Lesser Slave Lake, including Dog Island in the eastern part of the lake west of the main park area, contains about 7500 ha. The southern boundary of the park is about 5 km north of the town of Slave Lake, while the northern boundary is about 24 km north. The northern portion of the park is on the western slopes of Marten Mountain, and most of this area is blanketed with medium-textured till. Near the lake, glaciofluvial veneers of sand and gravel, and some small localized veneers of glaciolacustrine sands, silts, and clays overlie the till. The southern portion of the park, in the Lesser Slave River valley, is characterized mainly by sand dunes near the lakeshore and medium to fine-textured till further east. Dog Island is covered predominantly by sand and grave deposits. The Lesser Slave Lake park region has a cold snowy forest climate with humid winters, characterized by frozen ground and snow cover lasting several months. Summers are cool, having an average temperature of the warmest month under 22 °C. The park is situated in the mixed wood section of the boreal forest region.
Thirty-two map units are recognized in the mapped area, but only the 21 mapped in the present study are described in this report. The key profile types are Orthic Gray Luvisols, Glayed Dark Gray Luvisols, Orthic Eutric Brunisols, Orthic Melanic Brunisols, Gleyed Eutric Brunisols, Gleyed Eluviated Eutric Brunisols, Orthic Regosols, Cumulic Regosols, Gleyed Cumulic Regosols, Orthic Gleysols, Orthic Luvic Gleysols, Orthic Humic Gleysols, Rego Gleysols, Mesisols, and Terric Mesisols. These are distributed over the landscape in relation to landform, parent material, and drainage. Map units consist of single soil, groupings of series (complexes), or catenas. Their distribution is shown on the soil map.
Some interpretations are made for each map unit indicating the possible use of the locations for primitive camping areas, fully services campgrounds, paths, trails, road location, source of roadfill, and source of sand or gravel.
Soils of map units 18, 19, and 21 are the most suitable for recreational development; and those of map units 2, 19, and 21 are the most suitable for road construction purposes. Numerous other soils have severe limitations, and several have only moderate limitations. Careful study of the soil map and tables 4 to 10 (soil limitations and suitability tables) will reveal areas suitable for particular uses.
A soil survey properly interpreted can be one of the most useful tools management has in making a proper design for a recreational area. However, all soil differences found in the field cannot be shown on the soil map. Design and construction of specific recreational facilities usually require on-site investigation.