From hiking to history, RVC offers a variety of attractions


Rocky View County (RVC) is a large, diverse area with a wide range of activities to attract visitors. From Bragg Creek to Irricana, there are opportunities for everyone to create lasting memories.

Rocky View County (RVC) is a large, diverse area with a wide range of activities to attract visitors. From Bragg Creek to Irricana, there are opportunities for everyone to create lasting memories.

In northwest RVC, the Pioneer Acres of Alberta Museum – located just outside of Irricana – lives up to its motto, “Where History Comes To Life.” According to curator and CEO Shelly McElroy, entering the museum is like stepping into a postcard.

“One of the things we’re kind of famous for is having tractors and plows and machines that were used over 100 years ago,” McElroy said. “We also document social history. “

With 13 exhibits spread across 50 acres of Alberta’s prairie, Pioneer Acres aims to preserve the province’s heritage by offering educational exhibits focused on the early 1900s to the 1950s.

McElroy said the latest addition to the museum is the Grain Academy museum which had previously been on display at Stampede Park in Calgary since 1981.

“It took hundreds of hours of volunteering to get this display ready to open, and it is now,” she said. “It was an important thing for us.”

With exhibits ranging from first generation tractors and construction steam engines to a pioneer truck forge and museum, Pioneer Acres offers a place that is both fun and educational.

For avid golfers, RVC offers many courses including the Collicut Siding Golf Club in Crossfield. The 18-hole course is located 20 minutes north of Calgary and is home to Canada’s largest junior academy for children ages 4-14.

“We started in 2009 with 56 children in the first year. We have now grown to over 1,000 per year, ”said Managing Director Lyndon King. “Our niche is the introduction to the game.”

Collicut’s first nine holes have been open since 1995, with the last nine following in 2003. King said the value people get from coming to Collicut is what separates it from most courses.

“We are not an expensive club,” he said. “You have to offer a good product. It’s a good golf experience for little money.

Not far from the Collicut Siding Golf Club is the Crossfield Farmer’s Market, where visitors can shop for fruits, vegetables, pastries and spirits.

“We don’t have the big city crowds, but we have a very wide variety,” said market manager Cheryl Shae.

The market has been around for 45 years and is currently held every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. until September 24 in the parking lot of the Crossfield and District Community Hall. Shea said the market continues to grow – despite the pandemic, 45 vendors are setting up shop every week.

“These people are small businesses,” Shae said. “These are real companies, not just amateurs. “

Anyone hoping to admire the scenic foothills of Alberta need look no further than Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park (GRPP). The park is a 10-minute drive east of Cochrane and features trails that feature 3,200 acres of grassland along the Bow River.

“It’s a feast for the eyes,” said Sarah Parker, executive director of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation (GRPF). “You see rolling hills, the Bow River and right now we have the fields of yellow canola from the farm across the river. You can also see the mountains to the west, this is just one of the most amazing views, ”Parker said.

Parker said GRPF sees around 5,000 children per year through three programs it manages – Discover Archeology, Explore Grasslands and Explore Pond Program.

“These three children’s programs are really the foundation of what we do,” Parker said.

Prior to COVID-19, GRPF also offered golf cart tours. Although these tours are currently suspended, Parker said traffic to the park increased by 50% during the pandemic compared to 2019.

She added that GRPF understands that the park is now more important than ever.

“Recognizing that, we really go to great lengths to share trail information with the public,” Parker said. “We also offer a series of free programs for children during the summer.”

In the southwest of the county, Bragg Creek offers many fun options.

“We call her Canmore’s little sister,” said Jennifer Jurkowski, marketing and public relations specialist at Bragg Creek and the area chamber of commerce.

Jurkowski said that before the pandemic, Bragg Creek had seen many international travelers drawn to the pristine trails and natural beauty of Bragg Creek. Now the hamlet is hoping locals will come and see what it has to offer.

“We also have lots of quaint little shops that showcase local artisans from the area,” Jurkowski said. “Even the general store here has some really unique types of treasures.”

Bragg Creek has 16 restaurants, the majority offering patios where diners can enjoy the good weather and comply with social distancing guidelines.

One of the main reasons people flock to Bragg Creek is the West Bragg Creek trail system, which is a renowned mountain biking stop with 152 kilometers of trails.

In addition, the hamlet is an ideal stopover for those interested in fishing, camping, golf or hiking.

Jordan Striker,
Follow me on twitter @Jay_Strickz

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