The May long weekend signals the official start to spring in our province – but it also kicks off the Alberta Parks’ provincial camping season and offers other fun opportunities.
While the weekend is traditionally time for many of us to head outside and explore natural areas, some areas of the province are still affected by wildfires and we all need to do our part to make sure we don’t add to an already challenging wildfire season. Make sure you have the most current information on fire bans in the province at http://beta.albertafirebans.ca/
The early spring has provided Alberta’s provincial parks, campgrounds, day use areas, museums, attractions and historic sites lots of time to make sure everything is visitor-ready for the first three-day, pre-summer weekend of 2016.
Stuff to know before you go
- Alberta’s 250 provincial campgrounds are ready to receive visitors for the 2016 season. Still looking for a campsite or a day use area? Check out AlbertaParks.ca
- Visiting one of Alberta’s museums and historic sites is an excellent option this long weekend. Purchase an annual pass and explore all year long.
- To protect Alberta’s lakes, mandatory watercraft inspections are in effect.
- Be aware of liquor and fire bans. Liquor bans apply to nine provincial campgrounds this weekend.
- Albertans share the landscape with wildlife, so be bear and cougar smart, especially if enjoying the backcountry.
- Ensure you know the fishing regulations.
- Be aware of regulations around motorized recreation and non-motorized use on public lands.
- Before heading out, you may want to consider downloading some of the Government of Alberta apps like Alberta Emergency Alert, Alberta Wildfire and the new AQHI Canada air quality app, that will inform you of the latest conditions in and around the areas you may be looking to visit.
Get there safely
Whether destined for one of Alberta’s provincial parks, to the cabin, or a trip to visit family and friends, here are a few tips, reminders and information to help Albertans safely along their way.
- Check road conditions before you leave and get updates from Twitter before the trip back home.
- Construction season is underway. Please be aware of emergency and construction workers.
- That text/call can wait – don’t drive distracted.
- Impairment can be deadly, whether it’s by drugs, alcohol, distraction or fatigue. Please plan ahead accordingly.
- Speed doesn’t always kill – slow down and enjoy your long weekend.
- Motorcycles are back on the road, so look twice for motorcyclists at intersections or when changing lanes.
To help make the weekend safe for everyone, Albertans can expect an increased presence of law enforcement officers patrolling roads, public lands and water bodies.
Free activities for Fort McMurray Evacuees
Until September 5, 2016, regular admission fees will be waived at provincially-owned historic sites and museums for evacuees of the Alberta wildfires.
Evacuees in Calgary and area can also visit Bow Habitat Station without paying admission until September 5.
With so many things to do and experience in the province, the only question is where to start! Have a safe and happy May long weekend Alberta!