Coal Trails and Prairie Rails

Boomtown communities and an extensive river valley system greet you as you travel least from Red Deer. Explore the Canadian Badlands at Dry Island Buffalo Jump, dinosaur fossils at the world-class Royal Tyrrell Museum and coal mining history at the Atlas Coal Mine. Conclude your journey with an action packed train ride along the Trail of the Buffalo.

Be sure to look up driving times before you depart. A full list of visitor centers as well as contact information for attractions on this tour can be found by downloading the tour documents

Tour Route

1. Day One highlights - Red Deer to Drumheller

Colorful small town culture awaits you as you drive through Alberta’s breadbasket. During the summer months, these communities are often awash in activities from ball tournaments to farmer’s markets and outdoor lunches. Anticipate museums rich with history. St. Ann Ranch and Trading Post in Trochu is a perfect road stop as are the many of the unique shops and cafes awaiting your visit.  Later, pack up your gear and hike or horseback ride at Dry Island Buffalo Jump, and finish up your day with a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

2. Day Two highlights - Drumheller and Drumheller Valley

Sure Drumheller has dinosaurs, but the community also boasts a colourful coal mining history, a strong art presence and a culture that proudly preserves and shares its past with others. For instance, ever wondered how families with so many children lived in those little houses and learned in those little schools? After a trip to the East Coulee School Museum, it’s more of a mystery than ever! Further your experience of life in the past at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. If you’re brave enough to go into the tunnel, you get a small sense of working in the cold, dark and wet tunnels with pick and shovel.

3. Day Three highlights - Drumheller to Stettler and Red Deer

Wave goodbye to the beaten path and step back in time with a visit to the Morrin Sod House, and stroll the nearly abandoned streets of Rowley. Ever been held up by bandits and train robbers? Probably not, but in Stettler, board the Alberta Prairie Rail Exchange and hold on to your gold. The train stops in Big Valley where you can shop for local art and other goodies along Jimmy Jock Boardwalk.

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