The name for this lake is a translation of the Cree name kaskapatau sakahigan. According to legend, Smoky Lake was named by [First Nations] for a smoke-like vapour which rose from the lake, obscuring the opposite shore. Alexander Henry the younger, in his journal dated 10 July 1810, mentions this feature as "Lac qui Fume," or "the lake who smokes."
--Place Names of Alberta, Volume III - Central Alberta, by Tracy Harrison
From 'A general map of the routes in British North America explored by the expedition under Captain Palliser during the years 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860'
In 1943, The Municipal Districts of Vilna No. 575, Smoky Lake No. 576 and Unity No. 577 were merged into the new municipal district to be known and designated as the Municipal District of Smoky Lake No. 575.