Highway 2 in the Canadian Rockies

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Written by Madison Valois posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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Enjoy the Calgary skyline on the Highway 2 Route.

Enjoy the Calgary skyline on the Highway 2 Route.

Following a historic wagon trail, this route is full of interesting sights and perfect for your Canadian Rockies cowboy vacation itinerary.

As you head north from Calgary, you will pass various farm communities. Take a moment to stop at Olds where you will find many historic artifacts and photos. A friend of mine went in August when the Olds Fair and Rodeo was on. He had a great time watching a truly wild west rodeo, with all the requisite cowboy antics. You can also head over to the Olds Agricultural Society for information on the many interesting agricultural events that happen during the year.

In Innisfail you’ll find the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Dog Training Center as well as the Innisfail Historical Village, recreated to look exactly like a pioneer village from the late 1800s to the 1930s. Make your way over to Red Deer, which is halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. This is grain and cattle farming region with a thriving oil and gas industry. The town was named when Scottish immigrants thought the elk were the red deer from their homeland. If you’re in Red Deer in June, you’ll make it to the Highland Games. In July the attraction is the Westerner Days Fair and Exposition at Westerner Park. There is also the Red Deer International Air Show that is offered every other year (2005-2007-2009, etc.).

From Red Deer, go east on Highway 11 to Stettler where you can board a steam-powered train that will take you through the surrounding prairies. This is a great ride for the family as you can take in the history and wildlife in the area while costumed actors provide entertainment on-board.

From Highway 2 in Stettler, take Highway 12 and go three miles west to Lacombe and then a half mile south on Range Road 27-3 to arrive at the Lacombe Corn Maze, a great vacation trip for the kids.

Wetaaskiwin, the Cree word for “place of peace” is a wonderful city where you will find the Reynolds-Alberta Museum. Filled with one of the largest collections of antique and classic cars, trucks, tractors, fire engines, steam engines and airplanes, the museum is home to Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

The last stop on the trail will be Edmonton, known as “festival city.” Stay here for a few days to enjoy whatever events are going on at the time. Some of the festivities include jazz and folk music festivals, heritage festivals, art walks, theatrical events, the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Edmonton Grand Prix. With so many great restaurants, bars and cafes, you have a great variety of choices for entertainment and pleasure.

Some of the other attractions in Edmonton include the West Edmonton Mall, which houses more than 800 stores, more than 100 eateries, seven theme park attractions and two hotels, including the Fantasyland Hotel where all the rooms have individual themes. Go to the World Waterpark where you can swim in an indoor wave pool and enjoy the water slides. Take the kids to Galaxyland Amusement Park or the Ice Palace for skating. Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf or Putt’n’Glow are two great places for miniature golf. The Valley Zoo, the Muttart Conservatory, the Telus World of Science and the Royal Alberta Museum are also musts for the Edmonton visitor. Be sure to check out Old Strathcona, a historic area that is full of interest for one and all.

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