Sir Winston Churchill is a park of the Alberta Provincial Parks system. Located in Lac La Biche, it proudly boasts its title of being Alberta’s only island park. We have been wanting to book at this park for quiet sometime, but availability in the park, never seemed to match up with what our availability was. However, this summer we managed to snag a site, so we made it our first stop of the summer.
Being that it is located on an island, this park is fortunate enough to be surrounded by 300 year old forest, untouched by forest fires. It is absolutely beautiful and lush. The campground itself has 72 campsites with power. We found 2 that have the cement pads making them wheelchair accessible. There is also a wheelchair accessible trail that winds through the campground. Other campground amenities include a store, canoe and kayak rentals, boat launch, fire pits, shower/ service center, laundry facility, picnic shelter, amphitheater. It’s a tad more upscale then the camping we are generally used to, but it was a nice change!
This park also offers comfort camping. They have cabin rentals, and a few comfort camping tipis! I have always wanted to camp in a tipi. New bucket list item for sure!
You can find all information regarding the Provincial Park and reserving camping and comfort camping here Alberta Parks
The beaches around this island are top notch and the beach in the campground absolutely blew me away. I have never seen a life jacket loaner station at a provincial park before, but Sir Winston has one. They have a variety of different sized life jackets to borrow. Just make sure to rinse and hang it back up when you are done.
Campers beach in the campground is wheelchair accessible. I noticed at the store that they do have the beach wheelchair as well. If you aren’t staying in the campground itself, you can check out the day use areas around the island. We took a drive into them and they are beautiful as well. Multiple private areas, with a picnic table and BBQ pit, sandy beaches and a playground. (Also noted that liquor is permitted between certain times in these areas). We didn’t check out this beach, so I am unsure of the accessibility.
Hiking around this area is awesome! There are tons of trails winding through the beautiful forest. We decided to use our bikes for the most part. Some of the trails were much easier then others to get around on a bike. However, none of them are overly long, so our kids didn’t tire out too much! We spent a lot of time out on the bikes this trip. It seemed to be a fantastic place to do so. You can find a link to the trail maps here Trail Map
So, how’s the fishing you ask? We went out a few times, and successfully snagged both ample amounts of walleye and pike ( and even one tiny little perch).
The thing about this lake is the regulations. You are not allowed to keep ANY walleye or pike. Everything is catch and release. Unless you are awarded a special walleye permit by draw. It is still an excellent fishery. We mainly catch and release, so the regulations don’t really bother us any. I think we were a bit surprised how easily we did catch. We (or maybe just I, as Troy is more educated in the fishing world) assumed that it would be a hard bite if they have such steep regulations on it. Not the case! You can double check the regulations for this lake here Fishing Regulations – Lac La Biche
One of the great things about Alberta Parks are the programs they offer at the campgrounds. Run by Alberta Parks staff, our kids were able to enjoy some of the events in the park. Friday night they tested out their knowledge of space and made some simple bottle rockets. On Sunday they put their super sleuthing to work and completed 3 different CSI crime scene investigations. These programs are great and educational. If a park you are staying at is offering something while you are there, I strongly recommend checking them out! Kudos to the Alberta Parks staff for putting them on!
What else did we do?
Well we did hit the water of course. The kids went tubing for awhile, Troy was brave enough to go in the 63 degree water to knee board.
We also did some kayaking.
There is a golf course right outside the park itself. We didn’t golf this time, but we were wishing we brought our clubs, because it looked like a fantastic course! You can find more info here Lac La Biche Golf and Country Club
Our kids are museum junkies. They love going to them. For whatever reason. I suppose there are worse things that they insist we see so its no big deal. We checked out Lac La Biche’s museum and were pleasantly surprised! What a great little place! I recommend stopping in to check them out. You can find info on their operating hours here Lac La Biche Museum and Visitor Center
Some things to consider:
Firewood: While there is plenty of it, you do need to buy it at $5.00 a bundle.
I’m going to take a minute here and rave. And I mean big big humongous rave.
THE SHOWERS ARE AMAZING! (and FREE)
By campground standards anyways. They were clean and the water stayed warm for our entire shower! This (as some of you probably know) is a rarity to find, and it was amazing.
Ice Cream: HUGE! Like extremely huge, kids bowls and cones were more then enough for us.
Algae: We did encounter blue-green algae at the boat launch. The beach was clear, however be on the lookout and be sure to keep pets away if you do see some.
I feel there is a ton more to see here. We only scratched the surface. The lake is massive, (7th largest in Alberta to be exact) and with so many little islands to explore. Had the weather been a bit nicer we may have ventured out farther on the boat. There are also other campgrounds in and around Lac La Biche. Lakeland Provincial isn’t far, and Beaver Lake isn’t far down the road. With so much more to see and do, I am sure we will be back again!
Until next time Lac La Biche!
Have you been to Sir Winston Churchill? Got any extra information to share with us? Leave a comment or send us an email!