Trail History

parkland, linking prairie, wetlands, aspen woodlots and pine forests. It connects the multi-cultural communities of the region and is an alliance of municipal, recreation and service organizations committed to preserving this historic transportation corridor for the benefit of today's citizens and generations yet to come. Our goal is to develop a trail for people to discover their environment in a variety ofways while encouraging the protection of natural and cultural heritage.

In September 1999, many interested citizens from Smoky Lake to Heinsburg joined together to form the Riverland Recreational Trail Society to build and operate a trail from Fort Saskatchewan to the Saskatchewan border. With support from the Alberta TrailNet Society, they have been successful in achieving much of this goal.

In the mid 1800s, Red River Carts traveled parts of Alberta's Iron Horse Trail. Wheel wright Roy Scott of Heinsburg maintains the ancient craft.

Accomplishments include:

  • Two hundred fifty-nine kilometers of the Bonnyville-Coronado rail line has been set aside in public ownership. This line runs directly through the small towns of this area, unlike the highways that now bypass these communities. Also, this main trail connects with many local trails.
  • Ten municipalities have formed a Part Nine company called Northeast Muni-Corr to own and administer this corridor.
  • This trail project has strengthened communication and has established common goals between communities: bringing together our past & present to build a stronger future. 
  • These communities invite urban Albertans to the Northeast region to experience first hand their version of rural life.
  • Trail stewardship & environmental preservation are key values.
  • Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail is an economical way to promote healthy lifestyles: equestrian, hiking, cycling and ATV safety programs.
  • This recreational trail is building links of all kinds:
    • between the communities of Northeastern Alberta
    • between urban and rural Alberta
    • between generations
    • between our past and the future
    • between community organizations


1993 – Roy Scott’s vision for a trail


Grand opening of the trail June 3, 2003.


Visit Mural Park for a view of 
Elk Point History from 1885 onward.


The Heinsburg Water Tower is the best 
example in Alberta of a wooden water tower.


Visit Metis Crossing on the Victoria Trail
south of Smoky Lake


Where the trail meets the North Saskatchewan River.
Many people consider Alberta's Iron Horse Trail to be on the original Trans Canada Trail - used since the 1700s for exploration and fur trade.


View of the North Saskatchewan River from Tomison Point at Fort George Buckingham House Historic Site


Stop at Anshaw rest stop on Moose Lake, west of Bonnyville. You will find the concrete foundation of water tower from the steam train era.


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