Fun at the Fort
The Friends of Fort Steele were unsure if the park would open this season, but on July 1st the gates opened! You will not find actors roaming the streets this year, nor will you be able to enter most buildings, but the site still has a lot to offer despite the COVID-19 protocols. Here are five things to take in at Fort Steele this season.
1. Train Ride
The train is up and running daily with social distancing measures in place. Enjoy a ride back in time with the 1077 Steam Engine and learn about rail travel. The train stops at a lookout halfway through your journey which provides a wonderful view of the valley including the Kimberly Ski Hill, Hoodoos, and Fort Steele. Don’t have time to stop and see the entire park? Not a problem! The train is not in the park gates, so you can come out just for a train ride if you would like. The train runs Wednesday at 1pm and 2pm and Thursday-Sunday at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm. (Note: It will be down for maintenance August 5th and 6th).
2. Wander the Past
At Fort Steele you can step back into the 1890s frontier life. Take in Victorian architecture, gorgeous views and gardens, and learn more about how this town made it from boom to bust. We are dog friendly, but kindly ask you to keep your four-legged friend on a leash and pick up after them. There is a lot of ground to cover and you will be treading on boardwalks, dirt roads, and grass, so wear comfortable footwear. While many displays are currently closed you can find many informational plaques dotted around town which have been updated in the last couple of years by our curator. Our window displays are ready and waiting for you to gaze upon artifacts, and our animals are always ready to entertain you.
3. Wagon Ride
See the town in style on our wagon pulled by two strong Clydesdales. Let your driver be your guide as they take you around on a 15-20 minute journey. This is a wonderful way to see the lay of the land and experience what it is like to travel by two horsepower rather than one hundred eighty horsepower! Wagon rides are operating slightly differently this year. Each ride is limited to one family to keep up with the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the province. Climb aboard and let the clip-clop of hooves take you back in time.
4. Sweet Treats
Mrs. Underhill’s bakery is officially in operation for the season. Come get yourself a cinnamon bun, cookie, square and more! The bakery also has a few savoury options including sausage rolls and smokey rollups. There is seating in front and beside the bakery to enjoy your treats and have a rest in the shade. Come and see the recreation of Mrs. Underhill’s bakery and the large brick oven used to make our beloved sourdough loaves. Head next door to see the original bakery which has started returning to the land and read up on the history of the building.
View this post on Instagram
5. Enjoy a Picnic
Yogi will not be out for your picnic basket here at Fort Steele, but you may see a cat or two. We have set up picnic tables in many places around the site including the Government building, the field, and the schoolyard. If you prefer to set up your blanket for a more traditional picnic we suggest looking at the green spaces in the schoolyard, Lambi yard, and of course the field to lounge in some shade. As the bakery has limited lunch options you may want to bring your own picnic food with you - but make sure to leave room for a cinnamon bun!
Things at Fort Steele look different this year just like the rest of the world. We are going on a day to day basis, and suggest checking our website for any updates before your visit. You can also visit us on Instagram and Facebook too keep up-to-date with the happenings at the Fort. Since we are unable to operate in our usual capacity our social media team has been working on bringing Fort Steele to your home with our new Youtube channel. Like, Comment, and subscribe to see trades demonstrations, gossip stories, hair tutorials, baking demonstrations and more!
Check out some of their recent Youtube videos!