Put yourself right in in the middle of Alberta history (complete with train robbers) in Stettler

by - Thursday, July 05, 2018

Stettler offers unique experiences and opportunities to learn about Alberta's history from steam train rides to museums.

Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion, Stettler, Alberta
Staged robbery on the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion, Stettler, Alberta

By: Jeremy Derksen

Unless you’ve got some plutonium and a souped-up DeLorean (or a TARDIS, if that’s more your style), chances are you’re not going to get to relive a turn-of-the-century train robbery any time soon. Unless you head to Stettler.

Imagine watching from the open passenger car of a vintage steam train as a band of outlaws wildly firing old six shooters comes galloping up to rob you. Before you know it, you’re in the middle of a shootout. Even knowing it’s not the real thing, your adrenaline spikes.

By the time you arrive in Big Valley, all the trappings of modern urban life have been stripped from your immediate recall. Or if it they haven’t, the big, open skies of this tiny town of 300 will likely do the trick.

Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion, Stettler, Alberta
View from the steam train, Stettler, Alberta
For inspiration on how to spend 48 hours living in history in Stettler, check out the full story at ZenSeekers.com.

Just walking all the museums and touring the historic collections in town will put several clicks on the Fitbit. But it’s more of a mental than a physical stretch, as you try to absorb the immensity of the Tool Museum collection — from a time before disposable culture.

Other highlights include the McLaren Motors Garage (with an impressive display of vintage cars) and St. Edmunds Anglican Church on the high plateau overlooking the town. The views here on a sunny day are truly something to behold.

McLaren Motors Garage, Stettler, Alberta
McLaren Motors Garage, Stettler, Alberta
Exploring these pockets of the past is a good reminder of how we arrived in this present moment. It’s easy to forget that we are not just passengers on this train. As the wheels start to spin into motion again, the forward chugging motion of the engine is like a challenge poking the chest: how are you going to write history today?

Make it a road trip - discover seven destinations brimming with unique experiences - start here by visiting ZenSeekers’ #BoomTownTrail expedition page.

If You Go

Are you ready to experience the awesomeness that is Stettler? Read more on ZenSeekers.com.

Bring some cash for the train - it will come in handy bribing (i.e. tipping) bandits, buying food and drink on the train or shopping in Big Valley.

Take some time to explore the Tool Museum in Big Valley. It reflects a time before replaceable consumer culture, when people built and fixed things.

Car lovers will want to make a stop at McAlister Motors Garage in Big Valley, which displays Rod Miller’s impressive collection.

Bone up on your history at the Stettler Town and Country Museum, where displays are staged like movie sets.

Experience the wild west on the Stettler Train to Big Valley
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Experience the #BoomTownTrail - learn more about Stettler and start planning here.

#ExploreAlberta with Travel Alberta who has an entire section of their website dedicated to travelling the #BoomTownTrail.

Make it a road trip - discover seven destinations brimming with unique experiences - start here by visiting ZenSeekers’ #BoomTownTrail expedition page.

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  1. This train trip is awesome, we did it last year and really enjoyed it! I think I spent most of my time in the roundhouse when we stopped in Big Valley. I always stop at the roundhouse whenever I am in BV! I can't help it lol. https://westofthefifthmeridian.blogspot.com/2017/08/leavin-on-steam-train-big-valley.html

    1. It looks like so much fun! I can't believe I never heard of the Boomtown Trail until this year! Will have to allow lots of time to explore Big Valley; your roundhouse photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing. :)

    2. Thank you! I enjoy your posts! Seeing places I have been and new places too!


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