Nature lovers rejoice. Red Deer is your paradise. Go birdwatching in Waskasoo Park. Get intimate with tigers and jaguars at Discovery Wildlife Park. Gather the whole family for a trip to Wild Rapids Waterslide Park. Whatever your preferred activity is, get out and play!
Discovery Wildlife Park has a distinct focus on conservation. All of the animals were rescued from bad situations; some were orphaned, others were kept illegally as pets. You’ll fall in love with the jaguars, alligators and bears to name a few. Plus, you’ll get to watch these super smart creatures put on delightful shows alongside their trainers.
www.discoverywildlifepark.com 403 227-3211
Get up close and personal with adorable farm animals at the Kraay Family Farm. While you’re here, check out the famous Lacombe Corn Maze, enjoy a fun around of mini putt, and mine for gemstones. With over 40 exciting things to see and do, there’s never a dull moment at this summertime staple.
www.kraayfamilyfarm.com 403 302-1709
If you love birdwatching, pack your binoculars and spend the day at Ellis Bird Far. Enjoy gorgeous trails and gardens thatr were designed with feathered friends in mind, and don’t miss the world’s largest collection of bluebird nest boxes.
www.ellisbirdfarm.ca 403 885-4477
Waskasoo Park is another top spot for wildlife and birding opportunities, complete with a dash of the past. This vast conservation area contains the Historic Fort Normandeau and the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, which offer interpretive programs about wildlife and history. The park also has the sprawling Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, a paradise for countless plant and animal species. You can discover this rich natural habitat by making your way through five kilometers of trails and viewing decks.
www.waskasoopark.ca 403 346-2010
♦ Fun Fact ♦
Discovery Wildlife Park offers you the chance to experience an
intimate encounter with the zoo’s tigers and jaguars. The keepers
of these majestic cats will take you on an unforgettable
behind-the-scenes tour. Inquire at the front desk about this
On the Water
Ready to make a splash? Head over to Discovery Canyon (403 343-6341 ext. 105) to cool off in unique natural pools that are fed by the river. You could also rent a paddleboat or canoe at Bower Ponds (403 309-8428) for a leisurely day in a picturesque landscape. www.reddeer.ca
The entire town of Sylvan Lake is a waterfront paradise, and its crowning jewel is the amazing Sylvan Lake Provincial Park (403 887-5522). Take advantage of the park’s two boat launches for a scenic trip on the lake. If you prefer to stay dry, there’s a 1.6 kilometre sandy beach to enjoy. Bringing the whole family? Visit the Wild Rapids Waterslide Park (403 887-3800) for a thrilling experience. www.wildrapids.ab.ca
The perfect combination of exercise, fresh air and stunning views resides in the area’s magnificent trail networks. That includes Red Deer’s Park Trails System and the over 100 kilometres of footpaths at Waskasoo Park Trail System.
If you’re looking for something a bit more extreme, strap on your helmet and take on a challenge at Great West Adventure Park – BMX (www.reddeerbmx.ca ). Otherwise, hop on your board and check out the excellent facilities at Glendale Skatepark (www.reddeer.ca ), where you’ll find Alberta’s only public outdoor, concrete pool-style bowl.
Have you tried disc golf yet? This fun new sport is rapidly gaining popularity across town, and Red Deer has two nine-hole courses available for free. Beginners should head to the Kentwood course, while experienced disc golfers will enjoy the more challenging course at Victoria Park. You can find printable scorecards online at www.redeerpcn.com/disc-golf-in-reddeer .
Red Deer has a thriving Nordic ski community, overseeing more than 30 kilometres of groomed trails. If you prefer some downhill action, Canyon Ski Resort (403 346-7003) is the place to be. It’s Alberta’s largest non-mountain resort, and its 18 runs offer a perfect fit for beginners and experts alike.
Dust off your clubs and discover the region’s amazing golf courses. For your next day on the fairway, consider Wolf Creek Golf Resort (1 866 783-6050), one of the top-rated public courses in Canada. There’s also Nursery Golf Club (403 782-5400), which is home to the country’s longest hole.
Get great package deals on your next golf experience at www.golfcentraalberta.com .