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Notes on Management of Recreation Areas in Northeastern Kananaskis

Maps of recreation Areas in the Elbow Valley

Wildland Parks encompass large areas of natural landscape where human developments and interference with natural processes are minimized. Wildland Parks, similar to WilImore Wilderness Park, accommodate a wider range of outdoor recreation pursuits than Wilderness Areas, including hunting, fishing and the use of horses.

Provincial Parks are provincially significant natural and historical landscapes and features. A range of facilities along with interpretive and educational programs enhance opportunities for visitors to explore, understand, appreciate and respect the natural environment.

Recreation Areas cater to a wide range of intensive recreation pursuits in natural, modified or man-made settings. Most Recreation Areas have little or no preservation value due to the levels of facility development, intensity of visitor use and frequently small size.


Alberta's Parks & Protected Areas Site Classifications

Wildland provincial parks preserve and protect natural heritage and provide opportunities for backcountry recreation.

  • Wildland parks are large, undeveloped natural landscapes that retain their primeval character.

  • Trails and primitive backcountry campsites are provided in some wildland parks to minimize visitor impacts on natural heritage values.

  • Some wildland parks provide significant opportunities for eco-tourism and adventure activities such as backpacking, backcountry camping, wildlife viewing, mountain climbing and trail riding.

  • Designated trails for off-highway vehicle riding and snowmobiling are provided in some wildland parks.

Provincial parks preserve natural heritage; they support outdoor recreation, heritage tourism and natural heritage appreciation activities that depend upon and are compatible with environmental protection.

  • Provincial parks protect both natural and cultural landscapes and features.

  • They are distinguished from wildland parks by their greater range of outdoor recreation facilities, the extent of road access, and the interpretive and educational programs and facilities that are available to visitors.

  • Outdoor recreation activities that promote appreciation of a park's natural heritage and cultural features are encouraged.

  • Provincial parks offer a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities and support facilities.

  • Interpretive and educational programs that enhance visitor understanding and appreciation of, and respect for, Alberta's natural heritage (without damaging natural values) are offered in some provincial parks; these programs serve visitors of diverse interests, ages, physical capabilities and outdoor skills.

  • Automobile access is typically provided to staging areas and support facilities.

Recreation areas support outdoor recreation and tourism; they often provide access to lakes, rivers, reservoirs and adjacent Crown land.

  • Recreation areas support a range of outdoor activities in natural, modified and man-made settings.

  • They are managed with outdoor recreation as the primary objective.

  • Some areas are intensively developed, while others remain largely undeveloped.

  • Many recreation areas play a significant role in management of adjacent Crown lands and waters by localizing the impact of development and serving as staging areas.