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Destination

Stettler

 

ler Stett 

VISITOR GUIDE

Hidden Gems Step off the beaten path. Visit our natural wonders and experience our attractions. Once you are here, you will see why we like to call it home.


Make your destination…

Stettler. Welcome. From trains and robbers to music festivals, sunny beaches and walking trails to snowmobiles, Stettler plays host to many diverse events and attractions to keep you busy during your stay. Explore our unique and diverse landscapes, or reflect nostalgically at one of the many museums to see how the west once was. Participate in a local community event, or take a trip to another era. Whatever adventure you choose, we look forward to guiding you through our region.

QUICK FACTS

— WEATHER —

— TIME ZONE —

Humid Continental Climate

MST

Summer temperatures average 21 - 24 C

Mountain Standard Time Zone

and between -12 to -17 C in winter

— POPULATION — Town and County of Stettler

— DRIVE HERE —

— FLY HERE —

81 km E of Red Deer - 1 Hour

Stettler Regional Airport - 3 km

welcome just over 11,000 who call this

97.5 km N of Drumheller - 1.25 hours

Red Deer Regional Airport - 81 km

area their home

186 km SE of Edmonton - 2.25 hours

Edmonton International Airport - 124 km

226 km NE of Calgary - 2.5 hours

Calgary International Airport - 161 km


— CONTENTS — 4 • Events VISITOR INFORMATION 2019/2020 STETTLER REGIONAL BOARD OF TRADE 6606 - 50th Avenue Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L2 403-742-3181 1-877-742-9499 Fax: 403-742-3123 info@stettlerboardoftrade.com www.stettlerboardoftrade.com

7 • Stettler Steam Train Brings Alberta to Life 9 • Buffalo Lake 10 • Wildlife Viewing 11 • Red Deer River 13 • County Map 14 • 48 Hours in Stettler 16 • Town of Stettler Map 18 • Camping

SHARE WITH US DestinationStettler

20 • Accommodations

@Destination_Stettler

24 • History of Stettler

@DestinationStettler

26 • Winter in Stettler

#explorestettler Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development is committed to fostering economic, civic, and social growth throughout the Stettler region. Our Board’s focus and mission reflect our commitment to assist in promoting and improving trade, commerce and tourism within the Stettler region.

ON THE COVER Summer Fun at Buffalo Lake.

30 • Family Fun Page PHOTOGRAPHY - Front Cover: Common and Co. Inside Cover: Pheasantback Photography Contents Page Bottom: Traci Smith Back Cover: Top: Travel Alberta - Bottom: Pheasantback Photography Some photos in this magazine are contibuted by local residents to showcase through their eyes why we love to call our area home. Email your photos to us. We may use them in an upcoming campaign.

VISITOR GUIDE DESIGN RAIRDAN SERVICES, INC Box 639 Stettler, Alberta T0C 2L0 403-743-0347 www.rairdanservices.ca WENDY RAIRDAN - Owner / Operator wendy@rairdanservices.ca ED OUELLETTE - Art Director and Production graphics@rsimedia.com

Top 5 Nature Elements Theres nothing like a big sky sunset. Page 12

VISITOR GUIDE PRINTING KATHY’S PRINTING SERVICE #50 Main Street Erskine, Alberta T0C 1G0 403-740-6503 KATHY PIVERT kprintingservice@hotmail.com

Stettler Board of Trade and its partners make every effort to give current & accurate information. All information is correct at the time of printing. Changes may occur over time. All copy and photos, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of Stettler Board of Trade. Contact Stettler Board of Trade for inquiries for reproduction of any content in this guide.

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 3


— EVENTS — The most fun you can have with your boots on! Family Day weekend in Stettler is full of excitement with the Stettler District Agricultural Society’s Ranch Rodeo held the Sunday of the family day weekend each year. With events like branding, penning, sorting, trailer loading and doctoring, these skilled teams show you how it’s done all in support of the Stettler Food Bank. Finish the day off with some hot cocoa and sleigh rides. Monday is full of family fun at the Stettler Recreation Centre with free public skating, free public swimming, and a family dance to make some new memories.

Steel Wheel Stampede (June) The annual Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede (SWS), the largest outdoor rodeo sanctioned by the Canadian Cowboys Association, brings young and old together to enjoy the past time that many people have grown up with. The June event includes a town wide parade, art walk, quilt show, antique show and shine, other events and entertainment throughout the weekend. Watch for free pancake breakfasts, BBQ’s, local shopping promotions, and family fun at every corner.

▷ www.steelwheelstampede.com Canada Day (July)

Canada Day in Stettler is cause for celebration! Join the Stettler Town and Country Museum as they celebrate the birth of our great country with wagon rides, children’s games, artisans market and of course, cake! And the best part? It’s free admission all day! After spending the day touring our great history, pull up a lawn chair and relax with live entertainment at the West Stettler Park gazebo followed by a fabulous fireworks display courtesy of the Town of Stettler. Other local communities also host annual Canada Day celebrations including Big Valley, Donalda, and Rochon Sands.

▷ www.stettlermuseum.com Taste of the Heartland

Get immersed in the lifestyle with delectable food and rural hospitality right here in our own backyard! Spend your day engaged with the Open Farm Bus Tours where you are provided the opportunity to meet the producers and learn about the culture hands on. Once you know where your food comes from and how it is produced; enjoy a multi course gourmet meal at a unique long table setting on historic Main Street Stettler prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy one or both events and come experience what the area has to offer.

▷ www.tasteoftheheartland.ca

Stettler “Magnetos” Car Club’s 1/8 Mile Shoot Out (July) Engines roar and tires screech, what better way to spend a sunny summer day? Held annually the third weekend in July, the car club transforms the Stettler Regional Airport into a drag racers dream. Proceeds from the races support local charities. Bleacher styled seating or bring your own lawn chair, free camping on site and concession available all weekend.

▷ www.stettlercarclub.com 4 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE

PHOTOGRAPHY - Top to Bottom: Pheasantback Photography; Stettler Board of Trade Opposite Top to Bottom: Stettler Board of Trade; Pheasantback Photography; Stettler Board of Trade

Family Day Weekend - Ranch Rodeo (February)


Stettler Fly-In Breakfast (September) For over 40 years, the Stettler Flying Club has welcomed guests from near and far, by plane, helicopter, glider and more to join them Labour Day Monday for a home cooked pancake breakfast with all the fixings. Come visit with members as they showcase their treasures, big and small, and maybe hop in for a flight or two! Walk in guests welcome as well.

▷ FB: @StettlerFC

Ol’ MacDonald's Music Festival (September) Held the second weekend in September, the Ol’ MacDonald's Music Festival offers a fantastic line up of artists each year such as Beverly Mahood, Tim Hus, Colleen Rae and more. Add in Cowboy Church, food trucks and beer gardens and let the good times roll. Full weekend and single day passes available, camping available on site.

▷ www.olmacdonalds.com

Pheasant Festival (October) Conservation, education, and hunting all wrapped into one! Originally founded to increase the population of the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasants in the County of Stettler, the Stettler Pheasant Festival continues to embrace the hunting culture with privatized hunts and the opportunity to participate in hands on interactive learning. Harvested birds are tracked and hens are released in safe populated areas to encourage future growth and conservation. Additional events include beginner hunts, culinary experience, dog training, trap shoot competitions, Friday evening smoker and Saturday banquet.

▷ www.stettlerpheasantfestival.com

Festival of Lights (November) In support of patient care at the local Stettler Hospital, the Festival of Lights has raised over one million dollars to date. This week long fundraiser hosts a variety of events for the family to take part from pancake breakfasts, the Holly Jolly Lunch, Burgers and Beer event, and the Art and Cheer. An artisans Christmas Market and silent auction items are open all week long and the event wraps up with the Saturday evening Gala.

▷ FB: @StettlerFestivalofLights

Santa’s Holiday Village (November/ December) There is no better time to be in Stettler than during the holiday season. The community is overjoyed with special events and the magic is in the air. Join the Town of Stettler the last Friday of November as they kick off the season with Moonlight Madness and the lighting of the Main Street Tree. Spend some time traversing the stores for that special treat during Miracle on 50th Street and fill your heart with magic and memories with the Night Before the Night Before celebrations on December 23rd. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, we welcome you here.

▷ www.shopstettler.ca For more information on these and other events in the community, visit www.destinationstettler.com

Stettler Snackable ▷ The Farmer’s Market is held every Tuesday during the summer from 9 am to 1 pm at the Stettler & District Agricultural Grounds. Stop in and buy local!

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 5


The Adventure...... keeps happening year after year

www.absteamtrain.com

ALBERTA PRAIRIE RAILWAY EXCURSIONS STETTLER ALBERTA

CALL 403-742-2811

For additional information and reservations


STETTLER STEAM TRAIN BRINGS ALBERTA TO LIFE

Jeremy Derksen

PHOTOGRAPHY: Stettler Board of Trade; JDerksen; Stettler Board of Trade

Explore the Boomtown Trail It’s exactly how the wild west movie would start. The steam train is rolling along a flat prairie. No air-conditioning – just big open windows with the rush of a sagescented wind. Suddenly the wheels squeal to a stop. All on-board rush to the windows to see bandits bear down on us. We are about to be robbed! Pistol reports fill the prairie sky. My two sons look up at me in a cross emotion of glee and horror. Was this for real? Wild west lore has been part of the popular imagination for so long now, we all have those dreams of living a day in the life of a settler on the prairies. Alberta Prairie Steam Excursions lets you do just that, without having to generate 1.21 gigawatts to fuel your Back-tothe-Future DeLorean or get your designer jeans too dirty. Your ride through the boomtown past of central Alberta circa late 1800s departs from the town of Stettler, just an hour east of Red Deer. Among the towns ranging along Highway 21 and 56, Stettler is where local farm folk go when they’re “going into town.” Along main street, you’ll find coffee shops, local retailers and smiles wherever you go. Bite into a fresh cream ‘John’ from Bloke’s Bakery, overloaded with airy sweet whipped cream and nestled in rich pastry, and you’ll swear you’re biting right into prairie hospitality. The train boards at 11 o’clock sharp. From there, forget about wifi, video games or tap-to-pay. Put some cash in your pocket — it will come in handy. Each car on the vintage steam train is furnished differently, harking back to the early era of rail travel.

Conductors in black caps and burgundy vests come by to punch tickets as the engine chugs into motion. With a candy store, bar car and live entertainment, our journey to Big Valley passes quickly — but not uneventfully. In the middle of the open prairie, the bandits strike and an epic gunfight ensues between train marshal and outlaws. The marshal later remarks to an adoring crowd of kids, “I musta shot at least 20, 30 of ’em.” The kids in the crowd stair at him in awe. A real hero in our midsts! We disembark in a town of about 300 that looks much like it did in prairie boom times. One and two storey buildings from the late Victorian and early prairie eras mingle on Big Valley’s main street. Up on the hillside, the baby blue siding and stainless-steel spire of St. Edmund’s Anglican Church draw eyes heavenward. At the Big Valley Community Hall, roast beef dinner – with carrots, peas, mash potatoes, salad, buns, gravy and all the fixings – is served community style. Once your belly is well and full, you can stroll lazily back through town or take a guided ride through more local history. You have time to shop for unique finds before boarding the train back to the present. A day later and 100 years ahead, the timeless beach of Rochon Sands provides space to reflect on the excitement of the day before. In modern civilization, the pace of change is fast but here, rooted in the past, transformation through natural processes can slow to years and decades. Time nearly stops.

Take a breath, feel the sun on your skin and the water lapping your feet. All the way back to the big city, before the wifi, and the bombardment of “high-speed” everything kicked in, the kids re-live the adventure. From picking a treat from the rows of baking behind the glass in the bakery in Stettler, to the noises of the track rumbling under our cars and of course – to the shoot out and just how cool the marshal was. How cool is that? Yep, history is alive in Alberta. Make it a road trip - discover seven destinations brimming with unique experiences - start here by visiting ZenSeekers’ #BoomTownTrail expedition page. www.zenseekers.com/campaign/ boomtowntrail

IF YOU GO ▷ Bring some cash for the train - it will come in handy bribing (i.e. tipping) bandits, buying food and drink on the train or shopping in Big Valley. Take some time to explore the Tool Museum in Big Valley. It reflects a time before replaceable consumer culture, when people built and fixed things. Car lovers will want to make a stop at McAlister Motors Garage in Big Valley, which displays Rod Miller’s impressive collection. Bone up on your history at the Stettler Town and Country Museum, where displays are staged like movie sets. #ExploreAlberta with Travel Alberta who has an entire section of their website dedicated to travelling the #BoomTownTrail.

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 7


8 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


— BUFFALO LAKE — Labelled on David Thompsons map dating back to 1814 for its resemblance to the profile of a buffalo with its legs to the north and its head to the east, Buffalo Lake spans a large 1,440km2 with much of the lake bordering the County of Stettler. Once a favorite Cree and Blackfoot camping area in 1858, the Buffalo Lake settlement on the southwest side

PHOTOGRAPHY -Oppostie Top to Bottom Right: Stettler Board of Trade; Common and Co.; Ed Ouellette; Lyndon Sawatzky Photography

of the lake was one of the earliest settlements in Central Alberta. From autumn 1872 to spring 1877, the Buffalo Lake Métis settlement on the east side was occupied seasonally from members initially from the Red River Resistance and later from the St. Albert and Lac St. Anne settlements. The primary source for food and trading was the buffalo who favored the area with the trembling aspen and fescue grassland habitat. Although accurate estimates of population are lacking, it is believed to have ranged from 400-500 people during the initial period to as many as 2,000 inhabitants at its peak in 1875-1876. With the decline of the bison and the robe trade in 1878, the decrease of the use of the Hivernant (wintering) site also occurred. Settlers soon began to disperse due to the lack of provisions and began to follow the buffalo to more southern areas. Artifacts have been found in the area to confirm the history of the Hivernant and provide a basis for understanding the lifeways and cultural practices of the Métis people during these times. Numerous depressions, fireplaces and mounds, and other remains reflect as many as 89 cabins were once homes. The area is still protected as an archaeological Metis heritage site. Buffalo Lake is now known as one of Alberta’s best kept secrets. Lying in the Red Deer River basin, its knob and kettle landscape make the area home to many species of water fowl and wildlife including pelicans, geese, heron, moose, deer, and elk. The surrounding forest with walking and hiking trails through much of the area, allow for any nature lover to remove themselves from the everyday and take in what our surroundings behold. As one of the largest lakes in central Alberta, Buffalo Lake provides year round recreational opportunities. Four major campgrounds reside on the south and east sides of the lake-Rochon Sands Provincial Park, The Narrows Recreation Area, Buffalo Lake Recreation Area and Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort-offer plenty of opportunity to get out and relax on the beach, swim in the water or take a cruise in the boat. Fishing is also available in the lake year round with the main catch being Northern Pike and Burbot. Resources: Heritage Resources Management Information System - www.hermis.alberta.ca

Stettler Snackable ▷ The Buffalo Lake and Tail Creek areas once hosted some of the largest Metis Settlements in all of Alberta. Artifacts may still be found at these sites and are protected under the Alberta Metis Historical Society.

ENJOY BUFFALO LAKE BY VISITING... ▷ • Buffalo Lake Recreation Area • The Narrows Recreation Area • Ol’ MacDonald's Resort • Rochon Sands Provincial Park Map details available on page 13

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 9


— WILDLIFE — VIEWING Throughout the region wildlife is abundant from white tailed or mule deer to northern orioles and Canadian geese. Allow yourself to slow down, be quiet and enjoy the tranquility. Keep track of your observations and contribute to science and conservation by logging your sightings at www.ebird.org

For safety reasons never approach and animal in the wild.

10 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


— RED DEER — RIVER Nothing beats the sun, the air and the water. Combine the three with a paddling trip down the Red Deer River and you’re as close to nature as you can be. Sourced from the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, the Red Deer River runs south from the edge of the County across the Alberta/Saskatchewan border

PHOTOGRAPHY - Opposite Page: Top to Bottom Page Right: Lyndon Sawatzky Photography; Common and Co.; Terri Rairdan; Ed Ouellette Full Page: Kim Smyth

where it merges into the South Saskatchewan River.

The most popular paddling experience in the Canadian Badlands region is right on our doorstep. The history, scenery, wildlife, camping and good access to the river all contribute to the allure of the river in the area and travelling by canoe, kayak or raft offer the opportunity to relive a part of the lives of Alberta’s many peoples. Sites and stops along the way include the location of buffalo hunting settlements, North West Mounted Police establishments, lumber floats, hiking trails, hoodoos, dinosaur bonebeds and more. Wildlife are often evident along the river and include eagles, vultures, falcons and hawks, deer, moose, coyotes and beavers. On the southern portion of the trip, you will see areas where ranchers once hosted cattle drives to the “head of steel” and the closest railways station, Stettler. Trips can continue farther south into the Drumheller region if you choose. The tour can be broken up into a couple of hours or a couple of day long excursions. To follow the Paddling in the Canadian Badlands tour, visit www.destinationstettler.com

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 11


— TOP 5 —

NATURE ELEMENTS

1

Star Gazing In our region star gazing can be completed practically anywhere, however laying on your back on a sandy beach listening to the water lap the shore creates a relaxing tone to really enjoy the night sky.

3

2

Wildlife Viewing Throughout the region wildlife can be abundant from white tailed or mule deer to northern orioles and Canadian geese. Allow yourself to slow down, be quiet, and enjoy the tranquility these wonderful creatures can make you understand. For safety reasons never approach an animal in the wild.

Whether you travel by car, bus, boat or train, the routes you travel along allow for some of the most stunning prairie landscape to be seen. With boreal forests, rolling hills and prairie plains, there is a different scene waiting around the next bend.

4

Northern Lights We may be east central however we have had some of the most spectacular northern lights in the region. Whether red, blue, green, or purple, the colors are plenty when they put on a show in our night sky.

5

Fishing Spend some quiet time by yourself or bring the family and some friends to one of our many fishing holes in and around Stettler. Catch and release is mandatory in some areas and fishing licenses are required at all locations.

12 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE

PHOTOGRAPHY - Full Page: Lyndon Sawatzky Photography - Top to Bottom: Jason - stock.adobe.com; Ed Ouellette; Pheasantback Photography; Traci Smith

Scenic Routes by Land or Water


County Map

1 2 3 4 5

Buffalo Lake Recreation Area Rochon Sands Provincial Park The Narrows Provincial Recreation Area Ol'MacDonald's Resort Rochon Sands Disc Golf

1

Buffalo Lake

3

4

854

White Sands

2

5

Donalda

53

Battle River

Donalda Ag Society Campground

Rochon Sands

56 Buffalo Lake

White Sands Red Willow

Rochon Sands

601

21

Homestead Campground

601 850

Pheasantback G&CC

852

Nevis Erskine

12

11

Stettler

Gadsby Campground

Botha

N

Gadsby

12 Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions

850

594

PHOTOGRAPHY - Top: Ed Ouellette: Map Background Image: County of Stettler

Red Deer River

835

593

56

Kerbe's Pond

McKenzie Crossing Recreation Area

853

Big Valley Golf Club

590

Boehlke's Pond

Big Valley

Big Valley Centennial Campground

855

Byemoor 589

Endiang 851 855

Hall - Arena - Golf Course - Ball Diamond - Playground - Museum - Camping - Fishing - Picnic Area

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 13


— 48 HOURS — IN STETTLER

There is so much to do in and around Stettler that sometimes it feels like you won’t be able to get to it all in one weekend. You can’t, but here is a few of our local favorites that you should visit even if you only have a short period of time.

Upon arriving in Stettler, we wanted to get acquainted with the town and found the best way was by utilizing the walking/biking trails offered throughout. West Stettler Park seemed the perfect location to serve as a hub for our adventures as we were located across staying at the Town of Stettler Lions campground. Adjacent to the Rotary Armstrong Spray Park, West Stettler offered a tranquility bringing an inner peace you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Walking and biking trails, including up the side of “Mount Stettler”, a playground for the kids, and catch and release fishing in the pond; the park was relaxing and deemed a “must stop” for every family at some point during their trip. Grabbing our helmets and picking up our bikes, we chose the trail to the left of the playground. Following past the Skateboard Park we came upon the Stettler Recreation Centre; a multi-use facility that houses the twin arenas, the Stettler Public Library, the senior centre, and the aquatic centre. Noting this would be a great place to spend a rainy afternoon, we continued our travels east on the trails. Passing a block south of the Heartland Bowl- Stettler’s

long standing bowling alley, we found they offer an amazing game called glo-bowl, allowing you to strike in the dark! Being a licensed facility with a full appetizer menu, Bob and his staff were most accommodating opening the alley for us upon our call. After a few good sported games, we continued on our trail and came upon the Stettler & District Ag Grounds; home of the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede. We are told the grounds are often filled with events and rodeo styled happenings, and we paused to watch the cowboys and girls competing in a sport they call a lifestyle. The trail bends off to the south a bit more from here and it took us away from the residential hustle and bustle and alongside a wheat farm. The blooms were in full ripening and offered a beautiful golden backdrop as we pedaled along. A memorial tree park has been planted near the end of this trail and we took some time honoring those whose loved ones have passed as we rested in some shade of the gazebo. Continuing our travels, we follow 50th Street north to the Cold Lake Bird Sanctuary. Located on the east side of Stettler, this sanctuary is often home to

Stettler Snackable ▷ Treat yourself to a cooling spray on a hot day at the Rotary Armstrong Spray Park. Nothing beats laughing and splashing and creating memories with your family.

14 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE

several species of waterfowl year round. The sanctuary offers a scenic view while watching the birds frolic and play. Once we circled the lake, we meandered our way across the tracks to visit Main Street. Serving as an economic hub for East Central Alberta, the shops offer city styled amenities while maintaining a small town atmosphere. The historical character of the community is evident in the store fronts and sidewalks and the charm continues inside with genuine, caring customer service behind every counter. Unique shops offering everything you could imagine and more, dot the streets with laid back coffee shops and quaint cafes filling in the gaps. We were told about a brochure detailing the oldest and most historic buildings in the area and found it online at www. destinationstettler.com. It was well worth the read and provided an informative guide to the area. To end our evening, we stopped in at the Jewel Theatre for an evening picture. The vintage theatre had comfortable seats, a full concession and just the right volume to enjoy our show before heading back to camp for the night.

PHOTOGRAPHY - Top and Bottom: Common and Co. - Opposite Top Left to Bottom Right: Stettler Board of Trade; Common and Co.; Wendy Rairdan; Pheasantback Photography; Stettler Board of Trade (x2)

g n i n e v E y a d i Fr


Saturday Beginning our day at the Stettler Town and Country Museum, Alberta’s 5th largest pioneer museum, we found the site was a display to over one million artifacts. The onsite curators informed us they host a feature exhibit each year allowing this historic village to tell the story of Stettler’s history with information from the early 1900’s to the present. Visiting the old courthouse where the last man hanged in Alberta, Robert Raymond Cook, was arraigned; we read tales of history offered through newspaper collections, cemetery books, original photos and family and personal stories. Add to that the preservation of eleven historical buildings on 10 acres of land and we filled our morning with wonder. You will need a good two hours to meander through the various buildings and displays. After lunch, we spent some time at the P&H Elevator, one of the last remaining elevator/feedmill complexes in Alberta. Virtually every farmer in the Stettler area

has used the services provided by the mill at one time or another and the historical society is continually upgrading it back to its original working order. With the refinished wooden walls and floor and the displays offering a glimpse into how the elevator handled thousands of tons of grain over its years, the tour guides were more than excited to explain every detail of the workings of this once great machine. All aboard! As we stepped inside the train for a trip back in time with Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, we were delighted to find the cars decorated in period form. The staff were all dressed in burgundy vests and black caps and offered assistance to our seats. Once seated on car 6744 and enroute to our destination, we were afforded the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the professional performances of Richard and Deborah Popovich. Their musical renditions were accompanied by many of the passengers on the car. We also spent time in the open

air coach, allowing the breeze to blow off our skin and taking in the grandeur that is the Alberta prairies. Upon arriving at our destination, we were welcomed to the Village of Big Valley. Once a major railway town, here we found the historic remains of the Canadian Northern Railway Hall of Fame. After a fabulous meal provided by the train, we took some time to stroll the shops along Jimmy Jock Boardwalk, cooled our heels in the 1914 restored jail house, and climbed to the top of the hill where we took in the view of the 1916 St. Edmunds Anglican Church. This beautiful blue church built in 1916 made for an exquisite backdrop to the village below. Not to be out done, we spent time at McAlister’s Garage relishing in the display of vintage cars, trucks and machinery, just like my dad used to drive when I was a kid and had a quick stop in at the new tool museum. The Creation Science Museum rounded out the trip for us before returning back to Stettler at the end of the evening.

Don and Beth Lawson who began collecting in 1939. Once we took in the lamps, we decided to hike the Willow Canyon and get an up close and personal look at what they call the badlands. The trail was about ¾ of a mile long and allowed us to explore 120 acres including the old ski hill area which is now the location of the bi-annual drive-in movies. Benches and picnic tables were offered in locations along the way allowing us to rest when we needed. Once we were back at the top of the coulee, we stopped into

Bookersville on Main Street and grabbed a cold treat before heading back home. Reflecting on our weekend in Stettler, we relish the time we spent on this journey. Knowing there was much more we could have seen and done including spending time floating in the Red Deer River or swimming in beautiful Buffalo Lake, we know we will be back again and the area will not disappoint.

Sunday After an eventful evening on the open prairie, a relaxing drive was what the doctor ordered. Taking a journey to the north about 20 minutes, we visited the Village of Donalda, home of the country's largest oil lamp replica standing 42 feet high overlooking the remarkable Willow Canyon. Spending some time in the museum itself was impressive with the large display of oil lamps, some dating back as far as the 1600’s. The collection was started with the donation of over 650 lamps from

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 15


Stettler Visitor Map

12 62 ND ST.

70 TH ST.

Erskine Rochon Sands Ol Mcdonalds Resort Nevis Alix Lacombe Red Deer

4 5

1 2

3

44 TH AVE.

56

Stettler Regional Airport

? • Stettler Board ofTrade

6606 - 50 Avenue | 403-742-3181 | www.stettleboardoftrade.com

1 • West Stettler Park

Located on West Side of 62 Street | Mount Stettler, playground, spray park, walking trails, catch and release fishing, Entertainment in the Park (June through August)

2 • Stettler Town and Country Museum

6502 – 44 Avenue | 403-742-45344 | Alberta’s 5th Largest Pioneer Museum (Open Daily May to September) www.stettlermusuem.com

3 • Stettler Recreation Centre

6202 – 44 Avenue | 403-742-4411 | Aquatic centre, twin ice arena, The Hub Seniors Centre, fitness and aquatic centre (Open Year Round) www.stettler.net

4 • Stettler Golf & Country Club

4701 – 61 Stree | 403-742-2004 | 9 Hole Course, Cart Rentals, Clubhouse and Lounge

16 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


N

56

January 2019 - Map intended for general information only. Public Areas, Parks, Trails and Sidewalks, Accommodations, Camping/RV locations, Hospital, Fire Station and RCMP also shown.

White Sands Pheasantback G&CC Donalda Bashaw Camrose

6 50 TH AVE.

VETERANS AVE. (50 TH) 46 TH ST.

MAIN ST. (50 TH)

7 8

9

For a complete list of dining options to satisfy your hunger in Stettler, visit: www.destinationstettler.com/dining

44 TH AVE.

44 TH AVE.

Cold Lake

Migratory Bird Refuge

Red Willow Creek

12

Big Valley Byemoor Drumheller

Botha Gadsby Halkirk Castor Coronation

5 • Heartland Bowl

4601 – 59 Street | 403-742-31494 | 8 Lanes, Glo Bowl, League play, concession (Open Year Round- Call to book)

6 • Jewel Theatre

5010 – 50 Avenue | 403-742-25384 | Single screen, digitally mastered and 3D movies, full concession (Open Year Round) www.jeweltheatre.ca

7 • Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions

4611 – 47 Avenue | 1-800-282-39944 | Vintage railway excursions taking you back in time. Entertainment, shopping, souvenirs, lounge and concession available. (Open May to October, November and December) www.absteamtrain.com

8 • P&H Elevator

Corner of 46 Street and 47 Avenue | 403-742-47034 | Historically reconditioned 1909 Elevator and Feedmill, interpretive displays and events (Open Year Round) www.stettlergrainelevator.com

9 • Stettler District Agricultural Society

4516 – 52 Street | 403-742-6288 | Indoor and outdoor ag grounds offering annual events and rodeos including the annual Steel Wheel Stampede. (Open Year Round)

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 17


PHOTOGRAPHY - Bottom: Common and Co. - Top: Ed Ouellette

— CAMPING —

18 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


Big Valley Centennial Campground

Homestead Campground

Rochon Sands Provincial Park

403-876-2269

403-742-4057 * 403-740-5556

403-742-4338

South end of Railway Avenue

6 Miles North on Highway 56 to Junction 601, 1 Mile West and ½ Mile North

16km North of Erskine on Secondary Highway 835

▷ www.villageofbigvalley.ca 5 Sites * Season: May – Oct Located in the village of Big Valley, this mighty little campsite offers all you need with full services at each site for a reasonable rate. Walking distance to Jimmy Jock Boardwalk, the Creation Science Museum, St. Edmunds Church and more, this site offers great history all around. First come, first filled.

Buffalo Lake Provincial Recreation Area 403-742-9575 21Km North of Stettler on Hwy 56, 6km West on RR 40-2

▷ www.albertaparks.ca

28 Sites * Season: May 14 - Sept 30 Known to the locals as Boss Hill, this campsite offers secluded sites on and off the shore of Buffalo Lake. With a hand boat launch, swimming area, fire pits and a nearby playground, this area allows you to relax and enjoy the nature around you. No services. Accessible year round- no maintenance services provided in off season.

9 Sites * Season: May – Oct Come see what keeps families close on a section of prairie land that has been home to 5 generations since 1899. Within 10 minutes to Buffalo Lake, Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions and the Pheasantback Golf and Country Club, you can spend your time relaxing anyway you choose. Offering full and partial services, this campground will meet your basic comfort needs with pleasure and allow you the opportunity to view wildlife in their natural habitat.

▷ www.albertaparks.ca

74 Sites * Season: May 15 – Oct 9 Whether you are looking to be nestled in surrounding forests or beach front to Buffalo Lake, you can find a site to meet your needs. Enjoy lakeside activities including swimming, canoeing, powerboats, waterskiing, and fishing. The shallow bays provide nesting sites perfect for bird watching and the marked trails offer a view to an unlimited amount of wildlife.

McKenzie Crossing Recreation Area 403-876-2269 9km West of Big Valley on Secondary Highway 590

▷ www.villageofbigvalley.ca 15 Sites * Season: May – Oct

A favorite spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, McKenzie Crossing also offers beach front access to the Red Deer River. The diverse terrain is perfect for those looking to get out and hike the area while many of the sites are private and offer that relaxing get away in the woods. First come, first filled.

Donalda Ag Society Campground

Rotary Park Campground 403-740-6425 Corner of 46 Avenue and 56 Street 33 Sites * Season: Apr – Nov Located next to the Stettler and District Agricultural Grounds, this fully serviced campground offers you a close view of the action. This campground is located within town limits yet feels like a peaceful park with trees surrounding most sides. Weekly and monthly rates available.

403-883-2233

Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort

West end of Donalda off Highway 53

403-742-6603

15 Sites * Season: May 15 – Oct 31

10km North of Erskine on Secondary Highway 835, 4Km West on Secondary Highway 601, 4km North

The Narrows Provincial Recreation Area

400 Sites * Season: May – Sept

13Km North on Highway 21, 3km East on Township 40-2, 2km North

▷ www.village.donalda.ab.ca

Located next to the Donalda Ag Society grounds, this campsite is nestled in the most northerly point of the Canadian Badlands. Offering power and water to some of the sites, reservations are welcomed to allow you to enjoy the hiking trails of Willow Canyon in the Meeting Creek Coulee.

▷ www.olmacdonalds.com

Family camping on the south shore of Buffalo Lake, this resort offers it all and then some. From no services to fully serviced sites including beach front access, the beautifully maintained sites can accommodate everything from a pop tent to a motorhome. Amenities include a restaurant and store, hay rides, mini golf, train rides, farm animals, playgrounds, arcade, beach, movie theatre, showers, boat launch and more.

Prairie Junction RV Resort Gadsby Campground

▷ www.albertaparks.ca

69 Sites * Season: May 15 – Oct 9 This scenic campground is first come first serve only and is built along a narrow channel connecting two portions of Buffalo Lake. Sites are RV and tent friendly and are surrounded by trees. The channel offers good opportunities for shore fishing and is great for young anglers and paddlers. Favorable bird watching opportunities in the area as well.

403-742-8855

Town of Stettler Lions Campground

4402 – 50 Avenue

403-742-4411

403-574-3793

▷ www.pjrvresort.com

North West corner of Village

53 Sites * Season: Year Round

5 Sites * Season: Year Round

Luxury camping at its best within walking distance to much of Stettler’s amenities. Offering full serviced sites, unique themed cabins, an antiques boutique, group sites, and more; this campground offers it all. Heading out on Alberta Prairie Railways Excursions? Utilize the private loading and unloading site right in your own backyard. Winter camping available.

Next to the Gadsby Ball Diamonds and home to several tournaments throughout the year, the Gadsby Village Campground offers a home away from home for those short stays. They offer fire pits at each site, a newly upgrade playground, and a picnic/ day use area.

403-742-4338

4621 – 62 Street

▷ www.stettler.net 63 Sites * Season: May – Oct Adjacent to the Stettler Golf and Country Club, West Stettler Park, and the Stettler Recreation Centre, this campground is close to many outdoor opportunities within town limits. Offering non-serviced to fully serviced sites, washrooms with shower house and free wifi, you can park your unit here and utilize the bordering walking trails to enjoy all the Town of Stettler has to offer.

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 19


PHOTOGRAPHY- Kalim - stock.adobe.com

— ACCOMMODATION —

20 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


Big Valley Inn

La Prairieaire

Plains Motor Inn

403-876-2203

403-860-1313

403-742-3491

53 Main Street East; Big Valley

RR#1 Donalda, AB

4812 – 64 Street

This quaint hotel was originally built in 1952. With extensive renovations, it is now considered one of the most comfortable places to stay in rural Alberta. Located in the historic village of Big Valley, take some time to tour the area with steam trains, Jimmy Jock Boardwalk, the blue church, and more. The hotel offers a restaurant, liquor store and bar.

This unique vintage stay allows you the opportunity to rent out a 1976 Airstream Land Yacht! Experience the choice of a camping location with private access to 480 acres of valley property. Take part in a tour of the area or even enjoy the view by horseback.

▷ Facebook: BigValleyInn

▷ www.laprairieaire.ca

Upgraded spacious rooms in a quiet location make the Plains Motor Inn a great place to spend your evening in Stettler. Located within walking distance to the Stettler Golf & Country Club and West Stettler Park, the outdoor enthusiast will enjoy the amenities offered after a day of play.

Ramada Stettler 403-742-6555

Canalta Hotel

6711 – 49 Avenue

403-742-3371

▷ www.ramada.ca

6020 – 50 Avenue

▷ www.canalta.com Family owned and operated, Stettler Canalta is your home away from home. Kick back and relax in one of the beautifully furnished suites, enjoy fresh buttery popcorn or tour the area, Canalta will make your stay feel like home. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, restaurant, fitness centre and hot tub and pool with waterside on site.

Donalda Hotel and Tavern

Nestled in the Pines Bed & Breakfast 403-740-5196 20 minutes North of Stettler on Highway 56 Quiet and tranquil, this unique country experience will offer the perfect getaway from modern life. Lodging in a private 1910 mail order home, this rustic location allows you to enjoy country at its best with some more modern amenities. Open year round with snowmobile and ATV shelters on site.

Designed with travelers in mind, the newest hotel in the area offers modern accommodations at an affordable rate. Overlooking West Stettler Park, the relaxed feel is offered throughout from the spacious reception area to each individual room. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, fitness centre, and pool with hot tub and waterslide on site.

Stettler Hotel 403-742-2353 5001 – 50 Street

403-883-2044

▷ www.stettlerhotel.com

5026 Main Street; Donalda

▷ www.donaldatavern.com Known as the home of the county’s best charbroiled steak, Donalda Hotel and Tavern will take you back to a much simpler time. Single or double rooms available within walking distance of the World’s Largest Oil Lamp and the Willow Canyon Coulee. The hotel offers a restaurant and tavern.

Phoenix House Bed & Breakfast 403-742-3602 5914 – 50A Avenue

Super 8 by Wyndham Stettler

Heartland Lodge

▷ www.phoenixhousebb.ca

403-742-3401

Beautifully restored and updated, this 1916 home is truly a place to rest and relax. Offering three rooms with private facilities and a full breakfast leaving you to want nothing more, this home away from home will allow you the serenity you are looking for. Spend time overlooking the beautiful flower gardens or relax with a good book by the inviting fire place. Whichever you choose, you can be sure you will find a place to unwind here.

4625 – 59 Street Centrally located in Stettler, the Heartland Lodge offers air conditioned standard rooms and large kitchenettes. Close to many local restaurants, and a short drive from many of the town attractions including the Town and Country Museum and the Stettler Recreation Centre, this hotel offers the basic amenities for your night’s stay.

Originally named the National Hotel, this historic location has been devastated by fire twice only to be reconstructed to the current building in 1948 marking it one of Stettler’s oldest hotels. Newly renovated rooms allow for some serenity and the downtown historic location makes this hotel a history buff’s paradise. The hotel offers a restaurant and bar in the lower level.

403-742-3391 5720 – 44 Avenue

▷ www.super8.com When travelling through western Canada, check into the Super 8 Stettler for value and convenience. Located just off Highway 56 makes it easy to get to the most sought after attractions in the area. Amenities include complimentary breakfast, restaurant and lounge nearby.

Phoenix House B&B Come Relax With Us!

5914-50A Avenue Stettler , Alberta T0C 2L2 PhoenixHouse@TeamWinner.net Phone: 403-742-3602 www.phoenixhousebb.ca Cell: 403-741-6027 #explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 21


There’s No Sleeping Car on the Stettler Train. Step back in time with Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions and enjoy a full day on a real steam or diesel-powered train, a delicious buffet meal and maybe even a train robbery. Select a Two-Day Package and leave yourself time to explore the historic village of Donalda too. Donalda offers great free attractions like the World’s Largest Lamp, the Donalda Creamery, the District Museum and breathtaking views of Willow Canyon.

One-Night Packages include a night stay in a standard room and a $30 gift certificate for the Alberta Prairie Railway. Two-Night Packages include a two-night stay in a standard room, a $30 gift certificate for the Alberta Prairie Railway and an appetizer from Boston Pizza.

One-Night Packages from

One-Night Packages from

per night plus taxes and fees

per night plus taxes and fees

$159.99

One-Night Packages include a night stay in a standard room and a $25 gift certificate for the Alberta Prairie Railway.

Two-Night Packages from

Two-Night Packages from

per night plus taxes and fees

per night plus taxes and fees

Two-Night Packages include a two-night stay in a standard room, a $25 gift certificate for the Alberta Prairie Railway and an appetizer from Boston Pizza.

$179.99 $159.99

$139.99

Call 1-888-442-6555 to book with Ramada.

Call 1-888-742-5808 to book with Canalta.

For more Canalta managed locations, visit us at CanaltaHotels.com

Antique boutique


Stettler Snackable ▷ Stettler has been honored annually with 5 Blooms in the National Communities in Bloom competition since 2008. Other prestigious titles have also been awarded to Stettler for the pride shown in our hometown.

Originally home to one of the largest Metis sites in Alberta, the decline of bison left the area almost uninhabited by 1878. With the inception of the railway, immigrants moved to the area and Stettler was incorporated as a town in 1905. In less than six months, Stettler grew to host 70 businesses and over 700 people called it home. For the next several years Stettler would be ranked as the fourth largest trading centre in the province.

Some of the many intriguing buildings from Stettler’s history are still standing and are labelled on the Downtown Historical Walking Tour. Maps and tour brochures are available at the Stettler Board of Trade office or at www.destinationstettler.com. For more information on the history of the Stettler area, be sure to visit the Stettler Town and Country Museum, Alberta’s 5th Largest Pioneer Museum.

Ghost Walks Tragedy struck on a Thursday evening back in 1959 that shook the entire Town and County of Stettler and resulted in the last man hanged in Alberta. The Robert Raymond Cook story is one of unclear truths. It has many “experts” who claim they know whether he was guilty or innocent. Claiming innocence until his death, Robert Raymond Cook, was found guilty of the murders of his father, step mother, and his 5 step siblings and became the last man hanged in Alberta at the Fort Saskatchewan Gaol, November 14, 1960 at the toll of midnight. The story, fit for a Hollywood movie, is one of family, deception, robberies, car chases, and escaped convicts lasting only a few days but staying in the minds of the community for years to come. You can learn about the Robert Raymond Cook murders by visiting the Stettler Town and Country Museum or get a first-hand account during one of the Stettler Public Library’s Ghost Walks held in the summer months. Get the facts and then you can decide, did they get their guy? 24 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE

PHOTOGRAPHY - Bottom: Stettler Board of Trade - Top: Stettler Board of Trade - Inset: Common and Co.

History of Stettler


PHOTOGRAPHY - Bottom: Traci Smith - Right: Colleen Rockliffe

Hunting & Fishing Whether you are visiting spring, winter, summer or fall there are plenty of opportunities for hunting and fishing in the Stettler area. Buffalo Lake offers a variety of fishing opportunities for both the experienced angler and those new to the sport. Bohlke’s Pond and Kerbes Pond are annually stocked by the Alberta Conservational Association. The nearby Red Deer River is accessible from both Content Bridge and McKenzie Crossing and is naturally inhabited with a variety of species including northern pike, trout, and walleye. If game is more your idea of adventure, the area offers you a bounty of opportunity each fall. The mix of wooded forests and prairie grasslands makes hunting the area ideal for mule and white tailed deer, moose, elk, antelope, upland game birds and water fowl. The Stettler Pheasant Festival held each October offers you the opportunity to partake in privatized pheasant hunts and participate in various sessions held in and around the Stettler area. Whatever sport you choose, remember to respect the land and the wildlife and you must possess a valid Alberta Hunting or Fishing license and have permission to be on private property.

Natural Linear Parks East Central Alberta Heritage Society has developed a variety of linear parks in the area. These linear parks are designed to connect visitors with nature as long natural preserved landscapes and wetlands. Perfectly located in rolling hills, grain fields, and badlands, the parks offer excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities. All parks are accessible by foot, bike, and horseback. #explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 25


26 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE

PHOTOGRAPHY - Pheasntback Photography - Right: Sandy Clark; Travel Alberta; Stettler Board of Trade


— WINTER — IN STETTLER

Winter in Alberta can produce some of the most frigid temperatures but also breathtaking scenery. Bundle up and enjoy the brisk air and crisp scenes.

Winter in Stettler means great holiday events throughout December and an opportunity to take in the winter sports and scenic views. From the Moonlight Madness tree lighting and shopping event to Alberta Prairie’s Polar Express TM the events will ensure everyone is in the holiday spirit. Get out and explore this winter. Walking trails located throughout Stettler are perfect to stretch your legs. The County of Stettler offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy cross country skiing or snow shoeing by utilizing the linear parks and trails. Linear parks are old rail beds that have had the track removed and provide space to enjoy the outdoors. Start at the Donalda Train Station and head north for some breathtaking views of winter in the coulees and stay active. Visit Mount Stettler or Donalda for some downhill action! Bring out the toboggans and race to the bottom. This is a great way to enjoy the company of family and friends while taking in winter in Alberta. Ice fishing is popular on nearby Buffalo Lake where you can try your hand at catching a nice sized burbot or a multitude of other natural species.

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 27


28 • Destination

Stettler VISITOR GUIDE


PHOTOGRAPHY - Full Page:Travel Alberta - Inset: Lyndon Sawatzky Photography Page Top to Bottom: Stettler Board of Trade; Sweetlight Photography; Ed Ouellette

The Stettler Recreation Centre (SRC) offers two indoor ice rinks for public skating as well as six outdoor surfaces for that fresh air experience. Take part in some great hockey action by watching the Stettler Lightning Junior B Hockey Team take on their opponents throughout the fall and winter. Give the SRC a call to learn more about special events including the hockey schedule and free Public Skating. (403-742-4411) Bringing families together one trail at a time, Tail Creek Snowbirds is dedicated to provide a safe, family oriented riding experience. With 33km of groomed snowmobile trails in the County of Stettler, the trail offers resting spots along the route housing indoor fireplaces and washrooms to warm you up. The majestic scenery offers sites you won’t want to miss this winter. Day or season passes are available. www.tailcreeeksnowbirds.ab.ca On those really cold evenings take the occasion to snuggle up to the ones you love inside. Enjoy a movie at the Jewel Theatre or maybe a concert series at the Performing Arts Centre. The Stettler Public Library has many special events to join in or relax by the fireplace. Heartland Bowl is also a great activity to take part in to stay out of the elements and, of course, the SRC has heated pools and a hot tub to keep the whole family content.

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 29


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Stettler Snackable â–ˇ Mount Stettler located in West Stettler Park has been climbed by thousands of people young and old. Take a hike and stake your claim today!

Start

train maze

PHOTOGRAPHY - Bottom to Top Right: Stettler Board of Trade; Wendy Rairdan; Common and Co.; Kim Smyth(x2)

Finish

#explorestettler | www.destinationstettler.com • 31


Destination

Stettler Step off the beaten path. Visit our natural wonders and experience all we have to offer. Once you are here, you will see why we like to call it home.

Step off the beaten path‌

and come see why we call this place home.

Profile for Stacey Benjamin

Destination Stettler Exploration Guide  

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