Length: 8 – 10 Hours
Take An Automotive Adventure through the Mighty Peace
Take a scenic drive down Shaftesbury Trail in the Town of Peace River. Shaftesbury Trail stretches parallel to the Mighty Peace River for about 26 km, Shaftesbury Trail is one of the most beautiful drives in the Mighty Peace. As one of the routes used by First Nations and Metis fur traders en route to the Klondike gold fields, it also boasts an important history. The trail is fully paved and offers several stops for sight seeing and to learn the history of the Mighty Peace, particularly about the famed explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie.
Getting There: From Grimshaw: go south on Highway 2, then take secondary Highway 684 down into the valley. From Peace River: turn onto Highway 684, which can be accessed on the west side of the Peace River bridge.
It was 1793 when Sir Alexander Mackenzie, famed North American explorer, overwintered at Fort Fork before starting his transcontinental journey to the Pacific. The Mackenzie Cairn, built in 1929, honours both the Fort Fork trading post and the place where Mackenzie’s important journey began. This National Historic Site also provides a wonderful view of the Peace River, and an information kiosk offers detailed maps, drawings of the fort and early photos. Historic tours are available during the summer months.
St. Augustine Mission Church
About 13 km southwest of the Town of Peace River, the St. Augustine Mission Church sits in a tranquil space in the valley. A Provincial Historic Site, St. Augustine Mission Church is the remains of the St. Augustine Mission, established in 1888.
A historical site on the banks of the Peace River. Learn more about fur trade history with new interpretive signs, or visit the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre for a more in-depth history.
Strong Creek Park
This is a great stop if you would like to explore the riverbanks. Be extremely careful not too get to close to the water or go on the ice as the frozen river is very unpredictable. There are hiking trails that are great for a quick snowshoe.
Take Brick’s Hill to take in the beauty of the valley floor. Named after original families owning river lots in the area, Brick’s Hill boasts an abundant landscape of agriculture and gardens. The hills are layered with history and evidence of the Cree and Beaver First Nations. Turn around at the top of Brick’s Hill and make your way to the Shaftesbury Ferry and cross the only ice bridge in the Mighty Peace!
The Peace River Ice Bridge
Cross the rugged Peace River at the Shaftesbury Ferry via ice bridge. The Mackenzie, Slave, Peace River system is the longest river system in Canada and second only in size to the Mississippi in North America.
The Largest Bee In The World
Once you have cross the Peace River make your way to a little French Canadian hamlet called Falher where you can experience the largest roadside bee in the world. The Mighty Peace is known for their delicious honey and is home to many bee farms. Make sure you bring home a tub of the Mighty Peace’s thought after honey. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife throughout the drive. It is not a rare to see a deer, moose, owl, rabbit, fox, wolve, lynx or even a wolverine.
After make your way to the Village of Nampa. Where you can stop at Farmer’s Restaurant for lunch. Farmers Restaurant is a unique dinning experience and a must try while in the Mighty Peace. Farmers is a modern licensed cafe with an eclectic, refinished twist — serving homemade fare and speciality coffee in a clean and bright atmosphere rooted and retrofitted with interesting pieces of local history. Make sure you look around and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The Farmer’s menu features an all-day breakfast, delicious one of a kind burgers, specialty poutines, sandwiches, soups, odds & ends and farm shares. There is a little bit for everyone on this menu with gluten wise options and vegetarian options as well. Don’t forget to indulge in a delicious old fashioned milkshake or a specialty coffee. Farmers has a liquor license and there is always the option to spice up your bevy.
Nampa Historic Museum
After lunch stop by the Nampa Historic Museum that is located beside Farmer’s Restaurant. Explore the legendary Mighty Peace, from the fur trade to modern times, through the exhibits at their museum. Discover Nampa and Northern Sunrise County’s historic multicultural roots by following the steps of those who ventured to Canada’s northern-most homesteading area, across the Grouard Trail and onto the railways that took people from all over the world through muskeg to the Mighty Peace Country. Learn about local industries, about farming, about traditional ways as we guide you through the indoor and outdoor exhibits and buildings. With displays on two floors open year round.
Hours Of Operation: Monday to Friday , 10:00am to 5:00pm
Peace River Museum, Archives & Mackenzie Centre
After the Nampa Historic Museum make your way to the Peace River Museum, Archives, Mackenzie Centre. The museum cares for many objects, photographs and archival records that celebrate Peace River’s stories and history. The museum is a fun and a entertaining place of learning through objects in the museum’s collection as an entry-point to inquiry, discussion and exploration about the region. The archives offers an extensive archives and library for family and regional history research. The museum showcases temporary galleries throughout the year that enables a deeper look into many of the region’s more interesting and thought-provoking stories, individuals and objects. The museum has a wonderful gift shop full of hand-crafted gifts to choose from. You will find 12 Foot Davis magnets by a local glassworks artist, art cards by local photographers, fiber arts, jewelry, history books by local authors and much more!
Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday, 10:00am -5:00pm
NAR Station Peace River Visitor Information Centre
After the Peace River Museum, Archives & Mackenzie Centre head over to the NAR Station Peace River Visitor Information Centre. The historic Peace River NAR Station is the last of its kind in northern Alberta.The NAR Station was built in 1916, a Class C Station, it is the last of its kind in Northern Alberta. The station was restored in 1988, and declared a Provincial Historic Resource Site on April 29, 1988.
Lookouts & StatuesHalf Day Sagitawa Lookout The Sagitawa Lookout is located just south of the Town of Peace River on Hwy 744 in Northern Sunrise County. Sagitawa is a Cree word meaning “Where the rivers meet”. The Lookout has a spectacular view of the Town of Peace River and the confluence of the Peace, Smoky and Heart… View Article
Bring Your Toys And Come PlayLength: 3 Days Day One Hit The Slopes Hit up Misery Mountain Ski Area with the family for the day. The hill has the most breathtaking 360-degree view of the Peace River Valley at the top. Misery Mountain Ski Area offers downhill skiing and boarding on 26 slopes. Their hill boasts a quad chair lift… View Article
Heritage BuffsLength: 8 – 10 Hours Take An Automotive Adventure through the Mighty Peace Shaftesbury Trail Take a scenic drive down Shaftesbury Trail in the Town of Peace River. Shaftesbury Trail stretches parallel to the Mighty Peace River for about 26 km, Shaftesbury Trail is one of the most beautiful drives in the Mighty Peace. As… View Article