Many Islands Campground | Clear Hills County
Nestled on the banks of the mighty Peace River, 24km Southeast of Worsley off highway 64, you’ll find the Many Islands Campground—a desirable destination for neighbouring residents, visitors and outdoor enthusiasts.
Operated by the Many Islands Recreation Development Society (MIRDS), the campground has been developing and implementing many innovative ideas to the delight of its patrons.
Jeremy Parker, 48, of Fairview, has been the president of MIRDS since 2022.
“I grew up near Worsley. My parents would often take me to the campground as a kid,” said Parker. “A lot of growth and change has happened over the years, but the beautiful scenery and charm have stayed the same.”
For Parker, Many Islands hold a lot of memories. It has hosted his family throughout his life.
“Before the campsites were developed, my dad was a hunting guide and worked out of the camp area. I remember an old cabin used to be there too,” said Parker. “I have many fond memories at Many Islands. My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary there. It’s a special place to me, and I know many others feel the same.”
The dedication of MIRDS board members and the community support have been instrumental in the success of the campground.
“We have an incredible group of board members and sponsors who work hard to maintain the grounds and organize activities,” said Parker. “Our goal is to provide our visitors with an amazing campground and park to enjoy throughout the season.”
The campground boasts stunning views of the Peace River, surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful trees. Its name comes from the many islands that occupy the river in the area.
Over the past few decades, the location has become increasingly popular for outdoor enthusiasts. Not only can people camp within its beautiful landscape, but there are also trails, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a basketball court, picnic areas and all things river-related.
“There are 26 nightly sites available, which are first come, first serve. We have group camping sites that are reservable and 44 seasonal lot holders, who can also host their own guests,” said Parker. “As remote as the campground is, it is very well maintained. We have wonderful full-time, on-site caretakers.”
The amenities of the campground are rustic with updated features.
“Although we don’t offer hook-up services, there is a pumping station and non-potable water stations. There are campsites with fire pits and picnic tables, and we offer firewood, outhouses and flush washrooms,” said Parker. “We’ve added solar lights that nicely light up the campground’s amenities at night.”
Adding to the charm and popularity of the Many Islands Campground is their 44 seasonal sites. These “permanent” sites are obtained by entering their annual lottery.
Once the draw is complete, each winner is awarded one of the beautiful lots at the campground. With a yearly fee, these sites are permanently held and cannot be given away or sold. If, for whatever reason, a lot holder no longer wishes to keep their site, the site goes back into the lottery for the following year.
“Creating the option for campers to obtain seasonal sites has been instrumental to the success and reputation of the campground,” said Parker.
Over the last four years, Many Islands has developed new lottery sites.
“In 2022, we added 10 lots to the lottery. There were 125 applicants that year. This year, we added another 20 sites, with 50 applicants,” said Parker.
In addition to an excellent camping experience, Many Islands is a spectacular venue for weddings, graduation parties, family reunions, concerts and celebrations of all sorts. They also provide rental services for their stage, generators, port-a-potties, tents and more.
Utilizing everything the campground has to offer, the Many Islands Society hosts new and traditional community events onsite each summer and welcomes the community to come out and enjoy the festivities.
“Annually, the campground hosts a music festival. It’s an exciting weekend full of music and dancing. August long weekend is our Many Island River Fun Days,” said Parker.
Parker says it’s a great place for friends and family to gather for a weekend of good, old-fashioned river fun.
“We’ve had live music and open mic nights as well as horseshoe tournaments, river boat poker and treasure hunts in the sand for the kids,” said Parker.
The campground has also introduced some new offerings this year.
“This summer we held a raffle for a golf cart and generator,” said Parker. “We held our 1st annual Meet and Greet Potluck in June for seasonal site members, which was well received.”
With picturesque landscapes along the Peace River, it’s no surprise the campground is popular amongst boating and paddling enthusiasts alike. What better way to enjoy the river scenery then from a boat, canoe or kayak?
“We have a gravel boat launch right onsite that’s easily accessible and well maintained. There’s a designated camping area specifically for canoes and kayaks, complete with a fire pit and picnic table,” said Parker. “Canoers come in off the river for a break or to have a picnic. There’s also a back channel onsite where the kids like to swim.”
Many Islands is the perfect destination for nature lovers to escape and enjoy the wilderness. Experience the tranquility of the great outdoors.
By Laura Hanna | Photography by Cassy Milner