Ghosts of Canada’s fur trading history come to life at the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.
That successful melding of archeology, historical interpretation, museum exhibits and live shows amid the natural beauty of the location on the North Saskatchewan River ranks the site as one of Western Canada’s best, according to Canada EH Tourism.
The site was chosen among the top six historic sites in Western Canada as part of the 2012 Best of the West series, which includes one selection from each Western province and northern territory, plus a bonus selection.
Canada EH Tourism was founded by the brother team of Colin & Greg Girard, who are also behind CanadaEH.net Travel Network, which is billed as a collection of interconnected community, regional and provincial tourism and travel websites for use by global online travelers for booking, planning and researching trips in Canada.
Under “Likeness Factors” for the Rocky site, the brothers list hiking trails, First Nation village, voyageur artifacts, peacefulness, forts, bison.
Historic site manager Greg Joyce welcomes the publicity.
“It’s always great to be recognized as a site and for our programming,” said Joyce, adding they had no idea the brothers were checking out the site.
“It’s always great to hear that people are getting a good service and having a great visit.”
It is hoped the additional exposure puts the site on a few more must-see lists for travellers.
“Exposure like this doesn’t hurt, for sure,” he said.
The site has a long list of events and programs lined up for this summer.
Among the unique opportunities is the heritage camping experience where visitors can overnight in an Metis trapper tents or teepees under a buffalo robes using the cooking implements of the fur trade era.
The site is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the summer.
School programs are in full swing and the event season kicks off with a big Canada Day event with a concert and fireworks on July 1, followed by a Calling All Drums Pow Wow July 12-15.
Star gazing, white water canoeing and public archeology events are also scheduled among the regular events such as the puppet show and interpretive program at the Metis Trapper’s Tent.
For more information go to the Parks Canada site at www.pc.gc.ca and click on Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site or contact the site 403-845-2412.
The other sites on the Girards’ list are: Fort Steele Historic Site, near Cranbrook, B.C.; Grey Owl’s Cabin in Prince Albert National Park; the Yukon’s Robinson Roadhouse Historic Site; Old Town in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; and Barkerville Historic Site, near Wells, B.C.