OUR Alberta 2018 | Page 31

region |alberta south Cowboy Activities FIRST NATIONS TRADITIONS The Cowboy Trail BAR U RANCH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump BLACKFOOT CROSSING HISTORICAL PARK Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Siksika people. Learn something new at a meat-smoking and hide-tanning demonstration, or camp overnight in a tipi. Take a guided tour at the museum to learn the history of the area, or grab a self-guided tour map and explore the historic sites. 100 km east of Calgary, 403-734-5171, blackfootcrossing.ca HEAD-SMASHED-IN BUFFALO JUMP Travel back in time to an era of buffalo hunting, where Blackfoot peoples hunted buffalo to use for food, shelter, clothing, and tools. Built at the exact site these buffalo runnings took place, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has lots of interactive displays and activities. Visit on Mondays and Fridays in July and August for the Piskun, the Buffalo Jump program. This unique experience lets you taste dried buffalo meat, throw a spear, keep an arrowhead to take home and participate in a traditional Blackfoot blessing. 18 km northwest of Fort Macleod, 403-553-2731, headsmashedin.ca Bar U Ranch was an active, working ranch from 1882 to 1991, and has since been a National Historic Site for visitors to experience what the ranching life was like on Alberta’s cattle lands. Explore historic buildings, take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, tour the stables and take a bite of some fresh baking from the cookhouse. Longview, 403-395-2212, friendsofthebaru.ca COWBOY RANCH VACATIONS Immerse yourself in the cowboy way of life with an adventure on a working or guest ranch. Spend the day trying out a horseback trail ride or cattle drive, then stay overnight in a log cabin, outfitter tent, cottage or ranch house. Customize your vacation to try out all the Wild West experiences you want. 1-866-217-2282, albertacountryvacation.com GREAT CANADIAN BARN DANCE WRITING-ON-STONE PROVINCIAL PARK View a series of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) and learn the stories of Alberta’s First Nations peoples. Programming includes interactive plays with storytelling, games, drumming and dancing, and guided tours. Cool down with a swim in the nearby Milk River. 44 km east of Milk River, 403-647-2364, albertaparks.ca/writing-on-stone In pioneer times, traditional barn dances were highly anticipated social events featuring home- cooked food, live music, and dancing into the wee hours of the night. The tradition continues with this family-run event that takes place in a more-than-a-century-old barn. Every Saturday night from May through September, enjoy a cowboy dinner and a free dance lesson. Then get ready for the dance and live music. On Friday nights enjoy dinner and a country music tribute show — dancing in your seat is encouraged! Hillspring, 1-866-626-3407, gcbd.ca THE COWBOY TRAIL Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park A drive along this 700-km stretch of rural highway on highways 5, 6, and 22 takes you past the trail’s Wild West scenery, which has served as a filming location for many western movies. Along the way you’ll encounter authentic western attractions including horseback trail rides, small-town rodeos, powwows, farmers’ markets, rustic shops, art galleries, restaurants and historic sites. thecowboytrail.com 31