Adventure, Baby! Walk-In Tenting At Canoe Meadows

I’ve been meaning to get this post up for over a week, but here it is now, just in time (because we are headed out on our first backpacking trip of the season next weekend so I need to get busy preparing).

For Father’s Day weekend we were able to book a spot at the new Canoe Meadows tenting area, which was completed only last summer. It’s right along a stretch of river that is extremely popular with paddlers of all kinds. We got to watch kayakers and white water rafters several times during our weekend there.

We arrived just after supper time on Friday night and picked a great spot! All of the sites are really nice, with a very large tent pad, fire pit, and picnic table. We brought our hammocks and fortunately had enough mature trees to hang both of them (although one would have been enough).

When you book sites you can pre-pay for firewood, which we did, and the camp caretaker even generously delivered it right to our site!

The weather was really lovely, and it was nice to be able to take our time getting set up. We had eaten before we got there so I didn’t have to cook either.

There isn’t potable water available so we brought our gravity filter and collected water from the river. The camp ground only has 10 sites, so it was nice and quiet.

It’s always pretty exciting for toddlers when they are in a new place so we didn’t get Katrin to bed until rather late. I think the challenges around sleeping are one of the more difficult parts of camping with babies and kids, but if you just expect that sleep is going to be rough, it makes things easier.

There was rain in the forecast for Saturday, but the morning was just overcast with the odd threat of a few drops falling.

After breakfast we went for a walk along some of the trails, and looked at the river. We also played in the rocks and dirt, a lot!

Katrin looooooooves walking around now, and exploring everywhere! Mike and I just took turns following her all over the campground. She has so much energy! It’s a bit exhausting really, HA HA, but that’s life with a toddler.

In the afternoon the rain really arrived, and so we had to retreat to our tent for a while and wait it out. I was woefully underprepared to entertain a toddler in a confined space for a couple of hours. We tried convincing her to nap (BWAHAHAHAHA, right!) and even resorted to some YouTube videos but she’s soooo busy. Lesson learned, and I have a bunch of great ideas now for next time, and I will share those in future.

Eventually the rain let up long enough that we were able to go out and make some dinner. We let Katrin run wild for as long as we could, and then called it an early night. Fortunately she was sufficiently tired out from the day that she fell asleep pretty early (and by early I mean before 10pm). It rained like crazy all night, but we stayed dry and toasty in our tent!

In the morning, for some reason I woke up with the birds. There are benefits to that, because I got to watch the sun come up on my way back from the bathroom, and it was stunning!

Once everyone else was up (much later) we had a leisurely breakfast and a fire, because we weren’t able to have one the night before.

We were able to get the tent and the hammocks mostly dried out, because the sun was shining and it made packing up way easier!

Keeping Katrin supervised is a full time job, so she and Mike did a lot of exploring while I took my time getting everything sorted and back in the truck. Without a long hike out ahead of us we didn’t need to hurry, which is pretty nice! Front country camping has its perks.

We will definitely be going back to Canoe Meadows! It’s just under an hour drive from our house and it’s a really ideal spot for a quick weekend get away. Heading out after Mike gets home from work on Friday afternoon is totally reasonable, and even though it’s walk-in the sites are all pretty close to the parking area. Plus the facilities are really nice (bear lockers, garbage bins, and clean bathrooms) and so are the people.

Looking forward to our next stay there (hopefully this season, if I can squeeze any more camping trips into our schedule LOL).

As mentioned earlier, we have a backpacking trip coming up! Headed to Ribbon Falls for a couple of nights, so there will be a post coming up about that. Also some ideas on keeping toddlers happy while camping, and a few other little things I’ve been meaning to write about!

About the author

Mike & Cal have been backpacking around Alberta for the past decade. This site is where they share trip reports, photos, and tips and tricks for getting outside.

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