Visitor safety

Each year, approximately 400,000 visitors come to Elk Island National Park to enjoy a variety of activities including picnicking, sight-seeing and wildlife viewing with family and friends. Parks Canada is committed to providing visitors with safe and meaningful experiences. This includes providing visitors with information on how to safely explore natural spaces.

Safety is a shared responsibility. Visitors are expected to practice safe camping and picnicking practices, obey the camping and other national park’s regulations including keeping pets on a leash, and keeping food and garbage secure at all times.

Become familiar with camping equipment and come prepared for changes in weather to enjoy a safe camping trip. For more information and tips to ensure a safe camping experience visit Elk Island National Park’s visitor safety webpage.

Elk Island National Park camping regulations

  • Purchase camping permit and have visibly posted at the campsite.
  • See important bulletins for more details on alcohol and cannabis restrictions.
  • Respect quiet hours between 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Be considerate of neighbouring campers and keep noise to a minimum.
  • Purchase a fire permit at the Visitor Centre before departure. Keep all fires within the designated fire pits. Use firewood provided in wood boxes and do not bring wood from outside the park. 
  • Camp in designated campgrounds only.
  • Keep campsites clean at all times. Store ALL food, garbage and scented items in a vehicle when not in use.
  • Dispose of garbage in the garbage bins provided. Do not keep garbage at your campsite. Bottle recycling bins are also provided.
  • Leave all flora, fauna or a natural objects in place. Removal of any natural items is prohibited.
  • Never feed, entice or disturb any wildlife in a national park.
  • Ensure pets are on a leash and under control at all times. Never leave a pet unattended. Pick up and dispose of pet’s waste in a garbage bin.
  • A camping permit may be revoked when a camper or a member of the camping group is found in violation of the park regulations.

Astotin Lake Campground regulations

  • Consume liquor and cannabis in registered campsites only, with the exception of long weekends when liquor and cannabis bans are in effect. See the important bulletins for more details. 
  • Respect quiet hours between 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Be considerate of neighbouring campers and keep noise to a minimum.
  • A camping permit may be revoked when a camper or a member of the camping group is found in violation of the park regulations.

Oster Lake Backcountry Campground regulations

  • Alcohol and cannabis consumption are prohibited at Oster Lake Backcountry Campground at all times. For details check the important bulletins.
  • Respect quiet hours between 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Be considerate of neighbouring campers and keep noise to a minimum.
  • A camping permit may be revoked when a camper or a member of the camping group is found in violation of the park regulations.

Campground etiquette

  • Do not do laundry in sinks. Outdoor sinks are provided for dishes and small pails of grey water disposal.
  • Empty black water and grey water tanks at the sanitary-station located near the Astotin Lake Recreation Area washroom building.
  • Operate generators from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
  • Book multiple campsites if a group consists of more than six campers (with the exception of a family unit consisting of two adult(s) with more than four dependent children).
  • Only registered campers are allowed in the campground after 11:00 p.m.
  • Park a maximum of one vehicle per site. Additional parking available in the main parking lot by the Astotin Recreation Area.
  • Keep vehicles and camp equipment within designated campsites parking spaces.
  • Stay on footpaths and roadways as the undergrowth in the campgrounds is fragile.

Keep a clean site

Keep campsites clean at all times. Store ALL food, garbage and scented items in a vehicle or a bear proof storage container when not in use.

Leaving scented items unattended, even for a few minutes, puts visitors and wildlife at risk and may result in a fine. Remember, cooking in or near a tent is dangerous because lingering odours may attract wildlife.

Items to store when not in-use:

  • coolers - full or empty
  • food - wrapped, unwrapped, or in containers
  • garbage/wrappers
  • dishes/pots/cutlery - clean or dirty
  • empty beverage containers
  • pet food/bowls - full or empty
  • bottles/cans - open or unopened
  • barbecues - clean or dirty
  • any other items used for food preparation or that have a smell or scent
  • scented products - such as shampoo, toothpaste, candles, citronella, dish soap, sunscreen, lip balm, dish towels

For additional information on campground regulations contact the Elk Island National Park Visitor Centre.

Emergencies:

  • For incidents involving wildlife call Parks Canada Dispatch 1-877-852-3100. Response times may vary.
  • In case of an emergency dial 911.
  • Hospitals are located in Lamont and Fort Saskatchewan. The Lamont Hospital closes at 8:00 pm; after-hours emergencies must be taken to Fort Saskatchewan.

It is illegal to feed, entice or disturb any wildlife in a national park. Violators may be charged, be required to appear in court, and could pay fines up to $25 000.
To report offenses call Parks Canada Dispatch: 1-877-852-3100.