Cold Lake, Alberta
There are two campgrounds in Cold Lake and one more at the nearby Alberta Provincial Park.
If you fold a map of Canadas four western provinces in half horizontally and then vertically, Cold Lake is at the intersection of the two creases. This central location confers a significant advantage, especially when combined with the thriving economy resulting from the growth in the oil industry, the stable presence of the air force base and the lure of Alberta's 7th largest lake, with its marina. The amalgamation of three distinct centres, Cold Lake, Grande Cache and the Canadian Forces base in 1996 resulted in the change of status from town to city.
CFB Cold Lake, now known as 4 Wing Air Force Base, is one of the best-equipped air force bases in Canada, with a training program drawing military personnel from all over the country. The low population density of this area is a desirable factor, as are the weather, terrain and accessibility. A part of the base's mission is the defense of western Canada's air space, and, with their partner base at Bagotville, they also survey the Arctic territory.
The opening of the base in 1954 ushered in an era of growth and the current economic climate prompts further growth, about 23% since 1996 with comparable increases into the 21st century. A visit to the city reveals home-building taking place at a rapid pace and the proximity of heavy oil assures economic well-being as long as the oilsands prosper.
- CFB/4 Wing Air Force Base with a public area for viewing jet take-offs
- large lake, white sand beach, park-like surroundings
- well-developed marina area
- Iron Horse Trail, recreational trail
- 4 museums: Air Force Museum, Oil and Gas Museum, Heritage Museum, Aboriginal Museum
- Lakeland area, in which Cold Lake City is located, mostly farmland with a sparse population
- Cold Lake Provincial Park
- Kinosoo Beach in summer, Kinosoo Ridge in winter
- two golf courses, one at the base
- bed and breakfast homes near the marina, some providing tours
- fishing opportunities at the lake, pickerel and rainbow trout
- Tri-City Mall