Nestled where the Bow River and Elbow River meet is the city of Calgary, Alberta. Known for the lush natural landscapes that surround the city and friendly atmosphere, we here at High River Toyota are proud to serve this community. Here’s a look at the history of the area and some wonderful things to do if you find yourself in Calgary.
Though Calgary wasn’t settled officially until 1875, the area was the home of native people for more than 11,000 years before the first settlement. In September of 1875, a fort was built by the first North West Mounted Police detachment at the convergence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. This fort eventually became known as Fort Calgary, named for the Calgary Bay in the Isle of Mull, Scotland.
In 1883, the settlement saw rapid growth when the Canadian Pacific Railway built a train station there. In 1884, it officially became incorporated as a town and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch. It became known as The City of Calgary in 1894, and over the beginning of the 20th century saw an incredible amount of growth. This was mostly due to the Hudson’s Bay Company establishing a trade post there and many European settlers moving to the area in response to the offer of free “homestead” land.
Now, this great city’s economy continues to thrive with many residents being employed by the energy sector. From being host to the Calgary Stampede, one of the largest rodeos in the world, to its natural beauty, there’s no doubt that Calgary is a wonderful place to be.
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
Once one of Canada’s largest ranching operations, the Bar U Ranch is now a National Historic Site and gives you the opportunity to learn a lot about ranching culture. Watch as educators demonstrate ranching skills like cattle handling, roping, blacksmithing, and more, and get a sense of what it was like to be a working cowboy in the Old West. You can even grab some delicious cowboy fare at the on-site restaurant or enjoy a wagon tour around the ranch.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Calgary is known for the natural beauty that surrounds it, which is why the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a terrific place to go if you’re looking for something to do in the area. This 36-hectare wildlife reserve is home to more than 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, and 27 species of butterflies, among other animals. Two kilometers of trails cut through open grasslands and forests, making it easy to enjoy a bit of nature away from the city.
The Cowboy Trail
Start your next road trip by heading north along Highway 22 to Mayerthorpe on the Cowboy Trail. This scenic route, which stretches all the way down to Lundbruck, is dotted with horseback trail rides, ranches, historic sites, and adventure at every turn. You can take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains or stroll through the vintage stores that fill Black Diamond. Maybe even stop in Longview for a world-famous steak or head to The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site. The Cowboy Trail is certainly a local adventure that you won’t want to miss, and you can easily stretch it out over a long weekend.
Canada is filled with stunning vistas, and you can see a lot of them along the Icefields Parkway. Head west from High River, take this route to Lake Louise, and then head to Jasper. This path is dotted with over 100 ancient glaciers, gorgeous turquoise lakes, and an abundance of wildlife, making it the perfect getaway for those who want to explore nature. So, pack your hiking boots and some thick socks, and get ready to enjoy the beauty that Alberta has to offer.
Ever wonder what it was like when dinosaurs roamed the Alberta Badlands? Drive a few hours to see the rock formations, fossil beds, and other remnants that surround Drumheller. You can learn all about the Badlands’ history at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and spot the red rock ridges, Hoodoos, and fossils that the area is known for. You can even step back into the Wild West with a stop at the Last Chance Saloon.
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