You might not think the River Launch Recreation Area would be the right place to take the family for a picnic lunch. Think again. This isn’t just for kayakers intending to paddle downstream. It is a bit of a hidden gem in the Elbow Valley.
Located opposite the Canyon Creek road, it has an intersting switchback driveway leading to a small parking lot. The area designated as a Provincial Recreation Area is also small. But there are 10 tables here, some with firepits. The shoreline suffered very little damage in the flood although there are some trees and brush around. More importantly the picnic area, except for one pad was untouched. The one pad is still there, but it is on the other side of a caution tape so it is unsafe to use.
It isn’t the most dramatic view of the river, but, as it is up on a bit of a shelf above the river, so you see a fairly wide expanse of river. And, it is relatively easy to get down to the gravel and stone shoreline. There you’ll find a unique rock sculpture built by the flood waters. It would take a powerful force to move these boulders into their current arrangement. It is worth a look, that is until somebody decides to knock it over.
The parking lot is a little small. It has a new style toilet. There is a sign that prohibits fishing in the area.
Elbow River Launch Recreation Area Map
Click to enlarge.