Cold Lake is one of Alberta’s largest and deepest lakes, and offers excellent opportunities for fishing, boating and camping. The lake is located on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, just south of the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range. The Saskatchewan side of the lake is located in Meadow Lake Provincial Park and the Alberta side is part of Improvement District No. 18. To reach the lake from Edmonton, take Highways 28 and 28A northeast for 295 km to the town of Cold Lake on the southwest shore.
The lake was originally named Big Fish Lake by Chipewyan Indians who hunted and trapped in the area (SATA Systems Inc. 1983). Early fur traders and Cree Indians called it Coldwater Lake, and it was named so on the Turnor map of 1790 (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976). The name is indicative of the relatively cool water that persists throughout the year.