Posted by: James Shannon | March 9, 2012

Photo: Alberta’s Beach Getaway, Sylvan Lake

 Sylvan Lake Provincial Park, Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada

When you travel to a new country, people often express a desire to live like the locals.  I would argue to apply this philosophy even when travelling in first world nations like Canada.  Let’s say you’ve just landed in Calgary, and it’s a hot day … what would you do to cool down?  Some would suggest to go to a local pool and splash around like your inner child was released on day parole … but let’s take it to the next level, shall we?

When landlocked Albertans crave some beach action, they head out to the lakes that dot the landscape in the province’s vast rural hinterland.  This is easier said than done for Calgarians, as the province’s south is quite arid, leading to a dearth of natural lakes to recreate in.  Fortunately, there is a lake 1 1/2 hours north and west of the city called Sylvan Lake that fills that desire.  A shallow lake that is no more than 20 feet at its deepest point, Sylvan heats up dramatically, and its waters are fed by springs that originate in part from Jasper National Park, more than 300+ kilometres to the northwest, via an underground karst system that is considered to be one of the largest underground rivers in the world!

Sylvan Lake (the town) has adopted a moniker of being Alberta’s beach town, bearing an assortment of resturants, accommodations, and even a seasonal waterpark with a number of exciting waterslides!

Check it out if you are spending any significant time in Alberta (apart from just seeing the mountain parks)!



  1. Interesting and as always.. well written !

    Love Mom ❤ xx oo

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