Where Things Stand: Region offers many tourism and recreational amenities
for Smoky River Express
The dog days of summer are upon us and it has offered me an opportunity to reflect on the many outdoor and recreational facilities the region has to offer.
One of the biggest for the region is Winagami Lake Provincial Park. The fishing and campground are first rate there.
Two activities were held there earlier in the summer. The first was the children’s fishing derby on June 9, hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
Many children and families were out on the break water hoping to catch the big ones for prizes. It was great to see the children’s excitement when they caught something.
The other event was Alberta Parks Day on July 21, hosted by Alberta Parks staff and conservation officers. It rained for most of the day, but a few dozen people came out for the hot dogs and cake.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the creation of the provincial park system in Alberta, hence the celebration, with others being held through the province the same day.
Then there are the campgrounds in communities like Falher, Girouxville and McLennan. Campers contribute to the each community’s economy by purchasing meals, fuel and supplies.
Anyone interested in bird watching can go to the Kimiwan Bird Walk in McLennan. The staff in office are willing to provide information about the facility. There are also some excellent animal displays in the office.
Of course, Kimiwan Lake is a stopover for migratory birds. It's not uncommon to see thousands and thousands of Canada Geese flying overhead in the spring and summer. The area is also excellent for waterfowling in the fall.
There are the museums, as in Girouxville, for out-of-towners to come in and get a sense of the local and regional history.
For anyone wishing to play a round of golf, there are the courses in McLennan and south of Falher. They are a big draw for tournaments, including fundraisers.
Then there’s the Smoky River Tourism Centre in Falher, which provides information about the sights in and around the area.
The latest addition for recreation and sport is Smoky Lanes Bowling in Girouxville. A grand opening was held in April, with Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley MLA Hector Goudreau performing the ribbon cutting ceremony to great applause.
The Falher Regional Pool draws many children, including the competitive swimmers in the Manatee Swim Club. Sponsored swims are held at the pool throughout the summer, which is a great service provided.
As summer turns to fall, and as fall turns to winter, other recreational and sports activities come to mind.
Many communities in the region have their own indoor/outdoor arenas for curling, hockey, skating, etc.
So, the fun doesn’t stop in the summer.
Thus, the communities in the region have a lot to be proud of where their recreational and tourism facilities are concerned.
I’m sure they will only get better in the years ahead.