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Compiled by the Street Journey Alberta group
Final up to date on July 24, 2022
Is it really doable to discover a majestic lake in southern Alberta that has all of it? One that’s each open for quite a few water sports activities in addition to affords a good looking sandy seashore to calm down on?
Enter Lake Newell, positioned simply 14km south of the small metropolis of Brooks. Lake Newell is certainly one of southern Alberta’s largest and warmest man-made lakes, attracting guests from throughout to solar on the sandy seashore and play within the waters.
However simply past the #BestLakeLife discovered at Lake Newell, the Brooks Area as an entire has distinctive and enjoyable issues to do all through! You possibly can stroll the place dinosaurs roamed, marvel at superb feats of engineering, play in lovely Kinbrook Island Provincial Park, pattern unbelievable and domestically made foods and drinks, take within the quintessential Alberta panorama, and a lot extra. Learn on for all that there’s to do within the space.
We want to acknowledge that the locations talked about on this put up are positioned on the standard territories of the Blackfoot Nations, which embrace the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai. We additionally acknowledge the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis Nation, and all individuals who walked this land for hundreds of years.
Attending to Lake Newell and the Brooks Area
Calgary to Brooks
At simply over 2 hours, the drive from Calgary to Brooks is kind of scenic. The quickest means is by way of the Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E heading out of the town in the direction of Strathmore. Keep on Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E for 173km till it’s time to merge onto AB-873 S and entry the town of Brooks.
Edmonton to Brooks
When you’re coming from the capital metropolis of Alberta, Brooks is a few 4.5 hours drive however gives ample alternative to see extra off-the-beaten-path spots on the best way. To start the trek, head southeast out of the town on AB-14 E for roughly 10 km. Then use the precise lane to take the AB-21 ramp to Fort/Saskatchewan/Camrose. Proceed on AB-21 S for 128 km to AB-53 E till Bashaw the place you will have to show left onto AB-53 E (indicators for Forestburg) for 19 km. Then flip proper onto AB-56 S and proceed on that street by way of each Stettler and Drumheller which takes roughly 1.5 hours. Comply with AB-56 S to Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E in Cluny after which take the Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E proper into the town of Brooks.
Brooks to Lake Newell
When utilizing Brooks as some extent to discover the world, the easiest way to get to Lake Newell from the town takes solely quarter-hour, heading south. Head out of city on 7 St E/AB-873 S. After 13 km, flip proper onto Township Rd 173A for two km. Then flip left onto 145008 Park Rd 103 Rd to entry Lake Newell.
The place to Keep in Brooks
Ramada by Wyndham Brooks is a pet-friendly resort in an excellent location proper off freeway 1, making it the right spot to discover close by points of interest and websites like Lake Newell. Facilities embrace a pool, free breakfast served within the mornings, kitchenettes in some rooms, and laundry amenities.
For these in search of a style of residence whereas visiting the area, Canalta Brooks is pet and family-friendly, offering leisure comparable to a swimming pool with a waterslide and sizzling tub, video games room, visitor laundry, and suites. After having fun with a complimentary sizzling breakfast, benefit from the comfort of easy accessibility to native eating places and outlets.
Heritage Inn Lodge & Conference Centre
Not solely does the Heritage Inn Lodge & Conference Centre boast a good looking tropical pond with koi fish within the atrium, but it surely additionally affords friends an on-site restaurant, lounge, and nightclub! Conveniently positioned simply off the Trans-Canada Freeway, the Heritage Inn Lodge & Conference Centre affords trendy lodging and a number of full-service facilities to make sure a snug and stress-free keep in your journey.
Heritage Inn & Suites
Heritage Inn & Suites is a boutique-style resort in Brooks that options modern décor and upscale facilities all inside a smoke-free surroundings. There’s an indoor pool and sizzling tub, enterprise centre, and library for friends to get pleasure from with spacious suites obtainable for these needing some extra room to calm down after a busy day exploring.
Tenting at Lake Newell and within the Brooks Area
Apart from throughout the provincial park (see extra under), there are additionally some implausible non-public campgrounds price a keep.
Rolling Hills Reservoir Campground
Owned and operated by the Japanese Irrigation District (EID), the Rolling Hills Reservoir Campground is positioned 20 kms south of Brooks and sits alongside certainly one of 13 water storage reservoirs that kind the irrigation infrastructure. There are 110 websites obtainable to guide on your adventures. The established campground is well-treed and every website has energy obtainable. One other perk is the marina consisting of a ship launch and boat slips permitting entry to the reservoir for water-related actions.
Crawling Valley Reservoir Campground
The Crawling Valley Campground began in 1983, providing a possibility to benefit from the water actions that the reservoir gives for. Sitting at 16 km lengthy and a couple of km throughout, with a most depth of 52 ft, boating, swimming, and fishing are massive attracts; species of fish comparable to trout, pike, and walleye make this a primary fishing spot for campers trying to eat what they catch.
The campground has facilities comparable to a good looking adjoining marina, playground, bathe amenities, and store for any issues you might want throughout a keep.
Emerson Bridge Campground
Emerson Bridge Park Campground boasts 49 energy stalls and eight non-power websites for these trying to arrange camp. You possibly can get pleasure from facilities comparable to flush bathrooms and free showers and leisure for the entire household contains seashore volleyball, horseshoe pits, camp kitchen, ball diamond, playground, canoe launch, and mountaineering. There’s additionally a concession for any gadgets you will have forgotten to pack.
Issues to See and Do at Lake Newell and within the Brooks Area
Lake Newell is likely one of the largest man-made lakes in Alberta. The lake can be one of many warmest within the province making it very best for seashore days and water actions like swimming, paddling, crusing, fishing, and a lot extra.
There are a number of nice choices to entry the lake – by way of non-public entry and a stunning provincial park. Whether or not you’re tenting, in search of an excellent day-use space/seashore, or in want of a ship launch, there are a number of places good for enjoyable on the lake!
Kinbrook Island Provincial Park
This widespread provincial park affords an excellent seashore and in depth day-use space with fireplace pits, BBQs, and picnic tables. There’s additionally an abundance of wetlands within the space which creates nice alternatives to see birds and wildlife. Yr-round tenting is out there in Kinbrook Island Provincial Park (virtually 200 websites, and 29 in winter) in addition to a ship launch. With all of those facilities, it’s no surprise why locals and vacationers alike flock to the park to entry Lake Newell.
Fishing is a well-liked pastime within the space. Anglers can count on to catch northern pike and lake whitefish in many of the bigger our bodies of water, with walleye being stocked in plenty of the world reservoirs and making it some of the widespread species caught.
Among the widespread fishing spots past Lake Newell are Crawling Valley Reservoir, Rolling Hills Reservoir, and Tilley B Reservoir. The realm rivers additionally present fishing alternatives with the Bow River producing catches of northern pike, walleye, whitefish, and a few trout and sturgeon.
Canoeing / Paddle Boarding / Boating
Lake Newell Resort
Lake Newell Resort is a shoreside group, full of the entire facilities wanted to reap the benefits of this lovely lake.
Its extra notable characteristic alongside its public seashore and day use space is the general public Marina which is nice for launching something from a pontoon to a canoe (you’ll be able to carry your individual vessel, or there are leases obtainable onsite). That is additionally the situation of the lake’s solely refueling station.
Crawling Valley Reservoir
Crawling Valley Reservoir is a separate physique of water from Lake Newell; its development and historical past date again to 1903 and tie into the historical past of the Bassano Dam. Now extra popularly it’s a tenting and seashore vacation spot (and sure a bit quieter than the extra widespread Lake Newell). That is one other nice seashore for paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, or simply having a lazy float! Your canines can be completely happy you selected to spend today right here too as a piece of their seashore is canine pleasant.
Hen watching, or birding, is quick turning into a highly regarded pastime within the Brooks Area. There are a number of locations to take action together with the Tilley space, Lake Newell and Kitsum reservoirs, and Dinosaur Provincial Park. Every gives distinctive viewpoints of sure species interested in the habitats.
Many species of birds are drawn to those areas both as staging areas for shorebirds throughout migration comparable to black-bellied plovers, western grebes, and waterfowl may be seen within the spring and fall. Even populations of endangered and weak species nonetheless frequent these areas with sightings of long-billed curlew and burrowing owl. When visiting, preserve your eyes open to hopefully catch a glimpse!
Marvel on the Brooks Aqueduct
What’s an aqueduct, you ask? Basically it’s an overland bridge to move water, whose fundamental construction truly dates again to historic Roman occasions. The Brooks Aqueduct doesn’t return fairly that far, in fact, however was in-built 1912. When you see this unbelievable, monumental construction you will notice why it was a feat of engineering whose use spanned hundreds of years. Not solely that, however it’s a lovely location for a picnic and scenic stroll and to be taught extra about this Nationwide and Provincial historic website.
The Brooks Aqueduct is only a quick drive south of Brooks. There is no such thing as a admission payment to this website and is at all times open to the general public for a self-guided expertise.
Go Below (sure, UNDER!) the Bassano Dam
Not solely is the dam a good looking viewpoint it’s a deeply necessary construction for the entire farmers and communities within the space. The EID (Japanese Irrigation District) affords a tour of the Bassano Dam that’s completely fascinating.
Study how water is distributed within the space, how know-how and innovation is altering, how the world makes use of water and you may even expertise the dam from beneath! The tour may be very distinctive and is free to guide by contacting the EID. The dam has a profound impact on so many different issues we visited within the space together with the Aqueduct, lakes, and even the native distillery. (You’ll be an irrigation skilled by the top of the tour!)
Areas of the dam are at all times open to the general public; you’ll be able to stroll or drive throughout anytime and there are picnic tables obtainable close to the perspective.
Expertise Dinosaur Provincial Park
Only a 30-minute drive northeast of Brooks, the world-famous Dinosaur Provincial Park is certainly one of Alberta’s 6 UNESCO World Heritage websites. It attained the designation in 1979 as a result of it has such numerous plant and animal life but in addition as a result of “it accommodates a few of the most necessary fossil specimens found from the “Age of Dinosaurs” (from the UNESCO web site).
If the putting look of the Badlands in Alberta wasn’t already sufficient of a purpose to go to, the park affords in depth mountaineering trails, guided excursions, glamping, and a museum-quality customer middle.
Some highlights of the park embrace an enormous public entry space the place you’ll be able to hike all around the hills and hoodoos. This space truly has a bone mattress the place you’ve an opportunity to search out actual fossils* in case you are expert sufficient to determine them. There are additionally fossil enclosures that can help you see dinosaurs the place and the way they have been truly discovered.
The guided excursions permit for much more memorable experiences. Partake within the “Fossil Finders” tour and discover ways to determine fossils and discover extra of the pure protect or the “Centrosaurus Bonebed Hike” the place you get to discover a former dig that accommodates bones from tons of of dinosaurs.
* Please go away any fossils precisely the place they’re discovered. For extra data on how one can assist do your half to protect the park throughout your keep, cease on the customer middle.
Get pleasure from Craft Beer and Spirits
Piston Broke Brewing
Piston Broke Brewing is Brooks’ first craft brewery and has grown to be a pillar of the group. The brewery options a number of award-winning beers, good eats, and artistic beer cocktails. Try their occasions web page on their web site for comedy nights, reside music, and way more!
One other standout characteristic of the brewery is its superb patio that can be dog-friendly.
Pivot Spirits is the world’s first and solely “seed to sip” distillery. The grains used of their spirits are farmed within the areas surrounding the distillery and the entire botanicals and taste infusions are sourced domestically. Take a tour across the farm and distillery by hay trip and see the method from seed to the completed product.
Tastings and off-sales can be found Tuesday via Sunday or pair your spirit or cocktails with a handmade pizza Friday via Sunday. Test their occasions web page for reside music and different occasions.
Different Enjoyable for the Household
White Barn Enjoyable Farm
White Barn Enjoyable Farm is a family-run farm that has acres of cuteness and is stuffed with enjoyable for all ages!
The interactive farm lets you pet and feed an enormous number of animals like emus, alpacas, Tibetan yaks, and even a camel. Its assortment of critters is really spectacular and even features a uncommon white buffalo. Rise up shut to those superb animals and find out about what makes them so distinctive. You possibly can go to the farm by appointment which may be booked by way of their web site.
Brooks Corn Maze
The Brooks Corn Maze is open from mid-August till late October and options so many extra actions than simply the corn maze. You’re certain to have a full day of enjoyable with the magnetic fish pond, The Human Hamster, Pasture Putt Golf, and The Corny Sandbox.
Not solely does the Brooks Corn Maze have a bunch of actions to get pleasure from, however in addition they have a u-pick raspberry discipline sometimes beginning in early July. Raspberries can be found till late August or till the primary frost. Munch on a 4-litre pail of your hard-picked earnings for $20 or $18 if you happen to carry your individual pail.
Brooks U-Choose is positioned 5 minutes from Brooks on Cassils Street, simply earlier than Hwy 36 on the south facet. They’re open 8 am – 5 pm every day for guests to choose their hearts out from a number of recent natural greens together with quite a lot of melons, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, squash, sizzling peppers, eggplant, cucumber, corn, inexperienced beans, onions, carrots, and extra!
Duffy’s Enjoyable Centre
Duffy’s Enjoyable Centre affords nice indoor leisure! Get pleasure from an enormous number of arcade video games out of your traditional carnival-style video games to spectacular interactive video game-style video games. You may as well discover enjoyable truthful treats right here like mushy pretzels, deep-fried pickles, and delectable mini donuts.
The place to Eat in Brooks
Wasana is a Brooks establishment! The proprietor Kham serves superb Thai and Southeast Asian Delicacies. The meals is genuine and scrumptious so it’s no surprise this restaurant has been in operation for many years. The ambiance and repair are pleasant and are certain to have you ever feeling proper at residence.
Indian Pan Flame
Indian Pan Flame is domestically owned and affords a mix of up to date and conventional Indian flavors. The meals is bursting with coloration, taste, and fantastically aromatic as you’ll come to count on from high-quality Indian delicacies. You possibly can even customise the warmth degree to your desire. This restaurant boasts a few of the greatest Indian meals in Alberta, however there is just one approach to know for sure – you’ll need to attempt it for your self!
The Steaming Cup
Discovering a neighborhood espresso store is at all times a should when exploring a brand new space and in Brooks, deal with your self at The Steaming Cup. It has a comfortable ambiance and affords an enormous number of specialty coffees, teas, smoothies, and even bubble tea! The Steaming Cup can be proud to characteristic merchandise from native distributors and artists.
Dwelling Time BBQ is a Texas-style wood-fired BBQ. Get pleasure from conventional BBQ meat platters (like brisket or ribs), accompanied by traditional sides like coleslaw or their house-baked bread. If you’re feeling adventurous attempt a Canadian tackle Texas BBQ with the Brisket Poutine – belief us, you gained’t be upset.
Connected to the restaurant is HomeTime Bakery. The entire care and time it takes to cook dinner good BBQ additionally interprets to their baked items on show within the bakery – making one of many candy treats the right finale to your meal.
Don’t Miss Visiting Lake Newell and the Brooks Area in Alberta!
The Brooks Area in southeastern Alberta is an enchanting mashup of historical past, dinosaurs, lovely water, and culinary delights. This usually neglected space is a good looking place to attach with nature and household, and to get again to the roots of what issues most in life.