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Alberta Drops Big Cash for New ACC Mountain Huts

Artist’s rendering of a backcountry hut in Castle Wildland Provincial Park

Alberta Parks is developing a world-class, backcountry hut-to-hut system in Castle Wildland Provincial Park in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC).

The ACC has a number nearly 40 huts they manage in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. This new network will appeal to backcountry hikers and sill have access to some good climbing.

This investment is part of the Government of Alberta’s ongoing commitment to diversify and modernize Alberta’s provincial parks system. Total funding for the project is $700,000 over two years.

“Albertans love parks. Camping allows us to spend quality time with our families while also reconnecting with nature. These backcountry huts will expand the recreation opportunities available in the Castle region, attract new visitors and meet the growing demand for backcountry experiences in Alberta. We’re so pleased to be able to partner with the Alpine Club of Canada to bring this thrilling backcountry experience to the Castle area.”

The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) runs the largest network of backcountry huts in North America and has the required expertise to manage the hut system in Castle Wildland Provincial Park. The ACC will be responsible for the operations, maintenance and administration of the backcountry huts.

“The Alpine Club of Canada is excited to partner with the province of Alberta in bringing affordable backcountry accommodation to the public. This new recreational offering in Castle Wildland Provincial Park will be a draw for many Canadians who wish to experience the best of what Alberta’s natural landscape provides.”

Lawrence White, executive director, Alpine Club of Canada
The backcountry huts system will be comprised of three modern, sustainable huts in key locations – two in the south Castle area and one near Bovin Lake. Outhouse facilities will also be constructed at the sites.

One of the huts will be designed, constructed and located to be as fully accessible as possible for users with limited mobility, helping further break down barriers to parks access.

It will be the first accessible backcountry hut in Alberta’s provincial parks.

Construction and installation of the first backcountry hut will begin this spring, with a target opening date of fall 2018.

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Quick facts

– The 103,000-hectare Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park were established in January 2017.
More than $20 million in funding over four years has been designated for access routes, inclusion projects, camping, signage, picnic areas and hiking trails in the Castle parks.
– Over 180 refurbished campsites opened in July 2017.
– Amenities include improved and expanded campsites, an improved day-use area at Butcher’s Lake and four new comfort cabins at Beaver Mines Lake.
– Other projects include new day-use shelters, an equestrian staging area, enlarged and improved staging areas at Syncline and Carbondale and improvements to Table Mountain Trail, Grizzly Trail and Barnaby Lakes Trail.

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