High River is about 65 km south of Calgary, astride Highway 2. This 14,000 resident ranching community (which has doubled in population since 1999) sits on the banks of the Highwood River, just 48 km south of Calgary. The Highwood comes from the mountains and is one of the best trout fishing rivers anywhere.
The community was named The Crossing and was renamed High River in 1892 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The river was called the High Woods River by Thomas Blakiston in 1858, which was a translation of the Blackfoot name ispiti or “tall timbers”, referring to the trees growing on its high banks.
George Lane Park in the middle of town offers swimming and boating. There is also the 27 hole Highwood Golf and Country Club, and the 9-hole Rio Vista Golf Course. The town’s history is illustrated on 18 murals painted on buildings around the town.
Annual events include the Little Britches Rodeo complete with parade and children’s rodeo (Victoria Day weekend in late May), the North American Chuckwagon Championship (late June), Guy Weadick Memorial Rodeo (late June), Canada Day Celebrations (July 1), and the High River Country Fair (late August).
High River Attractions
Museum of the Highwood
406 1 St SW, High River, AB T1V 1M5
(4th Ave and 1st St West)
This 1911 sandstone building was once the town’s railway station. View a historical dining car, day coach, mail car and two steam locomotives dating back to 1945. Exhibits also feature the history from mid 19th century. Allow 30 minutes. Summers, from Victoria Day and Sept. 30, the museum is open Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, Sundays from 1 to 5 pm. Over the rest of the year the museum is open Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm Admission fee.