While the National Parks of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta probably contain the finest landscapes, all these provinces also have worthwhile Provincial Parks, with thousands of acres of wilderness, lakes, rivers and forests, great hikes and hundreds of kilometres of canoe routes. Many draw local campers in droves on summer weekends and each province has its own park regulations.

Manitoba

Entry to Manitoba’s provincial parks (w manitobaparks.com) costs $5/vehicle/day (multi-day passes available), while entry by boat, foot or bike is free. Park campsites ($11.55–28.35) can be reserved from April to September online or by calling the Parks Reservation Service (t 204 948 3333 or t 1 888 482 2267; $10/reservation).

Saskatchewan

Entry to Saskatchewan’s provincial parks (w saskparks.net) is $7/vehicle/day, $17 for three days, $25 weekly and $50 annually. Information is on t 306 787 8676, t 1 800 205 7070. Between mid-May and August you can reserve all park campsites ($13–26; t 855 737 7275, w saskparks.goingtocamp.com) online for a $10 fee; which is a better bet than simply turning up – particularly at weekends.

Alberta

Entry to Alberta’s provincial parks is free, but camping costs $5–26. At peak times the most popular campsites are largely reservation-only ($12/reservation); many can be reserved at w albertaparks.ca, where you’ll also find the individual phone numbers for others that need to be called direct.

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