We departed Waterton Lakes National Park and drove north, via Drumheller (land of the dinosaurs), and on to central Alberta to visit friends and family.
We ended up moochdocking for several weeks around the area with relatives and then headed to Camrose for a week or so to get full hookups and internet and to be closer to friends we were to visit. Camrose is a city of about 20,000 people and is about 55 miles south of Edmonton. The city is located between the prairies and the boreal forest and is a major economic center for the surrounding agricultural community.
Our RV Park is called Camrose RV Park (and sometimes listed as Camrose Exhibition Trail RV Park) and has a very modest entrance sign. It is located just behind the Camrose Resort Casino and next to the Camrose Regional Exhibition (CR)E Event Center. It is close to all the amenities in town but it very quiet. (Note the kiosk in the photo below is for the BVJ event and is usually not there.)
RV Park: Camrose RV Park
Location: Camrose, Alberta
Site: 523 (back-in)
Cost: $50 (CAD)
Comments: A nice RV park right in town but very little noise. Yes, you may hear a train in the middle of the night but nothing that woke us up. AND we could sleep with the windows open and have peace and quiet. The park was neat and clean and well taken care of. It was not crowded when we were there and we had an end, level, back-in site with lots of room! We had a picnic table and campfire pit behind our site along with a small lake that had various birds visiting now and then.
The RV park has both pull thrus and back-in sites, 30AMP and 50AMP sites, and full hookups. There aren’t many trees so the sites are in the full sun (or wind and clouds) but it is level and easy to navigate. There is WiFi, an office, and a laundry room/showers. It is a simple RV park yet very nice.
Camrose hosts the Big Valley Jamboree (AKA BVJ) every August and the event is located next to the RV Park. And yes, getting a site at the RV Park during the BVJ is quite difficult. BVJ brings in close to 25,000 people which doubles the size of the city. It also brings in thousands of RVs/motorhomes for the event. While we were at the RV Park we watched days and days of BVJ set up for marking off fields for camping, delivering and installing port-a-potties, kiosks, booths, lights, stands, stages, catering trucks, sound production equipment, fences, etc. It was quite the ordeal to watch the logistics and the extensive setup. But we are glad we will be leaving before the
chaos, I mean, the fun begins!!
Camrose also has an extensive park/trail system which is quite impressive. Paved trails lead through nature in both the north, central, and south part of the city. There are also cross country trails which are in constant use during the winter. The Camrose Visitor Center offers quite a bit of information of not only the surrounding area but also all over Canada and the US. Purple Martin birdhouses abound all over the city too!!
The Rotary Four Seasons Park trails lead around the area and intersect with lots of cross country ski trails. Years ago the area also had a Ski jump, luge, and bobsled run. The cross country ski trails lead to the shooting range for Biathlon events. The ski trails look terrific and are well marked. A picnic shelter at the park has interpretive signs which detail the history of the area. It was very impressive and informative.
The park is full of wildlife and flowers and berries and trees!
Camrose is home to the University Of Alberta Augustana campus (the main campus is in Edmonton). It has about 1,000 students and on campus housing along with a library, cafeteria, performing arts center, etc. And there are even courses on cross country skiing, even in the summer. And purple martin houses abound, of course.
As I mentioned earlier we did moochdock on several farms and ate and drink and talked ourselves silly. Thanks to everyone!!
Our nephew so kindly let us borrow his canoe and took up to a drop off point along the Battle River where we paddled about 8 miles or so to a pickup point. He even picked us up!!! Thank you. It was a great paddle with lots of crop fields, cattle, and birds along the route.
One of the great things about staying in the area (besides visiting family and friends) is being treated to fresh vegetables from the gardens. YUM!!!
Alberta is known for its agricultural crops and exports to over 70 countries totaling over $14 billion dollars in 2021. Wheat, peas, canola, barley, beef and pork top the exports. The canola fields were in bloom while we were there and you could see yellow everywhere.
And of course the fields are full of other things besides crops. Moose wandered around the barley fields, the deer roamed around the canola, mushrooms were growing all over due to the high amount of rainfall, and the farm dogs played and kept the farm safe from whatever happened to stroll by.
We did some touring around a bit, visited lots of people, and just had a terrific time!