County of St. Paul
Discover the secrets...
The perfect vacation starting point is located only 1.5 hours northeast of Edmonton in the County of St. Paul.
Including the towns of St. Paul, Elk Point and 12 other communities, the County of St. Paul offers a varied and diverse ethnic heritage that has created a cultural tapestry second to none.
Picture yourself here
According to Marianne Price, administrative co-ordinator for Alberta's Iron Horse Trail, the stretch of trail from St. Paul down through Elk Point to Lindbergh and Heinsburg is a particularly scenic ride.
"(This part of the trail) goes through valleys and ravines and kind of goes along the North Saskatchewan River as you get closer to Heinsburg," said Price. "It probably is one of the more picturesque pieces of the trail. You've got some (terrain) diversity there. You go through a little stretch that is actually boreal forest, lots of wetlands, agricultural land for sure, and parkland."
The town of St. Paul has expanded its Iron Horse Trail staging area into an RV park and campground. Visitors can get up in the morning, jump on their quads and hit the trail right from their campsite.
St. Paul is an active town with lots of events. Watch for concerts in the park and the Lakeland Rodeo finals in August. Swimming, bowling and a movie theatre are also available in St. Paul. Plus, there are several well-known chain restaurants as well as good local places to eat.
Riders who stay in Elk Point will also have an access route from their campsite right to Alberta's Iron Horse Trail.
The staging area is home to the Elk Point Visitor Information Eco-Centre, a replica of a CN train station that was originally built in 1927.
If you're stopping in Elk Point for a bite to eat, you'll find several options; for something different, head to the Outback 646 Ranch House for some local elk meat.
Folks who love winter
Robert Pruneau, a member of the St. Paul Trailblazers Snowmobile Club, talks about why snowmobiling is great in this area. "Sledding allows me to go places that are not accessible any other time of the year," he said. "Only in winter can I travel from land to lakes and rivers and not have to change means of transportation. Many places are also off limits at any other time of the year. Also, the best part is no dust or bugs!"
He added that "living in northeastern Alberta means sledding is a way of life."