The long weekend is coming up, and with it, a lot of people are going to be looking at heading out to go to the lake. Airdrie has plenty of lakes surrounding the area. Some examples include Chestermere Lake, Cochrane Lake, and Ghost Lake.  

Chestermere Lake is the shortest drive away, being 30 minutes away from the city.  

At Chestermere Lake, there is a variety of different activities such as boating, swimming (in the designated areas), and fishing. If you decide to fish, make sure to obtain a fishing license!  

Cochrane Lake is the smallest of the three listed above, but you can still fish and have a good time cooling off in the water.  

Ghost Lake has plenty to offer such as an ideal backdrop with the mountains for all kinds of water sports and is conveniently located only minutes west of Calgary. Ghost Lake also offers camping beside the lake at $31 per night per camping unit, 2 units per campsite maximum. It is self-registration by cash working on a first come, first serve operation with no reservations. 

If you are willing to go a little bit farther north, there's a few lakes such as Burnstick Lake and Pigeon Lake which also offer camping beside the lake, as with Ghost Lake. The campsites recommend booking in advance and reserving campsites to ensure you get a spot on the weekend.  

If you do go up north, make sure to keep an eye out for lakes that might have Blue-green algae. 

Water that contains blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can pose a health risk, especially in young children, the elderly, and pets. 

Blue-green algae is naturally occurring and appears when weather conditions are calm and warmer, generally from July to September in Alberta. Wind can push the bacteria from one side of a body of water to another.  

Common health risks to blue-green algae exposure include:  

  • Skin irritation  

  • Rash 

  • Sore throat 

  • Sore red eyes 

  • Swollen lips 

  • Nausea  

  • Vomiting 

  • Diarrhea 

  • Fever 

In rare cases it can affect the nervous system and liver.  

Dogs and animals should also not come into contact with the bacteria as it can cause extreme sickness or be fatal. 

To learn which water bodies are unsafe, you can visit the AHS website. 

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