Highway 28 – Culture, Lakes & Trails
Heading north from Edmonton, past the Canadian Forces Base at Namao, and crossing the Sturgeon River explored by David Thompson in the early 1800s, enter the Kalyna Country interpretive area by the Town of Bon Accord. Take a side trip down Lily Lake Road for some berry picking or even further to experience the charm of the Lily Lake Village Resort. Returning to Hwy 28 continue to the picturesque Town of Gibbons at the junction of Hwy 28A. Play a round of golf at “The Goose” before proceeding on to Redwater. Be sure to stop at the marker commemorating the Kimura Lake Japanese Settlement before heading into town to pick up supplies, see the world’s largest oil derrick, or visit the excellent local museum.
The next stop on your trip should be the village of Radway, where the Krause Grain Elevator is currently being restored. Backtrack a little and head north on Hwy 63 and then west on Hwy 18 to Thorhild, the Sunflower Village, enjoy their 40th Anniversary Rodeo on the Canada Day long weekend. Further north on Hwy 63 you will find the home of the soon to be restored Newbrook Observatory and enjoy the recreation at nearby Long Lake Provincial Park. Head back to Hwy 28 and you will come to Waskatenau, a great place to eat and gas up before cresting the bend on the highway that offers an inspiring panorama of the Smoky Lake townsite, the Pumpkin Capital of Alberta. See if you can count the five onion-domed churches within view, then slip into town to check out the specialty shops, art gallery at the railway station and museum by the Agricultural Complex.
South of Smoky Lake don’t miss the Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site, home of the oldest building still on its original site in Alberta. Heading west again on Hwy 28, take a slight detour north to see Bellis, then make sure you do the Main Street and Monumental Mushrooms in Vilna. After that, follow Hwy 28 south of Ashmont to St. Paul to see the UFO Landing Pad. Head east to Hwy 41 and south to Elk Point to see larger than life explorer, Peter Fidler. You’ll enjoy the drive down scenic Sec. Hwy 646 – visit Fort George and Buckingham House Interpretive Centre, a former Fur Trading Post. Take a tour of the Windsor Salt Plant at Lindbergh and enjoy the scenic surroundings of historic Heinsburg and area.