Lake Annette & Lake Edith, Alberta, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - Alberta -

Two small lakes just outside of the Town of Jasper, Lake Annette and Lake Edith are favorites of local lake lovers. Although the lakes aren’t quite as spectacular as some of those in Jasper National Park, the stunning view of Mount Edith Cavell, one of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rockies, makes for some photogenic scenery. But the main attraction to local residents is the two lakes’ proximity to work and home with opportunities for swimming, picnicking and hiking offered along the shore. Both Lake Annette and Lake Edith lie on the Athabasca Valley floor, at lower elevation than other national park lakes. They are relatively shallow, allowing them to warm for comfortable swimming each summer. Lake Annette and its shoreline are all public. Lake Edith, however, has about 50 cottages on leased land around the lakefront-the only national park in Alberta with such cottages. The lakes are close together, separated only by a narrow strip of land holding the swimming beaches, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Despite being less than four miles from the tourism center of Jasper, the shorelines and surrounding areas remain heavily wooded and support a wealth of wildlife. In order that visitors can take full advantage of the scenic area, hiking trails have been established around both lakes. Lake Annette features a nearly two-mile paved trail that is wheelchair accessible and nearly flat. Interpretive signage along the trail educates hikers to natural features of the landscape and landmarks seen from that viewpoint. Benches are conveniently placed to allow for a scenic spot to rest and enjoy the view. A small pond, named Ocher Lake, is located at the southeast corner of the trail loop, but the lake has much quicksand and is not used. Multiple parking lots between the two lakes give access to a large picnic area with fire pits, grills and picnic shelters. Camping is not permitted, and the access road closes at night.

Lake Annette is a popular fishing lake, although motors are not allowed. Canoes and kayaks are popular ways to glide along the shoreline, taking care not to startle the ospreys fishing in the lake or the loons who enjoy the quietest portions. Whitetail deer, mule deer, caribou, bears and elk are frequently seen in the area along with smaller mammals. Visitors are reminded that all animals are wild and unpredictable, so no feeding of wildlife is allowed. Scuba diving is also popular in Lake Annette, with Edmonton dive shops regularly bringing beginning divers here. The lake’s crystal-clear waters allow great underwater visibility. One of the features enjoyed by divers is the sight of water bubbling out of the sand on portions of the lake bottom. These are the natural springs which feed Lake Annette. The lake has no inlet or outlet, but water is gained via the springs. Some investigation has shown that the water comes from Medicine Lake over 20 miles away via an assumed underground Maligne River. The waters originate from local glaciers, giving the lakes their unique blue hues. Other places that show evidence of this underground river are Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake. Dye testing of the waters hasn’t been conclusive so far, and it is suspected that there is quite a large network of underground streams through which the water travels.

Lake Edith is immediately to the north of Lake Annette. The lake is very shallow in some areas, with sandbars leaving the water only ankle deep far into the lake. A swimming beach and boat launch are located on the same narrow strip of land as the beach areas of Lake Annette. The hiking trails around Lake Edith are a bit more complicated, kept away from the shoreline in some areas by the private leased land on which the cottages sit. The shoreline itself is accessible to the public by law, but visitors are asked to be respectful of the privacy of lakefront dwellers. Instead of a shoreline walking trail, the marked path includes several stretches of local roads and streets. Mountain biking is popular on these trails, with the distance to completely circle the lake around three miles.

The cottage development at Lake Edith is called a subdivision. The cottage community began in 1908 when writer Agnes Laut obtained permission to begin an artist/writer community at the lake. Parks Canada granted limited access leases to Agnes and some of her friends. The envisioned artists’ colony never fully materialized, but the leases continue four generations later. Some of the old cabins have been rebuilt, others replaced by lovely homes. Many of the cottages are still used seasonally, but many have been winterized and are used as year-round homes. The ‘subdivision’ makes this the only place in the Alberta parks system where there are private cottages. Lake Edith residents have become a cohesive community dedicated to taking care of their unique neighborhood and beautiful lake. Community residents have devoted much effort to a project to ‘fire-proof’ their neighborhood by cutting trees, replacing flammable roofing materials, removing brush and removing pine needles from walkways. Community events in recent years have included a Polar Bear Swim in an ice-rimmed open-water area to benefit charity.

The lucky few who live here take full advantage of the recreational activities afforded in the Jasper area. One favorite is the Jasper Tramway to the summit of The Whistlers, an aerial sightseeing route with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Also a favorite in winter, the Marmot Basin holds ski resorts and all sorts of snow-based recreation. In winter, the trails and pathways are transformed into excellent cross-country ski trails. All types of outdoor recreation is available in the surrounding area such as guided horseback rides, helicopter tours, bus tours of the glaciers, back country hiking, whitewater rafting, and visiting the many glacial lakes in the Jasper National Park.

Those wishing to take advantage of the Jasper National Park attractions will find all types of lodgings readily available, from luxury resorts to guest cottages to inns, hotels and hostels. Available real estate is scarce and limited by restrictions on who may buy; most is reserved by local ordinance to those who wish to live and work in the area permanently. Jasper itself has plenty of short-term lodgings and a good number of restaurants, artists’ studios, shopping and services. The lakes are a scenic summer vacation whether you arrive by car or train. You’ll be richly rewarded by a stroll along these pleasant lakeshores.

*Few statistics exist for Lake Annette and Lake Edith.

Things to do at Lake Annette & Lake Edith

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Scuba Diving
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Lake Annette & Lake Edith Photo Gallery

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Lake Annette & Lake Edith Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,350 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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