History of the Castle

Before settlement of western Canada, Indigenous peoples have used the Castle area as a sacred, practical and ceremonial site.


: Castle area was included in the Waterton Dominion Park (later became the Waterton Lakes National Park)

1921: Removed from the National Park and became a Provincial Game Reserve

1954: Game Reserve status was removed and the public lands were administered as a multi-use area

1974: Alberta Government study recommended establishing a park in the Castle region

1992: Access Management Plan was established to manage recreational use of off-highway vehicles

1993: Alberta’s Natural Resource Conservation Board found the region had deteriorated and stipulated protection was needed

1993: Special Places 2000 Committee recommended protecting the Castle area

1996: Five Provincial Recreation Areas established

1998: Parks Canada study found ecological health of Waterton Lakes National Park threatened and cited activities on adjacent lands, including the Castle, as an important reason

1998: West Castle Wetland Ecological Reserve established

2000: The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, set up under the free-trade agreement, identified the Castle as one of fourteen of North America’s most biologically significant and threatened areas

2014: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan recommended establishing a protected park

2015: Government of Alberta announced the full protection of the Castle region

2018: Castle Management Plan to be implemented