottages, tiny houses, and rustic cabins only a 3-minute walk from the beach. You can also choose from the adorable log cabins at Baywood Park & Cabins, or the Edgewater Inn and Suites who offer rooms with lake views.
Camp lakeside this summer with an RV or tent site at the Cold Lake Municipal Campground where you’ll be just steps away from Kinosoo Beach. Or, for a more secluded and slightly more remote experience, bring your tent or trailer to the Cold Lake PP campground which has power and walk-in sites, French Bay PRAor the English Bay PRA Campground which has its own pier and boat launch.
- English Bay Provincial Recreation Area Campground
- Cold Lake Municipal Campground
- Cold Lake Provincial Park Campground
- French Bay Provincial Recreation Area
With several boat launches and several small inlets in Cold Lake, there is an abundance of opportunities to get your perfect catch. Even if you aren’t the most experienced fisher, there are four different touring companies who can take you out on the water, teach you the basics, and help with that perfect catch or your first-ever catch.
- Anglers Fishing Tours
- Hamilton House – A Woodland Oasis – Inn and Adventures
- Rippin Lips Fishing Adventure
- Weaver’s Bent Rods
There is no shortage of space for swimming around the western shores of Cold Lake.
The most popular of the beaches is Kinosoo Beach (also named one of the best beaches in Canada by Canadian Geographic Magazine) follows the town’s Lakeshore Drive. You can also zipline at Kinosoo Beach.
If you’re camping at either Cold Lake Provincial Park, English or French Bay Provincial Recreation Areas, you will have access to a campground beach that is sure to be a lot less busy than Kinosoo.
- Kinosoo Beach
- Cold Lake Provincial Park
- English Bay Provincial Recreation Area
- French Bay Provincial Recreation Area
Cold Lake Air Force Museum
Many of the museums you can visit around Alberta pay homage to the transportation industry, the farming industry, and the pioneers of our province. However in Cold Lake, the Royal Canadian Air Force was the major driver of the town’s development. This is a unique opportunity to learn for yourself or teach your children about aviation, the RCAF, and the town of Cold Lake.
Windsurfing & sailing
Feel the warm summer wind in your hair with a sailing trip over Cold Lake. Alberta’s big lakes make this a surprisingly popular sport in our province with sailing clubs all over. If you’re looking for a great practice lake, or somewhere to simply cruise for the afternoon, Cold Lake, the marina, and the several launch areas make it a great summer sailing place.
Birding & wildlife viewing
Over the summer, this area of Alberta is never quiet. The songbirds, the waterfowl, and the bustling wildlife of our Boreal Forest are all fairly easy to spot in this area. Watch for deer, listen for loons, and be on the watch for the odd black bear.
The Cold Lake Bike Park provides free access to winding mountain biking trails with different tracks for different skill levels. This area is a great place to learn, or a great place to practice before heading to the Rockies with your bike. The Bike Park is near both the beach and the campgrounds, but you can also take your bike out on the Lakeshore Trail where the uneven and unpaved paths make for a fun yet easy ride.
The Iron Horse Trail: Trestle Bridge viewpoint
Cold Lake is the eastern end of Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail. This multi-use trail system is popular for ATVers and Quadders, but can also be a great horseback trail or a quiet place to take a walk. Near Cold Lake is one of the Trail’s main points of interest: the Beaver River Trestle Bridge. This large and imposing structure towers over the river and is the perfect backdrop to a photoshoot.
Play in the splash park
If your little ones aren’t fans of the big open waters of the beach, you can still take them for a cool down nearby. The cold Lake Splash Park is on Lakeshore Drive, so if you have more than one child to entertain, this could create a great balance. There is a second splash park more in town as well (not near the lake).
Daytrip over the SK border
While you stay in Cold Lake, you will be staying just a short drive from AB-55, the closest highway which can take you into Saskatchewan. Maybe you’ve never been and would like to cross the border to say you finally visited Saskatchewan. Alberta’s boreal forest stretches over into Northern and central Saskatchewan (it is not all flat farmland!) where you can find beautiful places to take a drive or to get out and explore on foot.