Head south from Calgary, through the rangelands of Cowboy Country to where the plains meet the foothills, and you’ll find a place steeped in First Nations history. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that tells the story of the hunting practice of the native people of the North American plains – a technique used for the best part of 6000 years. Local indigenous people had such a great understanding of the region’s topography and bison behaviour that they were able to hunt bison by stampeding them over a cliff, before carving up their carcasses ready to be butchered.
Once you’ve taken in all that the UNESCO site has to offer, there’s still plenty more to see in this neck of the woods. The historic town of Fort Macleod, founded as a Northwest Mounted Police barracks in 1892, is a quaint place to get a feel for the old west. While back in Calgary you can explore Canada’s largest living history museum, Heritage Park, which escorts you from the present day back into the 19th and 20th centuries. Inside there’s Gasoline Alley Museum, where a cornucopia of vintage vehicles are on show; the Conklin Lakeview Amusements Antique Midway, with its old-fashioned Ferris wheels and carousels; and a rather kitsch historical village where you can chat to costumed characters.
Rail Plus offers train travel in Canada onboard a range of rail networks.
Rail Plus offers a full-day tour of southern Alberta from US$122.
The tour departs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8.30am and lasts for nine hours. Departures available from June 1 to September 30, 2017.
This tip was provided by Rail Plus, but we’re sharing it with you because we think it’s great.