The Boomtown Trail, Alberta
Alberta is a province of big cities and smaller towns, oil and unpredictable weather, rich history and cowboys. One of the region's most famous events is the annual Calgary Stampede and it is also known for the immense West Edmonton Mall. Another interesting draw in the province is The Boomtown Trail, which can easily be accessed in large city centers like Edmonton or Calgary. Both of these cities have great RV rental depots that can provide the ideal vehicle to complete the Boomtown drive in. So what, exactly, is Boomtown? Read on to find out!
The Boomtown Trail is populated by the historic towns that sprang up as the railway connecting one end of Canada to the other was constructed. The buildings in these towns are characterized as having a modest building fronted by a grand facade. It was a style also seen in many old American West towns and, of course, in the movies. As you travel from the town of Strathmore to Camrose you will get the opportunity to witness the beginnings of small town Alberta at the turn of the century, an experience made possible by those dedicated to preserving the historical integrity of the area.
Train Station in Big Valley, Photo from Flickr
Along the drive you will be able to visit museums and campgrounds and you will have the opportunity to participate in many outdoor activities. On the trail there is everything from skydiving, paintball and golfing to art galleries, shops and farmers' markets. There are also rodeos and festivals like the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose.
Photo courtesy of BoomtownTrail.com
It is perfectly convenient to drive the Boomtown Trail in an RV and there are several sites where you can park your vehicle for the night to explore the surrounding area. Forty minutes east of Calgary, and 7kms from Strathmore, is Eagle Lake Resort, which offers fishing, windsurfing, hay rides and a petting farm, and is open from May to September. The Strathmore Recreational Park is located on the Rodeo Grounds, 2 km north of Hwy 1. Nearby you will find an Aquatic Center and golf course. Open year round the Fawn Meadows Park on 18 Avenue is especially perfect for golfers as it is adjacent to the Fawn Meadows Golf Course. On the shore of Buffalo Lake, 15km from the town of Alix, is Ol' MacDonald's Resort. The park includes a beach, petting zoo, mini golf, stores, antique shops, cafes and even a merry-go-round. Another RV park, Three Hills Recreation boasts baseball diamonds, horseshoe pits and a playground for children. The numerous RV parks in the area makes it a smart bet to get a rental RV to increase your freedom and comfort on your Boomtown trip. Some fun excursions along the trail include the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion, which takes you from Stettler to Big Valley, and includes a ride on a steam-and-diesel powered train. Other tour options include walking tours of historic downtown Camrose and Stettler, as well as a visit to Trochu Arboretrum and Gardens. You can also check out the Biggest Little Church in the World (seats 6!) and the majestic Horseshoe Canyon, both in Drumheller.