Smoky Lake Getaway

Kaskapite Sakigan, or Smoky Lake in Cree, was named for the mists that often obscure the opposite shore. The town of Smoky Lake and area is loaded with Instagrammable history, lovely lakes and a centre for Métis learning, promising an experience filled journey with cool breaks and tasty treats.


About 115 kms northeast of Edmonton, Smoky Lake, Alberta, is accessible from highways 28 or 16 and the Elk Island Parkway (park fee applies). You may spot bison as you pass through Elk Island National Park enroute to the rolling vistas of Alberta’s Lakeland.


Besides breathtaking views over the North Saskatchewan River, Victoria Trail includes 16 intriguing stops along a 58 km scenic drive, Alberta’s oldest trail (road) still in regular use. A house in the middle of the road, is one example of the many special Instagram moments along the route between Victoria Settlement 14 kms south of Smoky Lake, and farmland southeast of Redwater.

Victoria District National Historic Site of Canada—also known as Victoria Settlement, or Pakan—has a commemorative plaque in English, French, Michif, Ukrainian and Cree, reflecting the people who lived here. Amid this cultural landscape, you’ll see farmsteads and historic buildings on long narrow river lots, running back from the North Saskatchewan River for about 12 km of its length.


Betsy’s Burger Shack may have the best burgers in Alberta’s Lakeland, and it’s almost a sin to enjoy them without a milkshake. Stop for deli sandwiches or doughnuts at the Old Fashioned Bread Bakery, a family owned staple for almost 50 years. Snap a pic of the kids climbing the giant pumpkins around the corner. Check out the CN Museum, full of cool items used by the CN Railway in the 1900s. A ticketmaster’s wicket—once used to sell return tickets to Edmonton for $1.95—stands to the left of a pot-bellied stove in this reputedly haunted CN Station.

Later, available at the Smoky Lake PharmaChoice, sample so good Just For Licks small batch natural artisan ice cream or Carmen’s Lil Cheesecakes. It’s a toss up between Lemon Meringue or White Chocolate Black Forest—you decide.


The picturesque nine hole course at Smoky Lake Golf Course and RV Park, a few kms out of town, is great for kids and adults alike. Bring your clubs for a round with your little pro. RVers will love that the clubhouse and links are within walking distance of the RV Park that offers stay and play deals.

Cool off

Lake time! Load up on garden vegetables, cabbage rolls and sweet chili and lime gourmet sausages for the barbecue at Serben Farms, 5 kms west of town. Take a moment to sip on some of Jedd’s fresh pressed lemonade and revel in the resident pigs’ antics as they dig in the dirt. Then, set yourself up at Hanmore Lake, 22 kms north, for a few hours or overnight. Nothing feels better on a hot day than a cool lake, whether you’re splashing around in it or on it with a canoe, kayak or SUP. If you have a boat, don’t forget fishing gear, bait and tackle. Hanmore Lake allows motorized boats and fishing.


Hanmore Lake happens to be one of the finest campgrounds in the region. Dense with big, old trees, the campground has spots for tent campers and RVers, some shaded or flanking the lake.

Bonne Nuit Bed & Breakfast offers elegant accommodation within a peaceful setting right in Smoky Lake. Four nicely decorated rooms—two queens and two kings—offer wifi, Smart TVs and private bathrooms.

Make extra time:

Smoky Lake Stampede, held every summer, includes barrel racing and bull riding, and events like bale pushing and mutton bustin’ for the youngsters.

Visit Métis Crossing to overnight in Sky Watching Domes, check out bison, elk and Percheron horses, and learn about the Métis through hands on experiences.

Summer pow wows in Beaver Lake Cree Nation and Heart Lake First Nation

Book up to an 8 hour trip on a covered boat for some of the best North Saskatchewan River fishing (and river exploration!) with Lunker’s Fishing Adventures.

Stop at Alpine Prairie Goods Smoothie Bar and taste drive a wide array of frozen delights made from local grown ingredients.