"Adventure Tourism Information About Places Ya'Gotta Go To!"
Tourists that take a trip to Camrose and discover this charming and friendly central Alberta "Rose City". The moniker "Rose City", was chosen for the amount of Alberta wild roses growing in the area.
Camrose is not too large and not too small. Known, for the most part, as the home of the large country music Big Valley Jamboree. Camrose was also in the running to be named Cultureville 2011 by CBC. Unfortunately, Camrose was inched out by Peace River, another fine, small Alberta city, located in the northwest Peace Country. Camrose has also been the national and international news, when a heard of locally ranched bison, escaped and came into the city. Some were seen charging down the local golf course!
If you arrive, in Camrose, coming from the west, via Wetaskiwin and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, on 48th Avenue you'll be greeted by the usual array of big box stores, fast food restaurants and hotels that would make most travellers pass by..But don't! Turn left, on 50th Street and head into the revitalized old downtown of Camrose!
Camrose, as with many towns and small cities, in Alberta, has taken advantage of the Alberta Mainstreet Program and have restored many of the building in the downtown core. The most outstanding, of these restorations has been the 100 year old Bailey Theatre (5041 50 St). The Baley's restoration has provided a cultural meeting place, for residents of Camrose and visitors!
As desrcribed on their Facebook Page:
"The oldest theatre in Alberta is back on its feet once again. The focus of the new theatre is primarily live performance, including plays and concerts. But, wanting to maintain Stan Bailey's legacy of diversity, you'll find that the newly renovated Bailey is quite versatile, and can be a suitable home for multiple performance media. We've taken our vaudevillian stage and added 1.2 million dollars in state of the art theatre tech. Some of this tech includes an Ion touchscreen lighting board, Six robotic arms from Apollo Design Technologies, and a brand new digital fly system. Not content to simply be a state of the art theatre, The Bailey's primary mandate is the maintenance of the historic legacy that it carries, that is, being a cultural nexus within the City of Camrose. A place where the hard working people of Camrose would gather to be entertained, to dive into someone else's story, to laugh when they laugh, or cry when they cry. Whether it was seeing the rapid fire sitcom-esque vaudevillian shows, throwing popcorn over the balcony, or getting paid an unexpected visit from our resident ghost, everyone leaves the Bailey with new memories."
Visitors interested in historical buildings, Camrose should print off the PDF of the self-guided Historical Walking Tour and take to the streets.
Suggestions, for a walking tour would include the old Public Library (4857 50 St). Built in 1908 to house the Canadian Club of Camrose, this building offered the city's prominent businessmen a place to read, play billiards, and socialize. It was sold in 1918 and was later occupied by a Provincial Courthouse and Treasury Branch. In 1957, it was moved one block to its present location and transformed into the Camrose Public Library. (1)
The following is a list of other historical places, in Camrose:
Camrose has also created an excellent urban park, just west of downtown. It begins with a former reservoir for the electrical plants which powered the city, now called Mirror Lake. Yes those are real swans on the lake. There are two species of swans, with clipped wings, that have made the lake home for twenty years.
The park continues, south of 48th avenue, down Stoney Creek, with an amazing urban trail system! Be sure to go down the trail, until you see the huge man-made ski jump! With the city's Norwegian population, ski jumping has had a long history in Camrose, dating back to 1912. Last used for the 1990 Alberta Winter Games, the current structure, is no longer in use.
There are also many outdoors and nature related things to do and visit, in the surrounding Camrose County. These include the Ministik Bird Sanctuary and the Waskahegan Trail, with sections of trail though Ministik and south through the Battle River. The area is also a bird watchers delight, being on a major flyway, both spring and fall! Here's a link to the County tourism map.
The downtown, of Camrose has some interesting, non-big box shopping, coffee houses (as previously mentioned) and local entertaimment. Roots music fans will pleased with the productions of the Rose City Roots Music Society, who have been bring a fiine compliment of performers to Camrose venues.
Travellers to Camrose can also travel from Edmonton via Highway 14 and 21. For an interesting drive, in the country, turn east onto Highway 617, at Hay Lakes. Then turn south on 833, before Kingman. An interesting circular route, between Camrose and Edmonton, uses this route but turning east on 617 for a little more than a kilometre, and then going north on 833 towards Tofield. Then turn back west on Highway 14.
This route takes you through the rolling "kettle and bowl" terrain, of the Beaver Hills, caused by the melting of the glaciers of the ice age. It can also provide the opportunity to hike in the Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Grazing, Wildlife & Provincial Recreation Area.
Going east, on 617 from 833, will also take you to Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. During the late spring to early fall, the park is a full use beach, picnic area and campground. For camping reservations are recommended during peak months from June through August!
Going west, on 48th Avenue and by Highway 13 towards Wetaskiwin, travellers will reach a deep valley at Gwynn. The water to the north is Coal Lake and is a reservoir made by damming Blackmud Creek. Geologically this spot is known as the Gwinn Outlet, where the prehistoric Lake Edmonton bust out, to the south, and carved out the deeper and flat Battle River valley. Further north on following 618 (north of Millet on Hwy 2A) Coal Lake, Provincial Recreation Area is available for day use.
The County of Camrose, also has developed a creative and environmentally method, for cleaning sewage and waste water. They've developed sewage lagoons, where wastewater from lagoons is fed into man-made willow thickets. The willows thrive on the sewage and clean the water. The willows, grown in rows, harvest it every three years and then burned for either heat or power or mulch it for compost. Camrose replaced their natural gas boilers with a biomass heating system and are using their willows and other waste wood streams to heat their main county office. This unique process iv being done the hamlet of Ohaton, southeast of Camrose on Hwy 13.
Camrose is near the the north end of the Boomtown Trail tourist region, at New Sarepta. The region encompasses Highways 21, 56 & 9 and ends at town of Bassano in the south, along the TransCanada Highway west of Medicine Hat. The major tourism, trekking and dinosaur centre of Drumheller, is also along the Boomtown Trail.
Camrose and the surrounding area is enjoyable destination for hiking, nature, history and shopping. Camrose can also be very economical destination. (see below)
Visit our Ya'Gotta Alberta Adventure Travel Destinations page for more great locations in Alberta!