Adventurers who wander north are seduced by the unrivalled expanse of natural treasures. At the junction of four rivers and surrounded by boreal forest, Fort McMurray offers endless outdoor thrills.
A steady stream of workers in the “oil patch” has contributed to Fort McMurray’s undeniable energy. Long before “Fort Mac” was established as a Hudson's Bay trading post in 1870, the Cree were using the oily sand to waterproof their canoes.
A scenic four hour drive north of Edmonton brings you to one of the best places on earth to experience the northern lights. From a lookout just north of town, observe a herd of over 300 rare wood bison. In summer, jump on a jet boat and cruise to a fishing hot spot or fly in to a wilderness hunting lodge in the fall. Learn something new on the Experience the Energy Tour.
Now for the region’s best kept secret – 12m (36ft) high waves of sand in a unique northern desert, the 8,000 year old Athabasca sand dunes.
Borealis. Boating. Backcountry. Here’s your insider Fort McMurray checklist!
Arts, Culture & History
Walk back in time through Heritage Park’s historic buildings and local artifacts. See the great river boats of yesterday at the Marine Park, Alberta’s only shipyard. Dance the night away at a summer music festival.
Tour the largest oil sand development in the world. See Fort McMurray’s biggest industry, and how they extract the “black gold” that puts Alberta second only to Saudi Arabia in oil reserves. For family fun MacDonald Island Park has it all. An aquatic centre, fitness centre, waterpark, art gallery, golf course, curling rink, concerts and performances.
Extra-long summer days mean you can play until almost midnight on one of three 18 hole golf courses. When the snow falls, grab your skis, board or tube and hit the slopes at Vista Ridge All Season Park. Share Alberta’s passion for hockey and cheer on the local boys at a Fort McMurray Oil Barons game.
Summer is all about hiking, boating, biking and basking on the beach at Gregoire Lake Provincial Park. In winter, snowshoe, cross-country ski or snowmobile along groomed trails through the boreal forest 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Fort Mac. Fishing in pristine wilderness is available year round in the north. Reel in a trophy fish from a remote crystalline lake in warmer months. When the temperature drops try your hand at ice fishing – a favourite local pastime.
Get to know the extraordinary people and places in the Wood Buffalo communities around Fort McMurray. Indulge your wanderlust and keep exploring northern Alberta.