What you’ll find on a trip down the Iron Horse Trail

What you’ll find on a trip down the Iron Horse Trail

Feb. 06, 2020

The world is home to miles and miles of stunning trails. It doesn’t matter if you’re a walker, biker, horseback rider, ATVer or runner, there is a trail for you. Alberta’s Lakeland is home to a 300 km section of The Great Trail in Canada called the “Iron Horse Trail.” The Iron Horse Trail is an amazing piece of Canadian History with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery. We welcome all kinds of trail riders and are open for adventure year-round. So what might you find on a trip down the trail? 


The Iron Horse Trail is home to hundreds of species of wildlife. You’ll find birds, bears, deer, foxes, snakes, coyotes and more. You’ll probably even come across some cows and horses when you pass by the farms surrounding the trail. Wildlife is always a great way to add excitement to any trip, but we ask that you always be mindful of the animals on the trail. You’re exploring their home and their territory. 

Trestle Bridges

The Iron Horse Trail was once a vital role in Canada’s railways. Along the trail, you’ll find 18 still-standing wooden trestle bridges. Some are just tiny little passes over a small stream and others are quite large. The Beaver River Trestle is the largest along the trail, standing at 60 metres above the valley floor and 450 meters long. The entrance to the Beaver River Trestle is in Cold Lake, Alberta.  

Historic buildings

As we mentioned before, the Iron Horse played a huge role in the fur trades and was an important piece of the Canadian railway. When you head out on the trail, you’ll eventually find old train stations in Smoky Lake and Heinsberg, an old water tower, trains still parked on pieces of track, grain silos, an old (but still functioning) pool hall, barns and more. There is so much history to see and explore on a trip down the Iron Horse Trail. 

“Big Things” 

You’ll have to veer off the trail and into the communities to see the “big things” but they are well worth the detour. Alberta is known for many of its (sometimes wacky) statues or sculptures. Along the trail, you’ll find “Peter Fiddler” in Elk Point, giant mushrooms in Vilna, huge pumpkins in Smoky Lake, the world’s “largest perogy” in Glendon and more! Check out the other “big things” here. 


With 300kms of open trail, there is never a dull moment when you head out for a ride. You’ll find a warm welcome and delicious local food from the communities along the trail, great places to stay, Geocaches, other friendly trail riders and small pieces of history the whole way along. Whether you are an Alberta’s Lakeland Local who’s never explored the trail, or an out of town visitor, you’ll experience nothing but adventure, fun and lasting memories. 

Be sure to plan your trip ahead of time and make sure you are following all the trail bylaws to ensure a smooth trip down the Iron Horse Trail in the heart of the Lakeland. 

Categories : Trail

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