Need to get out of town for a few hours or a day? Try one of the following day trips that will educate, entertain or both.
1. Bar U Ranch National Historic Site - The Bar U Ranch paints a colorful picture of ranching history, with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Location: 15 kilometres south of Longview.
2. Brooks Aqueduct - This 3-kilometres long, centipede-like structure was a vital link in an extensive irrigation network that provided water critical to the dry lands of Southern Alberta. Location: 8 kilometres southwest of Brooks, off Trans-Canada Hwy 1.
3. Frank Slide Interpretive Centre - On April 29, 1903, 82 million tonnes of rock fell from Turtle Mountain and buried part of the coal mining town of Frank; 70 people died. Find out the story behind the Frank Slide. Location: Hwy 3, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
4. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - Head-Smashed-In is one of the world’s oldest, largest and best preserved buffalo jumps known to exist and has been used continuously by Aboriginal peoples of the plains for more than 5,500 years. Location: 18 kilometres north & west of Fort Macleod.
5. Leitch Collieries - While visiting Frank Slide, take the time to stop at one of the largest and most ambitious coal mines in the Crowsnest Pass. Walk among the ruins of the powerhouse, mine manager’s house and coke ovens. Location: Hwy 3, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
6. Remington Carriage Museum - The Museum’s interactive galleries tell numerous stories of turn-of-the-century society and the carriage industry. Location: Cardston.
7. Rutherford House - Check out how the other half lived in the early 1900s. Location: 11153 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton.
8. Stephansson House - Check out how Icelander, Stephan G. Stephansson, considered one of the greatest poets in the Western world, managed to tend this homestead by day and write his famous and respected poetry by night. Location: 30 minutes southwest of Red Deer, off Hwy 592 & 781.
9. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village - Share in the compelling stories of the triumphs and hardships of Ukrainian immigrants who came to the Bloc Settlement in east central Alberta from 1892 to 1930. Location: 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Hwy 16.
10. Victoria Settlement - In 1862, Reverend George McDougall founded a Methodist mission to the Cree and later the Hudson’s Bay Company later established Fort Victoria to trade with the Natives. Learn about the growth and decline of this once-bustling community. Location: off Hwy 855, near Smoky Lake.
11. Sylvan Lake - Famous for its spectacular natural lake setting, Sylvan Lake has the second largest marina in the province.
12. Banff National Park - Featuring mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world’s premier destination spots. For a list of activities, visit pc.gc.ca/banff
13. Banff Hoodoos - These spires carved by the forces of wind and water, stand like lonely sentinels overlooking the Bow River. Location: 4 kilometres from Banff on Tunnel Mountain Road.
14. Bow Valley Parkway - This scenic alternative to the Trans Canada Hwy 1 provides an opportunity to view the landscape at a more leisurely pace. Explore the history of the Bow River Valley through interpretive signs located at various points along the hwy.
15. Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks - The emerald green lake is set before Mount Temple, the highest mountain in the Bow Range and third highest in Banff National Park. Location: 12 kilometres east of Lake Louise.
16. Jasper National Park - The largest and most northerly Canadian rocky mountain national park, part of a spectacular World Heritage Site. For a list of activities, visit pc.gc.ca/jasper
17. Columbia Icefield Glacier - From Hwy 93, one can see the Athabasca, Stutfield and Dome glaciers. Ice Explorer and professionally-guided hiking tours are available on the Athabasca glacier.
18. Maligne Canyon - One of the most spectacular gorges to be found in the Rockies. Self-guided trails and footbridges provide spectacular views of the canyon. Location: 11 kilometres east of the Jasper Town-site along Hwy 16.
19. Kananaskis Country - Located 90 kilometres southwest of Calgary, the spectacular mountain and foothills landscapes make a perfect backdrop for a multitude of recreational opportunities.
20. Waterton Lakes National Park -In Southwestern Alberta, some of the most ancient and colorful mountains in the Rockies abruptly meet the rolling Prairie. It is a dynamic landscape shaped by wind, fire, flooding and abundant plants and wildlife. For more information, visit pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/waterton/index.aspx
21. Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm - Get lost and eventually found as you navigate your way through giant corn labyrinths, mingle with barnyard animals, bounce on jumping pillows, ride tractor trains, take aim with corn cannons, pick your perfect pumpkin in the Fall and more! The 2014 season runs from July 25 to October 19. calgarycornmaze.com
22. Cobb’s Corn Maze & Family Fun Park - Fun-filled activities for people of all ages. The main attraction is a unique corn maze, but there is much more going on including a fence maze, rope maze, straw bale maze(s), hop dots, puzzle mazes, punching pumpkins, fabulous finger game, giant board games, playground structures, pedal carts, tire mountain and slide, hayride, toddler town and more! cobbscornmaze.com
23. Butterfield Acres Children’s Farm - Mix and mingle with all the different animals on a farm. Pony rides for little ones, tractor rides, try some milking and more! Location: 254077 Rocky Ridge Road. For more information, visit butterfieldacres.com
24. The Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station - The Station is truly out of this world. Crew members will be on hand to answer any questions about the Station, as well as the town of Vulcan and Vulcan County. Location: One hour southeast of Calgary.
25. Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum - The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta’s Sporting history. Location: On the west edge of Red Deer.
26. R.C.M.P. Dog Training Centre -This centre is the only RCMP dog training facility in Canada. Public demonstrations are conducted every Wednesday afternoon between Victoria Day and Labour Day beginning at 2pm. The demonstration lasts approximately 45 minutes, and is free of charge. Location: Take Exit 365 off the Queen Elizabeth II Hwy (Hwy #2) at Innisfail, travel east and follow the signs.
27. EM-TE Town - A privately built ghost town featuring the Hogs Breath Saloon, jail house, harness shop, log buildings, livery stable, bank, church, emporium and restaurant. Location: From Hwy 22 (between Drayton Valley & Rocky Mountain House), go west on Hwy 13 to Alder Flats. Go past the school and turn left at the car wash/bottle depot. Go south 3 kilometres to stop sign. Turn right and go west 3 kilometres to the end of the road.
28. Writing on Stone Provincial Park - See Native carvings (petroglyphs) and paintings, which cover sheer sandstone cliffs. The park also protects native prairie grasslands, the meandering Milk River, hoodoos and unique wildlife. Location: 32 kilometres east & 10 kilometres south of Milk River on Secondary Hwy 501.