Athabasca may not be as popular as other cities in Canada, but it is worth a visit. It is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
The city is located along the banks of the mighty Athabasca River. It is steeped in history since the fur trade era. The Town of Athabasca offers natural beauty and a welcoming feel from the community.
History and Heritage
The Athabasca region enjoys much depth and richness in history and heritage. The region was first settled as the Hudson’s Bay Company’s “headquarters of northern transportation” and “gateway to the north”. This brought much economic growth to the community of Athabasca Landing. It is now known as Athabasca.
Similarly, the historic Athabasca Landing Trail played a significant role in the region’s expansion. In the late 1800s, the development of agriculture as an economic driver gave a boost to the area. And, the Government of Canada played a role in the establishment of Amber Valley. This is a community of black refugees from the United States.
This beautiful northern lake is perfect for wildlife watching from a canoe, or kayak. The Crow Lake Provincial Park is adjacent to Crow Lake Ecological Reserve. Steep valley sides are forested with mixed stands of white spruce and aspen with some balsam fir. Some of the trees here are more than 150 years old. You may discover bald eagle nests along the lake’s shores.
The marshy area around Calling Lake shelters nesting waterfowl. There have also been occasional sightings of white pelicans and great blue herons. Activities that you may enjoy here include birding, fishing, water skiing, and camping. Plus, you can try your hand at power boating, wind surfing, sailing, and more!
The Athabasca Falls have a drop of 84 feet and are 60 feet wide. These falls are some of the most impressive in Jasper National Park. While you can raft on the Athabasca River you can’t get close to the falls in the boat. This is for safety reasons. But you can see them from multiple viewing platforms nearby.
The falls themselves aren’t the highest in the world. But the sheer force and amount of water churning over the edge is pretty unbelievable! And, if you visit on a day where it’s even just a little windy, you will have even more fun.
Athabasca was originally a local agricultural service centre. Today it is the home of Athabasca University. And, the world’s largest and technologically most sophisticated bleached kraft pulp mill is also located nearby.