Fort Macleod is home to numerous antique shops, filled to the brim with historic and period pieces. Plus, most of the antique stores are located in heritage buildings whose architecture rivals the items inside.
True to their relics, most of the local shops don't have websites where you can peruse their wares, meaning you'll have to come explore Fort Macleod to find their shops, and try your luck at treasure hunting in one of the numerous establishments.
Stores include The Collective, The Java Shop, Samuel Roland Antiques and Collectibles, and Antiques & Whatever.
Main Street is probably best known for the The Empress Theatre.
Since 1912 the Empress Theatre has provided a broad spectrum of high quality arts and cultural events to the people of rural Southern Alberta.
You can spot the Empress in numerous film and television shows that have filmed on Main Street. Most recently, it sees the wrong end of a Proton Pack in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Speaking of ghosts, the Empress is said to be haunted. So if that interests you, come on by! If not, pretend you didn't read that.
Image courtesy of The Empress Theatre.
Stronghold Brewing Co. is a family owned and operated craft brewery and taproom.
Their tap list always includes a few classic and approachable styles, but doesn't shy away from fun and experimental beers, either.
Make sure to plan your visit to the taproom/patio, as it's only open Wednesday-Saturday. Peak through the windows any other day, and you'll see the brewery in action.
Minors are welcome as long as they're accompanied by their guardian.
Image courtesy of Stronghold Brewing Co.
Homestead Bakeshop is home to some of the best breads and sweet treats in Southern Alberta.
Committed to every subsection of their craft, Homestead creates everything from scratch, and local ingredients are the forefront of their decadent fares.
Open Monday - Saturday at 7am, Homestead is a great stop for a delectable breakfast pastry and cup of coffee.
Have time to sit down for breakfast? Although it only opened recently, Digbee's Diner is quickly becoming a Fort Macleod staple.
Open seven days a week from 7- 2pm, Digbee's offers classic breakfast and lunch specials in a cozy atmosphere.
Image courtesy of Homestead Bakeshop.
Fort Macleod is lucky to have some awesome restaurant options to choose from!
For a touch of comfort, pop into Homestead Bakeshop - their sourdough alone is worth the stop. Johnny’s Restaurant, China City (& Midnight Lounge), or Fort Macleod Pizza and their notable samosas offer some ethnic options.
Also, for those looking to accompany a meal with a side of history, Silver Grill Restaurant has been around since 1910!
Looking for fresh produce? Check out the Farmer's Market at Midnight Stadium, or the Market on Main - both taking place on Thursdays in the summer.
Macleod Living is also the new storefront for Horizon Herbs, a local herbalist. Horizon Herbs offers classes on a regular basis to help you get acquainted with local and non-native plants.
Image courtesy of Macleod Living.
Golf was first played in Fort Macleod in 1890, and this course was the first to be built between Winnipeg and the West Coast.
There is plenty of history that comes with the course, and because of that, nearly half of it is a designate historic area. But don't let that intimidate you - it's a walkable nine hole course with a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for all skill levels.
More information on the Golf Club can be found here.
The community pool was completely renovated and re-opened in the summer of 2021.
It features a diving board, rock wall, splash zone, and lanes. The full schedule for the pool can be found here.
Although it's hard to see in the picture above, the pool is also home to Fort Macleod's largest mural! One half of the mural depicts a deep sea scene, and the other shows a beautiful prairie sunset.
Fort Macleod is also home to a few, familiar franchise favourites!
You can pop into Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons from Highway 3 westbound, and A&W and Subway from Highway 3 eastbound.
Fort Macleod sits at the crossroads of a number of great road biking rides. North, south, east, west – all offer beautiful prairie vistas. Always a consideration in our area for biking is the wind. When she blows, it is from the southwest so keep that in mind when choosing your route. Mornings tend to be calm so getting out earlier in the day is usually a good call.
Here are some out and back rides. All distances listed are one way with the starting point at Fort Macleod Chiropractic located at 522 25th Street. Distances and some input on the rides are provided by Dr. Alan Poytress, our town’s most accomplished “Iron Man” who has hundreds of hours on these roads.
Pictures of routes coming soon!
To locals it is the Buffalo Jump, to the world it’s known as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Most of this ride is due west. Once you get off the main highway, traffic is generally light depending on the time of day (tourists to the site generally are not early risers so morning avoids that traffic; late Friday afternoons will be busier; there are a couple of gravel pits within the first few kilometers off Hwy. 2 so you might have a truck or two pass you). The road is smooth, good shoulder, with a great climb the last few kilometers before reaching the Interpretive Center. Be sure to ride right up to the Interpretive Center to take in the magnificent view of the prairies. Seeing the morning sunrise to the east and on a clear day the glowing Rockies to the south – it’s a visual feast! The return trip is often fueled by a little breeze at your back – smooth sailin’!
Route directions: west on 25th street which merges with Hwy 3 for a couple of kms, north on Hwy 2 across the river then your first left west on Hwy 785 to the Buffalo Jump.
Distance: to Buffalo Jump – 22 km
These routes take you north of Town across the Old Man River, then to Willow Creek. There are some short hills to get the heart pumping and again some great views. The return ride offers a panoramic view of the mountains, then before gliding into the river valley a great view of the Town of Fort Macleod.
Hwy 811 is not a primary highway, but during the week between 8-10am especially, there can be some moderate local traffic. There is not much of a shoulder but as the traffic is generally light it’s manageable. The road is good, but on the return trip north of Willow Creek, you will notice a few kilometers where the cracks in the road running from ditch to ditch will remind you that your seat is not soft. On the whole, a very nice ride.
Route directions: walk east on 25th street (a one-way), mount up then north on 6th avenue which crosses the bridge onto Hwy 811, north on Hwy 811.
Distances: to Willow Creek – 4km; to Hwy 519 – 17km
These rides take you south on Hwy 810, locally known as the Blue Trail. This ride makes very clear that the wind blows in our neck of the woods (where are the trees??) as you will see the landscape of windmills with the Rocky Mountains as backdrop. On a calm day, this is a beautiful ride, when windy, the ride home is a breeze! It features a couple of good longer hills for a nice work out. The road is smooth with a good shoulder almost to the Ardenville Community Hall. If you carry on to Glenwood, there is a 15 km section with no shoulder. This section is also hampered by heavy truck traffic due to windmill construction. Should be better in 2022. The shorter rides are a better option for now. If you want to undertake a bigger ride to Waterton, this would be the route to take to Glenwood, then Hill Spring, then Mountain View, then Waterton.
Route directions: west on 25th street onto Hwy 3 a few kilometers, then south on Hwy 810.
Distances: to top of Windmill Hill – 15 km; to Ardenville Community Hall – 25 km; to Glenwood – 45 km.
Let’s go east! This ride features a no hill country ride out to the community of Orton first settled in 1901. Imagine homesteading on the bald prairie! Although this road has no shoulder, the traffic is light, and the pavement smooth. Chances are when you pass Bouvry Exports you’ll see some bison, and lots of horses. Another nice little ride.
Route directions: make your way south a couple of blocks to 23rd street (Hwy 3 east), then stay on Hwy 3 east for a few kilometers, after the downslope take the next right just before the processing plant and you are on the Orton Road. Happy trails!
Distance: to Orton – 11km
If you just want to log some distance, then this might be the ride to take. Monarch is east of town just off Hwy 3. Most of the ride in on the double lane highway, wide shoulders, good road, rumble strips, but it is busy. Towards the end of the ride, you turn off on Hwy 3A and enjoy a few traffic free kilometers down then up from the river valley to Monarch. Take a breather, then make the return trip.
Route directions: make your way south a couple blocks to 23rd street (Hwy 3 east), then stay on Hwy 3 for most of the ride until you reach the turn off for Hwy 3A just before you descend into the river valley to cross the Old Man. Turn left (north) on 3A then a few more kms to Monarch.
Distance: 22 km
On a clear day, this ride gives you a great view of the mountains to the southwest as you make your way through the prairie farmland. The road features new paving, wide shoulders, rumble strips, with moderate traffic. On a breezy day you’ll have to deal with some westerly crosswinds. The Belly River crossing is just north of Stand Off. If you want to go further, the road conditions remain the same. This is another great ride.
Route directions: make your way south a couple of blocks to 23rd street (Hwy 3 east), then follow Hwy 3 east out of town. Just past the railroad tracks, take a right on Hwy 2 south headed to Stand Off and Cardston.
Distance: to Belly River – 30km
Want to head north? Then this is your ride. The ride travels Hwy 2 north, a two-lane major highway with good road and wide shoulders, with rumble strips. If you are feeling brave and want to do a loop back to Fort Macleod rather than reverse, at Granum you can go east on Hwy 519 (busy traffic, 2-lanes, very narrow shoulders, 8km) then south on Hwy 811. The stretch on Hwy 519 can be scary with steady truck and vehicle traffic. Once on 811, the ride is very enjoyable with light traffic (but still little shoulder) and passage through two river bottoms.
Route directions: west on 25th street which becomes Hwy 3, then north on Hwy 2 (if you do the Granum loop, then east on Hwy 519, then south on Hwy 811 back to Fort Macleod, west on 25th street to start.
Distances: to Granum – 25.4 km; Granum loop – 45 km
This ride takes you due west on Hwy 3. Going west gives you a grand view of the mountains which always stirs the soul. This is a two-laned highway, wide shoulders with some rumble strips, but has heavy traffic. Not the number 1 choice for a ride despite the beautiful view.
Route directions: west on 25th street onto Hwy 3 to Brocket.
Distance: 30 km
So, those are some great road bike rides out of Fort Macleod – enjoy! If you want to pull out your off-road bike for a spin, go north on 6th avenue, cross over the McKenzie Bridge and you will find a web of biking trails through the River Valley Wilderness Park.
Keep your eye open for our resident moose!