The Cypress Hills Destination Area is a collection of communities, attractions, events and businesses that stretches from a corner of southeast Alberta to across the entire southwest corner of Saskatchewan. An interprovincial initiative that embodies the spirit, the history, and the people of Canada’s western heritage.
Whether you travel the backroads along, Highway 13, better known as the historic Red Coat Trail, where Canada’s original North West Mounted Police travelled to bring law and order to the West, or you travel the Trans Canada Hwy, you’ll have a front row ticket to some of the best scenery and historic spots in Canada.
A recreation area for campers and resort-guests alike, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a shared initiative that spans the Alberta and Saskatchewan borders. A rare mixture of provincial, federal, and private ranch lands, it is here where Canada’s western settlers first came to build a new life, and here where Canada’s first NWMP Headquarters was stationed, at Fort Walsh National Historic Site. A Fort that was established in response to the devastating Cypress Hills Massacre, which heralded the end of the wild wild west, and the beginning of western settlers.
Located near Fort Walsh directly on the Alberta and Saskatchewan border, lies the Historic Reesor Ranch. The first ranch in Saskatchewan to ever be awarded a Provincial Heritage Designation, this family-owned ranching operation was established in 1904 by William (WD) Reesor and Alice Moffatt who, along with their four sons in 1916, built the ranch house that today operates as a bed and breakfast and the family home of Scott and Theresa Reesor. In addition to continuing on with the ranching tradition of their ancestors, the Reesor family offers visitors a chance to ride the ol’ west on one of their Canadian Signature Experience horseback riding adventures, stay in an old log barn, bunkhouse, or cabin, or learn more about the history of the ranch and its people on their Wine in the West Tours.
A little further East of the Cypress Hills lies the community of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Named Canada’s Greatest Western Town by Western Horse Review Magazine in 2014, the community’s history ties directly in with Fort Walsh’s as well as with the ranchers who settled in the area.
Known as the ol’ Cowtown it offers whimsical nods to its cowboy past, Saskatchewan’s oldest continuous operating museum which documents its western heritage, and a host of events that recognizes its rich history. Events that include: the CCA Rodeo, Heritage Festival, Showdown in Cowtown (featuring Indian Races), the Taste of Maple Creek, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Mustering, Cowboy Christmas, and the iconic and uniquely Maple Creek, Battle of the Little Big Puck, which features a battle of the hockey variety between the Nekaneet First Nation and area Cowboys, all officiated by red-serge wearing RCMP. It’s a tradition 38 years in the making that highlights the unique relationship that exists between these two diverse cultures.
For those who are looking to see wild Bison roaming the plain, the Cypress Hills Destination Area also offers two such places to view these majestic animals, including Old Man on His Back Nature Conservancy near the Town of Eastend, SK, and Grasslands National Park, where in addition to taking in the Bison facility, you can also enjoy a cup of Cowboy Coffee, at their weekly story-telling event with Park’s staff, tour an original homestead and view the remains of an underground barn built to provide shelter to stock in lieu of trees.
Come to the Cypress Hills Destination Area where you can sleep in a teepee, watch Bison roam the plains, listen to Cowboy Poetry from a true working cowboy, ride the trails of the Cypress Hills, feel the thrill of bareback horse races by Canada’s First Nation’s people, and steep yourself in the history of Canada’s Northwest Mounted Police.
Activities in the Cypress Hills Destination Area
In addition to the above mentioned western-themed activities you’ll also be able to experience activities such as:
- Art Workshops
- Goat Yoga
- Live Music Events
- Segway Tours
- Spa & Wellness
- Wine Festival
Attractions in the Cypress Hills Destination Area
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
- Grasslands National Park
- Fort Walsh National Historic Site
- T rex Discovery Centre
- Meditation Labyrinth
- Grotto Gardens Country Market
- Leader and the Great Sandhills
- Rafter R Brewing Craft Brewery
And did we mention the stars? With two observatories, two Dark Sky Preserves, a summer star party, and a bevy of Astronomy-focused events, you’ll truly feel like you have step back in time, when you Visit Cypress Hills.
To learn more about the Cypress Hills Destination Area contact us below or visit our website:
Contact Information: http://www.visitcypresshills.ca
Cypress Hills Destination Area
Box 428, Maple Creek, SK S0N 1N0
- 306 661 9987
Banner Photo by: Sbampato Photography
Buffalo Photo by: Andrea Carol
Above photo by: Parks Canada/Hogarth