• Peter Scott & Monica Kong

Camping in KENTUCKY- ALLEYNE Provincial Park, B.C.

Updated: Jul 24

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is about a 3.5 hour drive from the city of Vancouver. Considering we were expecting it to be a bit of a hidden gem, it was surprisingly busy with lots of campers and day-trippers. However, with 58 sites, it isn't huge compared to the likes of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, which has over 120. It never felt overwhelmingly packed, and the lack of motorized boats also made it that much more peaceful and quiet.


We tend to be quite picky when it comes to choosing the ideal site. We camped at Site #4 on Kentucky Lake, and we were pleased with our selection due to its decent size, privacy, and proximity to the beach. Upon closer inspection, site #58 on Alleyne Lake also meets these standards, and likely the best one for privacy.


Molly taking a cold dip...

Not sure if there is a known microclimate in this region, or if it was just random timing, but the weather was extremely unstable, changing every 5-20 mins for 4 days straight. We got glorious sunshine one moment, thundershowers the next, and pretty much everything in between. If you choose to camp here, come prepared, as in make sure you have a quality tent that will withstand crazy weather. Nights were also much colder than expected, even in late June, though summer 2019 was colder and wetter than average. We did have a slight case of RV ENVY on our last night of torrential downpour. Tenters were most certainly the minority in this provincial park, at least when we were there!


Playing cards on a rainy afternoon

3 HIGHLIGHTS


1) PADDLEBOARDING: The lake is known for its tropical, turquoise blue hue, and as seen in the photos, it was clearly that, and more. The powdery, white sand isn't what you would typically expect from a lake either. When it wasn't pouring rain, the lake was as still as glass in the early mornings and evenings, idyllic for a peaceful paddle. You could even see the occasional fish swim by! Fishing, by the way, is very popular here, and the campground even features a "CHILDREN ONLY" fishing area in the two, small ponds located between the lakes.


Paddleboarding on clear blue water, Kentucky Lake

Taking advantage of the sunshine while it lasted....

2) HIKING: With ominous clouds constantly looming over us, we spent a lot of time debating whether or not to take the kids for a hike. Luckily, we took a chance right after a big downpour and went on a short, very easy 4km hike around Kentucky Lake. Quite do-able for a 5 and 7 year old. Not only did we stay dry, but we were rewarded with beautiful views of the lake from the other side.

Kentucky Lake trail

Views from our hike
View of the campground from the other side of Kentucky lake

3) BIKE RIDES: Coming from city living, allowing our young kids the freedom to go ride their bikes on their own is one of the things we love about camping. We didn't do too much bike riding due to the weather, but enough to keep the kids entertained on their own once in a while. The paved, relatively flat roads with minimal traffic near our site was perfect for leisurely cycling.


THE DOWNSIDE


  • There are no flush toilets or shower facilities, which perhaps explains why most people bring their RV's here.


  • There isn't much of a beach on either lake, where the kids can play and wade in the water. It can be a bit swampy and muddy along the shallow periphery of Kentucky lake, before getting to the crystal clear parts. Alleyne Lake is not as swampy, but with less sand and more gravel, it doesn't have that same "tropical" vibe.


Kentucky Lake

Alleyne Lake
  • The water was too cold for swimming, even in late June, but we still managed to take a brief dip. The water does stay fairly shallow for a while on Kentucky Lake, making it ideal for younger kids who like to play in the water. (That is, if they don't mind the cold temperature!)


OVERALL IMPRESSION


This was the first stop of our 2 and a half month, cross-Canada road trip, before heading overseas for a year or two (starting with South Korea). The rain should have dampened our spirits, but we still had a fantastic time. It helped that we were overall just excited to get started on our journey, right after selling our home. It also helped immensely that we came prepared and had a large canopy to shield us from the rain. If it weren't for that, we would have struggled miserably, as there are no sheltered areas in the campground. Though it isn't our favorite camping spot in B.C., (nothing tops Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park!) it was definitely a worthwhile stop. We would love to return and experience camping in Kentucky-Alleyne provincial park with optimal weather!





NEXT STOP: A warm and cozy, solar-powered Cabin Retreat in MARA, B.C.

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