Moonshine Lake Provincial Park Day Use Area Beach

Grande Prairie, Alberta

There is a sandy beach with a playground, picnic tables, and gazebos at the the
day use area of Moonshine Lake PP. The beach area is easy to access from the parking lot and there are washrooms. This is a swimming beach with an unsupervised swimming area.

There are also camping, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities in the park, which is close to Spirit River.

Surrounded by diverse boreal mixed wood forests, Moonshine Lake offers a variety of year-round
recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities. Cast a line for trout from shore, from a boat (electric
motors only), or through the ice.

As early as 1910, this small lake was located on what was known as the Moonshine Trail. The lake was
originally called Mirage Lake. Local folklore tells of two men, Jack Campbell and Harry Hanrahan, who
while climbing the steep bank of the north shore of the lake in the 1920's, spilled their home-brewed
moonshine. It has been known as Moonshine Lake ever since.

Photo credit: Saddle Hills County website

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Special health or safety status in effect

  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Monitoring Frequency

Moonshine Lake Provincial Park Day Use Area Beach is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Moonshine Lake Provincial Park Day Use Area Beach

Grande Prairie, Alberta

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Special health or safety status in effect
  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  

There is a sandy beach with a playground, picnic tables, and gazebos at the the
day use area of Moonshine Lake PP. The beach area is easy to access from the parking lot and there are washrooms. This is a swimming beach with an unsupervised swimming area.

There are also camping, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities in the park, which is close to Spirit River.

Surrounded by diverse boreal mixed wood forests, Moonshine Lake offers a variety of year-round
recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities. Cast a line for trout from shore, from a boat (electric
motors only), or through the ice.

As early as 1910, this small lake was located on what was known as the Moonshine Trail. The lake was
originally called Mirage Lake. Local folklore tells of two men, Jack Campbell and Harry Hanrahan, who
while climbing the steep bank of the north shore of the lake in the 1920's, spilled their home-brewed
moonshine. It has been known as Moonshine Lake ever since.

Photo credit: Saddle Hills County website

Monitoring Frequency

Moonshine Lake Provincial Park Day Use Area Beach is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
Big Lakes County, Alberta
Calais, Alberta
County of Northern Lights, Alberta
Grand Prairie, Alberta
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