The entire Grande Prairie County is an excellent place for a fall drive: you are between foothills and boreal forest which display a rich array of colours this time of year. As you drive around, you’ll find plenty to do as well, including fall-themed activities, outdoor recreation between the Provincial Parks, and a few events you can’t experience anywhere else.
Fall is an especially cool time in Grande Prairie as these months offer excellent birdwatching and plenty of opportunities to see more rare species. West of the city are the Saskatoon Island Provincial Park and Bird Sanctuary, and east of the city is even more bird and wildlife sighting chances at Young’s Point Provincial Park. You can make a wildlife viewing or birding trip to these spots, or just hope you see some while you boat, fish, or hike.
Hiking through the Fall Colours
Between Boreal forests, and the Alberta foothills, you are guaranteed plenty of space to enjoy and view the changing fall colours around Grande Prairie. A fall hike is not only a good opportunity for exercise, but also for photos, wildlife viewing, or maybe not even hiking. Some nearby trails are great for bikes, too.
- Whispering Ridge Lake: 1.3km; easy
- Evergreen Dunes Loop: 23.0km; moderate
- Magoo’s Landing Loop: 5.1km; difficult
- Kleskun Hill Natural Area: 1.4 km; easy
Picnic at the Old Bezanson Townsite
You can hit up some of the local eateries in Grande Prairie before you head out to the old Bezanson Townsite Day Use Park for a quiet fall picnic in the trees. Visitors are welcome every Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 8pm until October 15th. The picnic site, playground, shelter, and firepits are surrounded by a golden yellow canopy of leaves.
Old Bezanson Townsite: east on Twp 714 and south on RR 25
When: Open until October 15
Grande Prairie Corn Maze
The corn stalks at the Grande Prairie Corn Maze continue to grow taller and taller, creating a green and gold labyrinth. This family-friendly attraction is open weather-depending but check their Facebook page for the most current updates, also including special nights like bring-your-dog-night.
Grande Prairie Corn Maze: Country Roads RV Park, 63061A TWP RD 722, Grande Prairie
When: Until ~ Late October.
How Much: General admission 6 and up $12.; 5 and under free.
Evergreen Park Fall Events & The Blachford Field of Nightmares
You can enjoy a weekend of camping at Evergreen Park until September 30th, but the park also have something special and spooky planned this fall for Halloween.
The annual scare-fest – the Blachford Field of Nightmares is back at Evergreen Park with haunted house fall run from September 9th.
When: Campground open until September 30
Events – Various dates.
How much: Blachford Field of Nightmares $20 per person
Saskatoon Island is a close place to visit near Grande Prairie which offers hiking trails and several bird species to watch for, but fall is special. On the park’s Little Lake, you might be able to catch a trumpeter swan on its way back south. Grande Prairie is an important trumpeter swan birding area.
During the fall months, there are a lot more birds to notice in Grande Prairie. The best place to see the huge variety of bird species which live in this area is the Saskatoon Lake Bird Sanctuary within the Saskatoon Island Provincial Park. The Park’s trails can take you to the shores of the lake, especially great at sunset when the birds are the most active.
If you head the opposite direction, you can go for a birdwatching walk around Young’s Point Provincial Park, east of Grande Prairie.
Paddle the Wapiti and the Lakes
For an adventurous paddle, you can launch onto the Wapiti River which runs west to east from B.C. and along the southern edge of Grande Prairie County. The Wapiti is recommended for experienced paddlers and has many small rocky beaches that make great launch sites, especially in Pipestone Creek and O’Brien Provincial Park. But for the less experienced or just a more relaxed paddle, you also have the options of Saskatoon Island Provincial Park and Young’s Point on Sturgeon Lake.
Saskatoon Island Provincial Park
When you visit this nearby Provincial Park in the fall, you’re greeted by some incredibly beautiful and unique sites. The two lakes to border the park are lined with a few different types of trees, creating a lush and colourful forest backdrop, and can be accessed via hikes. The fall sunsets out here are especially pretty, and you can time a paddle or kayak out into the lake for fishing or just to catch the sunset. The day-use area also has a playground, picnic areas, shelters, and firepits.
Play Disc Golf
Grande Prairie has two options for disc golf: South Bear Creek and Thrill Hill. This iteration of golf uses frisbee tosses rather than golf swings with the aim of getting the frisbee across the green and into a wire basket. There are even different ways you can move around the courses, according to your skill level, and plenty of exercise you can get out of the sport.
Visit a Petting Zoo
The Down to Earth Farms will remain open for as long as the weather stays warm! So, we recommend getting out there soon to meet all the resident fur babies. There are kittens and cats, cows, chicks, dogs, horses, donkeys, and goats to meet. You can pack you and your family a lunch, spend the afternoon, and cozy around the Farm’s bonfire.
Down to Earth Farms Petting Zoo: Site 11 Box 28 RR2, Sexsmith
Play Glow Ball Golf
There are two remaining weekends available to register for BearPaw’s Glow Ball Golf: September 17-18, and September 24-25. This is a nighttime golf adventure where you use brightly coloured neon glowsticks to help guide your swing, your ball, and your overall golf game. Start times include 9pm and 11pm with all ages and skill levels welcome.
The BearPaw: 6325 100 St, Grande Prairie
When: Until September 25
How Much: $20
Take full advantage of shopping the farmers’ markets around Grande Prairie County for a few more weekends this fall! There are four in the area including one in Beaverlodge, Rycroft, Sexsmith, and Hythe. The markets bring you unique crafts, home decors, fresh foods, and homemade bath and body products.
Beaverlodge Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 11am-4pm until October 30th
Rycroft Farmers’ Market: Thanksgiving – October 9 12pm-4pm
Sexsmith Farmers’ Market: Tuesdays 4:30pm-7pm until September 28
South Peace Centennial Farmers’ Market: Thursdays 4pm-7pm until September 30
Muskoseepi Park in Grande Prairie has a large selection of outdoor activities all year long and is home to its own stocked fishing pond. This can be a wonderful spot to teach kids how to fish in a smaller environment or a relaxing place to go for an early morning cast-off close to home. For a more backwoods fishing experience, the Simonette and Wapiti rivers are both popular spots, as well as Young’s Point on Sturgeon Lake.
Small Town Bringdown in La Glace
La Glace is set to host their Small Town Bring Down this year, a music festival for all ages to enjoy. The current headliners include Dan Davidson and The Road Hammers, with other festivities to occur alongside the live music. Bring the whole family down to the Bringdown for music, food, and Grande Prairie County in Fall.
Small Town Bringdown 2021:La Glace Regional Recreation Centre, Alberta 724, La Glace
When: Sat, Oct 9, 2021
How Much: $69.29
Drive-in Movie at Grande Sunset Theatre
Evergreen Park is a multiplex of entertainment facilities and the fun continues until Halloween weekend at Northern Alberta’s only drive-in theatre.
Halloween weekend will see a special double feature on Oct. 29th, with a kid-friendly Halloween show to start off the evening, followed by a goose bumpy adult horror flick and Oct. 30th will be a on “scare-a-thon”.
On Oct. 3rd, the Park is holding a Firefighter Fundraiser Night, featuring Playing with Fire.
When: Sept 18, 25, Oct 3, 9, 16, 29, and 30.
Where: Grande Sunset Theatre, Evergreen Park
How Much: Varies
The Great Pumpkin Festival
Come Thanksgiving weekend, Country Roads RV Park transforms into a pumpkin patch with fun activities, like face painting and meet and greet with princesses.
When: 2021 Date, TBA. Usually from Thanksgiving weekend
Where: Country Roads RV Park, 63061A TWP RD 722, Grande Prairie