You know those Electron microscopes? Yes, the ones with a magnification power of 500,000? The very same ones that are used to study atomic structures? Now, if we placed it under one of those Electron microscopes, we might finally be able to see the minuscule Alberta autumn. Alright, alright! We are exaggerating but it is to make a point.
For a season as favoured and as beautiful, autumn sure is fleeting. That’s precisely why we’ve decided to spend every non-working minute soaking in as much of the fall beauty as we can. As it happens, a trip to Brooks Region is currently topping our fall bucket list. It’s beautiful, it’s local and it’s under 2 hours drive from Calgary.
Brooks Region is one of those places that is perfect for every vacation vibe, be it a spontaneous day trip, a relaxing weekend getaway or an adventure-filled family holiday. So, we did the only logical thing there was to do- teamed up with Brooks Region Tourism to curate a list of the 10 best vacation activities that are worth adding to your fall travel diaries. Here goes the list:
If it makes it to the top of our must-visit places twice (remember our road trip guide), trust us, it’s because the place deserves it.
And so is the case with the Dinosaur Provincial Park. From hiking to museum visiting to actually finding an ancient bone or two yourself, the hoodoo and coulee-spotted park is a visitor-fave. Much like Brooks itself, you can either make a day trip to the park or spend the night camping under the stars in the middle of the magical Canadian badlands.
Ah, yes! Lake Newell, the largest manmade Canadian lake. This fact might be the lake’s claim to fame but it is also popular among fishing enthusiasts, experts and amateurs alike, for the trophy size Northern Pike and Walleye it houses. And as you have a highly rewarding day of trophy fishing, you might as well enjoy the soothing water views. For those looking to book a guided tour, look no further than Trebled Life Fishing!
A vacation, no matter how short or long, is neither exciting enough nor relaxing enough without the inclusion of at least one tasting. But of course, we are up for a day spent tasting local, craft spirits and biting into fresh pizzas (among other things) at the Pivot Spirits Distillery. Oh, and did we forget to mention this is a sustainable farm?
To really experience the small-town charm of the Brooks Region, making a stop in the quaint Village of Rosemary is a must-do. Once there, you’ll be able to book the High Tea experience at this Scottish boutique café! Popular for its tea and bakery items, the café ranks pretty high on the lunch and ambience scale as well.
Whether you want to create a wonderful memory for your kids or relive your childhood, the White Barn Fun Farm is the place to be. The fun is right there in the name. The farm has an amazing petting zoo where you can feed alpacas, goats, calves and more. The showstoppers are the cookie-eating cow, Dolly and the retired rodeo horse, Boots.
Mazes are always fun, especially when they come with a side of other fun activities for the little ones (think magnetic fish pond, Human Hamster, Corny sandbox and more). Plus, if you’re going right now, you might even get to pick raspberries for yourself or buy a huge golden pumpkin come October.
Okay, the Brooks Aqueduct should be on your visit list irrespective of the season. This 90-year old dried-up river-in-the sky, aka irrigation system, is a well-preserved monumental structure that we all need to see, learn about, and be proud of. Take a self-guided hike along this magnificent 3.2-km long structure.
There’s more than one reason why birding is such a popular activity for Brooks Region visitors. The primary reason, of course, is that there are three different birding spots- Lake Newell, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and Tilley- that offer an extensive variety and some unique species. The other reason is that the unobstructed views you get make it easy to view and photograph the birds to your heart’s content.
Canoe/Float down Red Deer River from Steveville to Dinosaur Park
A great way to experience the spectacular badlands is from the river. Canoe or paddle down the Red Deer River from Steveville past Dinosaur Provincial Park to take in some of the most scenic views that would otherwise be hidden. Bonus: the smooth float is easy and de-stressing.
Come on, you knew there was going to be at least a couple more tastings on the list. This time it’s happening at the Piston Broke Brewing and the Canadian Beaver Brewing. Taste test one of Piston Broke’s four award-winning beers in the company of your furry friend on their patio, or check out the brewery tours offered at Canadian Beaver Brewing.
Before you jump into your car and blast those trip(ping) songs, check out the Brooks Region Tourism website to plan your trip perfectly.