Riverlot 56 Natural Area

Riverlot 56 Natural Area provides a natural refuge on the northwest outskirts of the City of St. Albert in Sturgeon County, and is well-patronized by local residents. It allows for nature-based recreation in the form of hiking and bird- and plant-watching in all seasons, and cross-country skiing in the winter.

2017-01-07 River Lot 56 Winter Trail (FPotter)
Riverlot 56 Winter Trail, 2017-01-07 (FPotter)

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

HISTORY [1, adapted]: Riverlot 56 is one of the original parcels of land subdivided during settlement of the region in the 1900s. It went unsold from the 1800s until purchased by the Dominion government to build a residential school on.

In 1965, the unused portion of the lot was transferred to the provincial government. At that time, the intention was to build Alberta’s third university. A change in government saw the university moved up Highway 2 to Athabasca and the lot remained vacant.

Since 1973, local groups have maintained the area for outdoor education and nature-based recreation.

ENVIRONMENT: The site lies in the Central Parkland Subregion and contains upland aspen forests, streambed and ravine communities and open meadows, which provide habitat for wildlife including White-tailed Deer, Moose, Coyote, Snowshoe Hare, Muskrat and Beaver. It abuts on the Sturgeon River on the west side. Under a municipal bylaw, hunting is prohibited in this natural area. (Alberta Parks website, 2012).

RECREATION [1, adapted]: Recreational ctivities include:

  • Cross-Country Skiing: There are approximately 8 km of groomed cross-country ski trails [2].
  • Snowshoeing. (Be careful to avoid the set-tracks in the above ski trails.)
  • Hiking: There’s a self-guided walking trail with natural history interpretive signage.
  • Geocaching Site


Site NameRiverlot 56
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Central Parkland
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)221/87
PASite ID (Map Ref #)453
Site # (Parks Website)416
Total Area105.08 ha. (259.65 ac.)
Recreation ActivitiesHiking – front country, Wildlife viewing; Cross-country skiing
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Riverlot 56


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Government of Alberta – Information & Facilities – Riverlot 56 Natural Area (2022-01-08).

  1. Riverlot 56, City of St. Albert (accessed 2022-01-08).
  2. Groomed cross-country ski trails in the Riverlot 56 Natural Area.

Further Reading

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