April 16, 2018 5:43 pm
Updated: April 16, 2018 5:46 pm

Backcountry hut network planned for Castle Wildland Provincial Park

An artist's rendering of the backcountry hut-to-hut system coming to Castle Wildland Provincial Park.

Supplied: Government of Alberta

The government of Alberta is aiming to have a new mountain feature ready to roll by fall 2018.

A backcountry hut-to-hut system is planned for Castle Wildland Provincial Park in partnership with the Alpine Club of Canada.

READ MORE: Off-highway vehicle trails threaten Castle parks: Alberta government study

The network will be comprised of three huts. Two will be in the south Castle area while one will be built near Bovin Lake. All three huts will be sustainable and one will be built and located to be “as fully accessible as possible,” the government said in a news release on Monday.

“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,” Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips said.

The accessible hut will be a first in Alberta’s provincial parks.

The huts will be managed by the Alpine Club of Canada, which already runs the largest networks of backcountry huts in North America.

“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,” executive director Lawrence White said.

READ MORE: Ownership of Sylvan Lake Provincial Park to be transferred to town

Each hut sleeps between 10 and 15 people and because they are laid out along a network, campers can stagger the days they spend in the huts and travel along the trails in the park to the next hut.

Three huts that are connected by trails are scheduled to be open by fall 2018 in Castle Wildland Provincial Park.

Supplied: Government of Alberta

The investment is part of the government’s “ongoing commitment to diversify and modernize Alberta’s provincial parks system,” the government said. The province has committed $700,000 over two years.

Construction on the network is scheduled to begin this spring and the government is hoping to have the huts open by this fall.

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