History

& Heritage

The Forest Interpretive Centre

The Forest Interpretive Centre is located just off of Highway 43 at the southeast edge of Whitecourt. The facility is home to the Visitor Information Centre, Interpretive Gallery, and Heritage Park.

  • Heritage Park: Located on the grounds of the Forest Interpretive Centre, the park is home to three visitor-accessible buildings. Visit the Visitor Information Centre to get a guided tour of the heritage buildings (only available during the summer months).
  • Forest Interpretive Centre Gallery: You are invited to stop and learn about the importance of the forest and forest industry in the development of our region.

Fort Assiniboine Museum

Take a step back in time at the Fort Assiniboine Museum! The museum is constructed in the classic Hudson's Bay style trading post and reflects the fur-trading times that helped to establish the area. Artifacts on display outline the progression and development of Fort Assiniboine, which is the second-oldest fort in Alberta. The famous location is mentioned in early historical records dating back to the 1700s. During the Hudson Bay era (1823-1877), the site was named Fort Assiniboine presumably after the Assiniboine Indians and was used as a supply and transportation point.

The museum is open to visitors during the summer months and is a great afternoon retreat to learn about some of the key historic movements that helped shape the Woodlands County area and Western Canada.

Hours of Operation:

  • June: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • July and August: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To contact the museum call 780-584-3737.

Geographical Centre of Alberta

Located on Highway 33 on the east side of Woodlands County, lies a unique point of interest - the Geographical Centre of Alberta. A short hike of 3 kilometres will take you from the information kiosk at the highway, through this natural area to the cairn marking the Centre of Alberta. This area is currently being updated in partnership with Alberta Sustainable Resources and Woodlands County. The geographic centre of Alberta marks the mid-point between the north and south boundary, and the east and west boundary of the province located at N 540 30.000 W 1150 00.000

Industry Tours

Ever wonder about how paper is made? Or how they transform a tree into something you build a house with? Schedule an industry tour through the Whitecourt and District Chamber of Commerce office by calling 780-778-5363 and get an insider's look into the operation of Millar Western Forest Products and Alberta Newsprint Company.

Klondyke Ferry

One of only seven ferries left in Alberta, the Klondyke Ferry crosses the Athabasca River. To access the ferry, travel northeast from Fort Assiniboine, or north-west from Vega on secondary Highway 661. The first ferry to cross here was built in 1931, and was operational in 1932. The ferry was constructed of fir planks that were then bathed in creosote. The first ferryman was James Fowler who operated the ferry from spring to fall. In the winter, an ice road would connect the two points.

Memorial Point

Memorial park was built to recognize and honour Whitecourt and Woodlands County residents who have lost their lives while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, police force, fire and ambulance services. The memorial features a stainless steel tree adorned with copper leaves, each representing an individual who died while serving our community and/or country. Memorial Point is located north of the Millar Road - Sakawatamau Drive intersection, near the top of the stairs that lead to Highway 43.

World's Largest Wagon Wheel & Pick

One of the best photo opportunities in Woodlands County is at the site of the World's Largest Wagon Wheel and Pick. Located in the hamlet of Fort Assiniboine, the world's largest wagon wheel stands 7 metres in height, while the pick reaches just over 6 metres. Not only does the site provide a great backdrop to mark your travels, but it is also a reflection of Fort Assiniboine's rich cultural history, as the hamlet was a major trade and supply point during the Hudson's Bay area and was also an important location during the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1800s.

The monument is located next to the Fort Assiniboine Museum in the heart of the hamlet, making it the ideal location for an insightful afternoon to discover some of the key historic movements that helped shape the Woodlands County region and Western Canada.