Tour of the Little Lakes (Route 1)

Discovering the little lakes through all seasons.

Welcome to the northern tip of the trail that offers many little lakes and communities to enjoy throughout the year.

We start our first tour in New Sarepta. The hamlet’s claim to fame is being the cartoon capital of Canada. Long time cartoonist Yardley Jones from the Edmonton Sun shares an interesting story with the hamlet. Yardley Jones has a park dedicated to him at the end of main street including the famous Yardly Jones Tire & Girdle Factory. Start your tour at the park and then walk, ride, or stroll around to see all the character fire hydrants appearing across the community’s streets.

From here, take secondary Hwy 623 to Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Pitch a tent for the night before finishing the tour, or stop for a picnic on the beach. Located in the dry mixed-wood sub region of the Boreal Forest, the provincial park is home to moose, beavers, coyotes, and other wildlife. The park is well-established and offers many recreational opportunities. Continuing on, we now go to the small communities of Kingman and Round Hill, and another little lake Black Nugget. In Kingman, history and tea is served in a 1938 Farmington Country School.  The Round Hill Hotel, built in 1938, is a great place to stop for a cold one on a dusty day or have lunch at Noreen’s Place.

Loop back towards Camrose. The first stop is at the Camrose Railway Museum, Tea Room, and Gardens. Visit the twelve historic gardens that include a wildflower garden, a children’s secret garden, and other plots full of heritage flowers alive with colour and fragrance. Try to catch one of their many festive events throughout the summer months.

Mirror Lake and Stoney Creek Trail System offers recreation opportunities throughout the year from paved walking trails, 18km of grass running and maintained ski trails, toboggan hills, children’s playgrounds, a historic ski jump, and much more. Stroll down the colourful and unique Boomtown-restored buildings on Camrose’s Main Street. Take in the Candler art gallery, unique shops, and cafes. Also on main is the recently renovated Bailey Theatre. Pop in to see if you can catch any plays, music acts, or movies while you are in the area. You may want to take a tour of the tastefully restored theatre.

On the last leg of the route take Hwy 13 towards Bittern Lake and Gwynne. Stop for a hike and bird watch at Bittern Lake, or continue towards Gwynne for summer fishing at Coal Lake, or try out the slopes at the local ski hill in winter. Gwynne Valley Ski Area is an excellent place for beginners as it is small, scenic, and affordable. The final stretch on secondary Hwy 822 and 616 will take you down gravel roads through scenic countryside, and by historic country churches. Head back to Miquelon or Camrose to spend the night.

Crowning Moments

These features are crowned, because they deserve the praise.

Crowning Moment #1:

Yardley Jones Tire & Girdle Factory. Access: End of main street, New Sarepta.  Ph: 780-941-3929.
GPS: N53.27186oW113.14318o

Crowning Moment #2: 

Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Access: North of secondary Hwy 623. Ph: 780-672-7274

Crowning Moment #3: 

Camrose Railway Station Museum, Cafe & Gardens. Address: 4407-47th Avenue, Camrose. Ph: 780-672-3099.
GPS: N53.0257o W112.8155o

Crowning Moment #4:

Mirror Lake (Stoney Creek Trail system). Access: Bill Fowler Mirror Lake Park Visitor Center access just north of 48th Avenue (near 53 Street). Several access points to park.

Crowning Moment #5:

Camrose Main Street & The Bailey Theatre. Access: 50th Street, Camrose. GPS: N53.0257o  W112.8155o

Crowning Moment #6: 

Gwynne Valley Ski Area. Access: Gwynne, Alberta.
Ph: 780-352-3515.  GPS: N52.9838o  W113.2224o

Jewels

Bird watching, Hiking and Picnics

• Butcher Habitat Conservation Area. Access: West  end of Railway Avenue in Bittern   Lake. GPS: N53.0105o W113.060517 o

• Hay Lakes Lions Campground & Telegraph Park. Turn east off of Hwy 21 onto Hwy 617,1 km east of Hay Lakes.
Ph: 780-878-3200 GPS: N53.192000o W 113.043817 o

• Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary. Access: There are multiple access points to this large sanctuary. East of Edmonton between RR 215 and RR 209, 3 miles south of Hwy 14.

• Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Follow Hwy 623 West off of Hwy 21 to reach entrance. Ph: 780-672-7274. GPS: N53.2460915o  W112.872995o

Paddling on the Little Lakes

• Black Nugget Lake Campground. Access: 12 km south of Hwy 14 on Rg Rd 182. Ph: 780-663-2421. GPS: N53.21582o W112.53820o                                                                                           • Coal Lake North Provincial Area. Access: In the Gwynne Valley, turn north off of Hwy 13 onto 822. Continue north on 822 then west on 616. GPS: N53.133017o W113.359433o         • Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Access: Follow Hwy 623 West off of Hwy 21 to reach entrance. Ph: 780-672-7274. GPS: N53.2460915o  W112.872995o

Fishing

• Black Nugget Lake Campground 12 km south of Hwy 14 on Rg Rd 182.
Ph: 780-663-2421. GPS: N53.21582o W112.53820o                                                                                     • Coal Lake North Provincial Area. Access: North off of Hwy 13 onto 822. Continue north on 822 then west on 616. GPS: N53.133017o W113.359433o

 Swimming and Windsurfing

• Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Hwy 623 West  off of Hwy 21 to reach entrance.
Ph: 780-672-7274.

Boomtown Buildings, Historical Buildings

• The Moravian Church. Reverend Clement Hoyter started the Moravian settlement of Sarepta in 1904. When the Post Office was later established, the community’s name was changed to New Sarepta to distinguish it from the hamlet of Sarepta in Ontario. Access: Secondary Hwy 623.                                                                                                               • Wilhelmina Lutheran Church. Built in 1908, the church is still in full operation, and is the highest point of location on the tour. Access: 5 miles east of Hay Lakes on Hwy 617, then turn left at the sign and go 1 mile north. Web: www.wilhelminachurch.ca

• Ukrainian Catholic Church in Camrose. The tall and elegant church by the waters of Mirror Lake in Camrose, was the first catholic church to be built in this community. Access: Mirror Lake, Camrose.

• The Bailey Theatre.  Address: 5041-50th Street. Camrose.
Ph: 780-672-5510.
Web: www.baileytheatre.com

• Camrose Historic Main Street. Come and see Boomtown buildings at their finest. Pick up a self-guided tour ‘Historic Walk’ on line at www.DowntownCamrose.com

• Normal School. Built in 1915 to urgently train the needed teachers for one and two roomed rural schools across Alberta. The building is now used as the Rosehaven Care Center. Address: 4612-53rd Street. Camrose                                                                        • Crooked Lake Church & Cemetery. Spreading like a vail behind an immaculate old country church there is a well maintained cemetery bordered by mature spruce. Access: Rge Rd 221, south of Bittern Lake. GPS: N53.040800 o W113.220667 o                                         

• Ukrainian Catholic Church. The church was erected in 1921, and underwent restoration in the mid 1980s. It has a spectacular domed roof, and separate bell tower. A nice place for a pleasant picnic. Access: Secondary Hwy 611. GPS: N53.134950 o W113.063300 o

Golfing

• Bent Stix Golf Course. Access: New Sarepta, Alberta

• Whistle Stop Golf Course Driving Range & Campground. Access: 47258 Hwy 833 RR#2, 2km north of Camrose. Ph: 780-672-6490. Web: www.whistlestopgolf.com

• Miquelon Hills Golf Course 18 holes. Drive through Miquelon Lake Provincial Park to find this jem. Ph: 780-662-2499

• Camrose Golf Course 18 holes Established in 1922, the Camrose Golf Course is an 18 hole public course that offers all amenities required by both the recreational golfer and the golfer seeking additional challenges to their game. Offering a well stocked Pro Shop, locker rooms, and a full service restaurant and lounge, our ‘Southern Mansion’ style clubhouse serves as the starting point of your golf experience. 1 block North of Hwy. 13 on 66 Street. Camrose. Ph: 780-672-2691

Museums & Tea Rooms

• Camrose & District Centennial Museum. 48th Avenue and 53rd Street. Ph: 780-672-3298

• Camrose Railway Museum, Tea Room, and Gardens. 4407-47th Avenue, Camrose. www.canadiannorthern.ca Ph: 780-672-3099.

• Kingman Regional School Museum & Tea House. 222 Main Street, Kingman.

Campgrounds

• Joseph Lake Provincial Park. Twp Rd 500, east of  New Sarepta. Ph:780-941-2124. GPS: N53.283434638° W113.068679484°

• Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. Hwy 623 West off of Hwy 21 to reach entrance. Ph: 780-672-7274.  GPS N53.246091569° W112.87872995631°

• Camrose Exhibition Trail RV Park.  4250 Exhibition Drive. Ph: 780-678-2888

• Hay Lakes Lions Campground & Telegraph Park. 1 km east of Hay Lakes on Highway 617.  Ph: 780-878-3200.

• Black Nugget Lake Campground. Access: 12 km south of Hwy 14 on Rg Rd 182. Ph: 780-663-2421. GPS: N53.21582o W112.53820o

• Whistle Stop Golf Course Driving Range & Campground. Access: 47258 Hwy 833 RR#2, 2km north of Camrose. Ph: 780-672-6490.  Web: www.whistlestopgolf.com

Events

* Canadian Bull Congress in Camrose (Jan).
* Camrose Spring Rodeo (March).
* Camrose Museum Opening (May).
* Camrose Mirror Express Train Rides (June).
* Camrose Jaywalkers Jamboree (June).
* Camrose Purple Martin Festival (June).
* New Sarepta’s Annual Fair (June).* Hay Fever in Hay Lakes (July).
* Garden Tours & High Tea in Camrose (July).
* Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose (August).
* Founders Days Festival in Camrose (August).
* Tour to Alberta (Sept)

Geocaches

Visit www.geocaching.com, and type in the name or the GC Code for more information on the geocache site, and for more geocaches in the area.
• Cartoon Capital Multi-Hydrant-BTTCAR1. Access: New Sarepta, GC#: GC2F8KH
• It is, Not-BTTCAR1. Access: Round Hill. GC#: GC2EW72
• Hampton School-BTTCAR1. Access: Hwy 834. GC#: GC2FYH
• Nightmare-BTTCAR1. Access: Camrose. GC#: GC26WJB
• The Origin-BTTCAR1. Access: Bittern Lake. GC#: GC2F4CG