MEDICINE HAT, AB — The May long weekend is here and with it comes the unofficial kick off to camping season across Alberta.
Elkwater in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a favourite spot for locals escaping the city, and there are still some spots available for any last minute campers out there.
“A lot of our reservable sites are still open,” said Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Alberta Area Manager Jarrid Jenkins Friday afternoon. “But all of our service sites are taken so they’re booked up for the long weekend.”
Some first come first serve sites are still available as well says Jenkins. Cypress Hills has over 400 camping spots in total and thanks to newly announced provincial funding the park will soon be improving some of its features.
This fiscal year roughly $3.3 million will be spread across a number of different areas according to Jenkins should current budgeting be approved.
$1 million will go towards the Elkwater boardwalk while another $600,000 is being spent on the ski hill’s rental shop.
“We also have $600,000 that’s been budgeted for us for trail improvements,” says Jenkins.
The message from RCMP heading into this May long meanwhile is a good one.
“Have a great weekend and make sure you’re safe,” said Cpl. Shane Ryan with the Redcliff detachment, who notes they’ll be bumping up patrols and increasing manpower the next few days.
But he says historically Cypress Hills has not been an issue for his members.
“The COs (conservation officers) do a great job of maintaining the parks and keeping people safe there. In addition the May long weekend, at Elkwater park in particular, there’s no alcohol.”
Which always makes life easier for police Ryan says.
“From a policing perspective, when you take away alcohol it really reduces the number of calls for service.”
For more information on Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park or making a reservation there, you can click on either of the following Alberta Parks links: