The trees are turning green, the sun is shining and wildlife is migrating back to Alberta. The May long weekend is when many Albertans get out and enjoy the outdoors for the first time of the summer season. Here are a few friendly tips and reminders to help you make the most of this long weekend!
Get There Safely
No matter what you’re doing this May long weekend, make sure you’re safe when you’re travelling to your destination.
- Check road conditions before you leave and get updates from Twitter before the trip back home.
- Construction season is underway. Be aware of emergency and construction workers!
- Keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions.
- Keep your license and your vehicle by knowing how much is too much. It means safer roads for all of us.
Alberta is home to incredible vistas and natural beauty, which can be experienced and explored in numerous ways, including camping.
Whether you’re an Alberta Parks veteran camper, or it’s your first time heading out, the beginning of the camping season is a good time to remember that a well-planned camping trip helps make a successful camping trip.
- Check out the campgrounds that are available and reserve your camp site.
- Make sure you know the rules around the use of public land.
- Check for area closures through the latest trail report.
Get out on the water
There are hundreds of lakes, rivers, reservoirs and other bodies of water that you can enjoy in Alberta, from the Bow River to Cold Lake to the mighty peace.
And whether you’re paddling a canoe or skipping along in a sailboat, there are some things you should be aware of.
- Familiarize yourself with all of Alberta’s boating regulations.
- Make sure you aren’t spreading any aquatic invasive species. Clean, drain and dry your boat after every use.
- Check ahead to make sure the water levels OK by visiting the Alberta River Basins website.
- Check for water condition advisories.
- Watercraft inspections are mandatory, what does that mean for you?
Don’t get burned
There are so many magnificent things about camping, and one of the greatest is the experience of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. That being said, fires need to be built and used in a safe, responsible manner.
- Check albertafirebans.ca before heading out!
- Don’t let your campfire turn into a wildfire.
- Riding off-highway? Prevent vehicle hot spots from sparking a blaze.
- Download Government of Alberta’s free Wildfire app for fire information in real time.
- Call 310-FIRE to report a wildfire in the Forest Protection Area.
Be ready for wildlife
One of the great things about going outdoors is experiencing nature and observing some of Alberta’s amazing wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance, and give them the space they need to roam and move around freely.
- Learn how to be BearSmart and how to use bear spray.
- How to travel in cougar country.
- Keep your distance for safe wildlife viewing.
- See poaching? Report it.
Respect the law
Alberta’s laws around outdoor recreation exist to ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable time and to ensure that our wilderness areas remain beautiful and vibrant for generations to come.
- As of May 15, 2017, you must wear a helmet when riding your Off-Highway Vehicle.
- Find the latest information on liquor bans.
- Going fishing? Apply for your licence online or at your nearest retailer.
- Minimize your impact when enjoying motorized and non-motorized vehicles.
- Understand the roles of fish and wildlife officers as well as conservation officers.