We’re always on the lookout for new destinations where we can find adventure. Over the past couple of years, Whitecourt has been on our radar for the fun day trip to Rotary Park, but it wasn’t until this month that we learned what a fun day trip Woodlands County can be.
Explore Hard Luck Canyon
Adventure starts the day with a trip to Woodlands County. About 20k outside of Whitecourt is Hard Luck Canyon, perfect for the smallest of adventurers. If you go after it rains, you’ll be able to see the waterfall, but it’s fun to explore regardless. Follow the hiking trail to the bridge, where you’ll be able to see a waterfall if it’s recently rained. If it hasn’t the walk is still one that you have to do if you’re in the area. Here’s a map, to get you there. Image via flickr
Grab Picnic Fare at Bow’s Meats
Exploring makes you hungry, so if it’s time for lunch and you haven’t packed anything from home, it’s the perfect opportunity to try Bow’s Meats. The claim to fame lies in the beef jerky, rotisserie chicken and sandwiches that are perfect to bring along to your next stop, a picnic and a slip and slide at Rotary Park.
Note: if you’re heading there on the weekend, it’s not open on Sunday.
Whitecourt Rotary Park River Slides
Easily one of our favorite day trips of the year, it’s a fun way to cool off for kids (and parents that want to go down the slides). There are two paths from the starting point, the left seems to have more twists and turns, slowing it down a bit, and you end up at the bottom where there’s a beach and pond area. Kids can play in the sand, wade in the water at the top of the slides and go down over and over again. Each run took us between 60-90 seconds, and Olivia (5) went on her own most of the time, with Violet tagging along a few times, but we mostly went with Violet.
Note: If you’re sliding with younger ones, that flip flop floatie ($15, Walmart) was perfect, as the small child can hang on the front and you can lay on the back.
There’s lots of shade, if you find the right spot, and when you’re finished you can walk to the close by spray park, and get all of the sand off of the kids, yourself, and the floaties – before heading home for the day.
The fantastic playground is also a fun way to run off any of that tiny bit of energy that’s left before the drive back to Edmonton.
Explore Blue Ridge Recreation Area
Multi use paths that are perfect to bring along the bikes, or walk through on the hiking trails if you’re up for a longer journey. We opted to walk through the area, after we got a late start and left the bikes at home. The trails are easy enough for kids, and similar to the multi use paths that we take Olivia on in the city.
My kids haven’t met a dock that they didn’t like, and immediately proceeded to take off their clothes and head into the water.
Get Ice Cream at Granny Grey’s
The blue ice cream stand on the side of the road was our perfect end to the day. We stopped, ate ice cream and cooled off, from the short drive after the river slides. Violet covered her entire body in ice cream, as per usual, and we embarked on our journey filled up with sun and fun experiences to come home.
When we got back into the truck, we passed the girls each a towel, Violet immediately fell asleep after a day full of adventure.
Thanks to Woodlands County for the insider tips about what to explore and where to explore it at. We would have never known about Blue Ridge Recreation Area. If you’re looking for more adventures, check out www.Woodlands.ab.ca