Nestled in the foothills about 45 minutes south of Calgary, High River is one of Alberta’s prettiest towns and the perfect road trip destination. The region’s rural charm (pioneer themed locales) and western ways (rodeo and horse rides) take centre stage in the summer.
CHOW ON SOME NOSTALGIA
1. Heaven for comfort-food lovers, Evelyn’s Memory Lane Café is a veritable local institution. Order a signature Hutterite chicken sandwich oozing with tangy cranberry mayo. 118 4 Ave. SW
RELAX IN A DIFFERENT LIFE
2. Sheppard Family Park is an ode to pioneer life, with its rustic 139-year-old cabin, one-room schoolhouse, classic red barn, and pristine gardens. The 14-acre homestead is a lovely retreat. 1201 5 St. SE
UNIQUE CAMPING GROUNDS
3. About 45 minutes from town, A Stone’s Throw is a farm turned RV camp. The newly opened, nature-focused site offers green parks, walk-able coulee pastures and well-stocked fishing holes. 212031 Township Rd. 192
BIRD’S EYE VIEW
4. Just east of town, Frank Lake is one of Alberta’s best birding locations. Bring binoculars to spot shorebirds like Franklin’s gulls, great blue herons and American avocets. Off Hwy 23
5. Recognized as a “Flood Hero” by the Alberta government for her voice of hope during the devastating 2013 disaster, local personality and former radio host Jody Seeley is a champion of the community. Her many passions—country music, public speaking and rallying people for good causes—run fast and true, just like the High River that runs through the heart of her town.
What do you remember most about the 2013 flood?
The bonding of our community and how we supported each other. We built High River back—even better than what it was before the flood. That’s a huge collective accomplishment.
Any insider tips for visitors heading to High River?
The drive-in-movie theatre is a blast! For film buffs, the Museum of the Highwood is also a fun experience. It’s full of cool information about our rich culture and High River’s connection to TV shows and movies that have been shot here, like Superman III (1983) and Heartland. On a hot day, you can’t beat a float down the river.
What are your favourite foodie stops in town?
Narrow Road Creperie is a fantastic, tucked-away spot that supports women in crisis. With yummy caramelized pears, you can’t go wrong with the Pear Bear crêpe. P&H Vietnamese is also a personal favourite. Coffee lovers will want to check out Colossi’s Coffee House and Noble Tree Coffee Roasters, where they roast their beans on-site.
RODEO IN HIGH RIVER
6. The legendary Guy Weadick Rodeo is an edge-of-your-seat spectacle starring bulls, broncs and brazen barrel racers. Traditionally held in late June (just before the Calgary Stampede), it’s a small-town rodeo at its best. You’ll be so close to the hoof-poundin’ action you might just git a little dirt in yer teeth!
ROLLING LIKE A COWPOKE
7. Giddy up to the western way of life at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. Hitch a ride on a wagon, saddle a horse, rope a steer and sip coffee around the campfire as you immerse yourself in authentic cowboy culture. Owned and operated by Parks Canada, the ranch is located on Highway 22, about a half-hour from High River.
8. For the ultimate Old West adventure, hop on a horse and join Dewy and the gang for an unforgettable trail ride into Kananaskis Country. Owned by local rancher Dewy Matthews, Anchor D Guiding & Outfitting offers everything from ridge-top sunset rides to multi-day pack trips to remote valleys deep in K-Country.
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