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North America > Canada > Prairies > Alberta > Peace River Country (Alberta)

Peace River Country

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Peace River Country is a region in the northwestern portion of Alberta, Canada.

Map of Peace River Country

Cities[edit]

  • 1 Grande Prairie – largest city and in the Peace Country; pop. 63,000
  • 2 Peace River – situated on the banks of the Peace River, at its confluence with the Smoky River, the Heart River; pop. 7,000
  • 3 Fairview – pop. 3,000
  • 4 Grimshawmile zero of the Mackenzie Highway; pop. 2,700
  • 5 High Prairie – accessable to the western shore of Lesser Slave Lake; pop. 2,600
  • 6 High Level – midway point between Edmonton and Yellowknife and last major centre before the Northwest Territories; pop. 3,160
  • 7 Slave Lake – situated on the southeastern shore of Lesser Slave Lake; pop. 6,650
  • 8 Valleyview – southern gateway into the Peace County; pop. 1,900

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Lesser Slave Lake — Largest recreational lake in Alberta. Many areas with white-sand beaches and places where you can't see the other side of the lake; truly a surreal experience in land-locked Alberta!

Understand[edit]

The Peace River Country is of one Canada's richest agricultural areas, the most common of which are cereal crops and hay. Other agriculture here includes beef and bison production, poultry, and pork, and apiculture (honey).

This area has been settled for many years by the local Aboriginal bands, mostly Cree and Dene people. It has been settled by westerners much more recently, and has been explored and lived in by many important figures in Canada's history such as Henry Fuller "Twelve-Foot" Davis, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, and Peter Fidler.

Most of the people who live in this area reside in small towns and are conservative in nature. This is not to say, though, that this is exclusively the case across the board. There is vast culture and art in the area, and locals are often very hospitable and friendly.

The ethnicity of most of the western settlers here derive from England, the Ukraine, France, and Germany. There are still many communities of primarily (even exclusively) French or German speaking people.

Most Peace Country communities sprang up in response to the building of the railway, and most communities still exist along railway supply lines.

This area can be extremely remote, and huge tracts of land remain untouched and unexplored, even today.

Talk[edit]

English is the primary language spoken here, though you may find that there are quite a few speakers of French, German, Ukrainian, and Cree.

French and Cree are often taught in Elementary and High school.

Get in[edit]

Greyhound Canada

Greyhound Canada terminated all services in Western Canada and Northern Ontario effective October 31, 2018.

The quickest way to get to Northern Alberta or Peace Country is to fly in to Edmonton Airport and take the Northern Express bus line north, or fly to High Level Airport (YOJ IATA).

To get around within the area, bus routes are the only available public transportation, as passenger trains don't exist here. The best way to travel is by car, as the roads are quite safe. Often small towns don't have taxi service.

Get around[edit]

Daily flights on Air Canada and Westjet are available to Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray from Edmonton. However, for the first time visitor, it can be best to rent a car in order to get off the beaten path and enjoy the small towns along the way.

See[edit]

There are plenty of historical destinations, and plenty of wilderness and wildlife to see, museums, festivals (music and cultural), scenic views, fishing,hunting, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, sledding, skiing, horseback riding, golfing, hiking, and even waterskiing.

By far the best music festival in this area is the North Country Fair, a celebration of the summer solstice in Driftpile, near Joussard. It is a haven and a destination for alternative music lovers from all over Canada and even the world. It is usually a three day event punctuated by live folk, country, bluegrass, trance, tribal, and even Inuit musical talent 24 hours a day.

Big attractions which are popular include the World's Largest Beaver (in Beaverlodge, by Grande Prairie), the World's Largest Sausage (in Mundare), Twelve-Foot Davis' grave site (Peace River), Worlds Largest Mallard Duck (Andrew), World's Largest Pyrogy (Glendon), and Alien Landing Pad (St. Paul).

For environmental tourists, there is also some of the world's largest and most densely populated bird migrating paths and nesting grounds, including the world's only site for the endangered Whooping Crane. There is plenty of wildlife all over the Peace, deer, moose, beaver, coyotes, silver and red fox, black bear, weasel, bald eagle, various hawks and falcons, duck, loon, swan, pelican, bison, and elk are all very common sites in this area. Less common but also very present are lynx, mountain lion, wolf, egret, grizzly, and caribou.

There are also plenty of ghost towns to explore. You can also find local legend and character in the museums and from local people themselves involving haunted residences and places of healing, such as the Lac Ste. Anne (St. Anne Lake) which is an annual pilgrimage site for those from all over the world wishing to heal their broken, diseased, or tired bodies in the waters of the lake.

  • Ken Harris, 5019-41 St., +1 780-594-1934. The Mackenzie Highway, H-35. There is the "Mile 0" (kilometre 0) sign at Grimshaw. There is much history to this Highway. Part of the history was made by Hamilton Brothers Trucking, later called Grimshaw Trucking. They proved in the early 1950s that they could transport goods from Edmonton to Yellowknife, much quicker than through rail to Fr. Mackay, near Ft. McMurray, then down the rivers to Yellowknife.

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

This area is a very safe part of Canada. The only place you might run into a bit of trouble is if you are impolite or aggressive towards others, especially in places which serve alcohol.

Most conflicts can be avoided through diplomacy, and most conflicts never get beyond verbal combat.

If you are openly homosexual, you will likely be received with mixed feelings; some will be very welcoming and polite, others indifferent and will not acknowledge you, and other may be downright hostile and defensive.

Strangers and travellers may find it hard to interact with locals at first, as locals may be wary of newcomers. This is not necessarily hostility, just hesitant curiosity for the most part. When they do open conversation, be prepared for many questions, some of which may be personal. It is not considered rude to decline to answer personal questions. Polite and talkative visitors are generally well received.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Peace River Country is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!