Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park
Visitor Information Centre - Stop at the information centre for park maps and recommendations on which route to take with kids through the park lands. June to Thanksgiving, pick up the free Xplorers! activity booklet (identify animals you see in the park, draw wildflowers, listen to Blackfoot stories at campfire programs, puzzles, mazes) and complete the activities for a certificate and souvenir.
The entrance road runs from the main gate to the town, and gives you great views of the Waterton Valley. Stop in at the Prince of Wales Hotel a national historic site and a great place to stretch out and admire the lake. Really want to get the mood of the place? Make time for afternoon tea in Valerie's Tea Room (scones, sandwiches, pastries) in the hotel.
Ride the waters -
Cameron Lake - You can rent canoes, rowboats and paddle boats at Cameron Lake on the Akamina Parkway. It's a great spot for families, since it's a calmer lake than some of the others nearby, and no power boats are permitted. Don't plan on swimming here - this water is deep and incredibly cold!
Upper Waterton Lake - A great day trip is the 2 hour scenic boat cruise from Waterton, get off at Goat Haunt, hike around, and take the boat back. May to September.
Go birding - With over 250 species passing through the park, the best time to do this is late fall, during migration when thousands of birds, including Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and various ducks fly by. Good birding spots: Maskinonge Lake and Knight's Lake. In March you can see the reverse migration - catch the golden eagles on Lakeview Ridge. Combine bird-watching with hiking on the Bertha and Rowe trails or the Carthew-Alderson trail. For guaranteed sightings, head for the habitats along the Waterton River.
Ride horses - At the Alpine Stables, check out the options, including everything from one hour to full day guided horseback trips. Really feeling adventurous? Call Alpine well ahead if you would like to try back country camping with horses at Lone Lake and Snowshoe Cabin.
Camping - Waterton Lakes has great campgrounds for families, including a unique camping experience: spend the night in a tipi. The tipi, which sleeps 6, has sleeping mats (not so hard as sleeping directly on the ground), but you'll needed to bring sleeping bags and usual camping equipment. Tipi camping from June to Labor Day, reservations.
Two recommended campgrounds are Crandell (first come, first serve), close to Crandell Lake, and Townsite (reservations are advisable).
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