The Northern Alberta Circle in the Canadian Rockies

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Written by Madison Valois posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

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Stunning scenery and a plethora of activities, the Canadian Rockies has it all.

Stunning scenery and a plethora of activities, the Canadian Rockies has it all.

Located in Peace River Country, this trail takes you through breathtaking wilderness areas as well as some beautiful agricultural communities.  Go northwest from Edmonton and stop at Stony Plain where you will see 21 murals painted on the towns walls.  Enjoy the Multicultural Heritage Centre where you will learn about the European immigrants who came to settle in the region.  Then move on to Whitecourt, a historic lumber town known as the forestry center of Alberta.  Along the way you will see the Trees of Canada Plantation where native trees from every province have been planted.

Moving on to the modern city of Grande Prairie, you can enjoy a variety of activities including hiking, fishing, swimming, golf and shopping that will surely make your vacation worthwhile.  Take a side trip to Dawson Creek where you have a great photo-op at Mile marker 0 on the famous Alaska Highway.  Stop at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park for a look at the rare trumpeter swans.  You can also visit Beaverlodge where you will find the Agriculture Canada Research Station.  Since its inception in 1917, this center has been known for its agronomic work as well as honeybee research.

Drive north from Grande Prairie to Peace River, stopping at Sexsmith and the historical site of Dunvegan.  Take a trip down the Peace River or hike through the backcountry to enjoy the flora and fauna of this beautiful Canadian region.

On Mile 0 of the Mackenzie Highway (Highway 35), you will be in Grimshaw where you can start an amazingly scenic trip to the Northwest Territories.  Stop in Manning, High Level, and Indian Cabins to visit the Native Indian cemetery with their spirit houses covering each grave.  You can also visit Fort Vermilion by taking the ferry east of Paddle Prairie.

Spend a little time in the town of Peace River, where you will see the 12 foot Davis Monument overlooking the beautiful valley.  Then wind your way southeast to Slave Lake, stopping in Falher (the Honey Capital of Canada) and  McLennan (the Bird Capital of Canada) along the way.  Slave Lake is home to Slave Lake Provincial Park where you can enjoy beautiful white beaches, swimming, windsurfing and fishing.  Take in the view from Marten Mountain and be sure to ask about the many special events that go on in the area.

Head back to Edmonton via Highway 2 and Highway 44, stopping in St. Albert to tour the Father Lacombe Chapel.

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Canadian Rockies Hiking Guide

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