September, with it’s cooler temperatures and the changing colours are one of our favourite times of the year. From Dry Island Buffalo Jump to Lacombe and in between, going for a drive and exploring adds colour to your day.
Red Deer’s own Waskasoo Park is a year-round park, but the colours in the fall are tremendous. If you are biking, you can start and Heritage Ranch and take advantage of the over 100 km of trails. If you don’t have that much time or want to take in all the different shades of yellow, green and red, you can access the park at one of the other park nodes; McKenzie Trails, Bower Ponds, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and many others.
Heritage Ranch, which is a node of Red Deer’s Waskasoo Park, has launched their Friends & Family Fall Colours Tour, where you take a one-hour private horse-drawn carriage ride through the trails and ends with a three-course dining experience.
The Great Trail, formerly the Trans Canada Trail, has a route from Red Deer to Lacombe that has some great fall colour opportunities for bike enthusiasts. If you are driving, there is a gravel road (Range RD 272) between Blackfalds and Lacombe that follows the bike trail for several kilometres and takes you into Lacombe. West of Lacombe on Hwy 12 is Kraay Family Farm, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The corn maze is tall, the colours are brilliant and events are happening; Pumpkin Days, Movie Night and Glow Nights.
Just east of Blackfalds on (Hwy 597 turning right on to Range RD 271A) is Burbank Campground; day use is permitted and is where the Blindman River and Red Deer River meet. Exploring the banks of both rivers will give you a real taste of fall.
Head south and east of Red Deer to the DNA Gardens near Elnora, or Trenville Park as the Red Deer River valley shows off it’s best colours in the fall. Just south on Range Rd 215, you can be amazed at the views from the top of the river valley at Dry Island Buffalo Jump. Currently, you can’t drive into the valley, you can hike down, but the views from the top are spectacular.
Head a bit more south to The Arboretum at Trochu; you can see oak trees and hundreds of other types of trees and plants. East of Trochu (20 km) in the Red Deer River Valley, you have the Tolman Bridge, with some beautiful badland autumn colours.
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