Welcome to SUNDRE!

June 21, 2019 11:43 am Published by 1 Comment


You must remember from my last post that I described the town of Sundre as a “small town with a lot of character and places to explore”. Well, for this post I’m going to tell you about the exciting recreation opportunities this spicy little town has to offer.

I could go on and on for days about what adventures you could find down here; for example: softball, trails, biking, the local museum, golfing, river rafting, viewing feral horses, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, visiting Ya Ha Tinda, the rodeos, ATV’ing and random camping! But for today I’m going to talk about some adventures that I’ve personally experienced here so far. Seriously, the list goes oooonnn!

I joined the mixed softball beer league this year – as well as played a little last year. The all-star team that I’m fortunate enough to play with are *drumroll*…. the Timber Wookiees! I was asked to play with them on my very first day of work, so it made for a very warm and toasty welcome to the town. The team consists of local people from Sundre and some of my coworkers and together it makes for a super fun and easy-going team. We usually meet up on Thursdays for ball games and there’s a few weekend tournaments sprinkled in throughout the summer. One of our team members, Fraser, had a brilliant idea to create player cards with stats on the back and I recently found out that I have the lowest batting average on the team! I will upload photos of the player cards if they’re done by the end of the season, but this gives me some room for improvement and something for my parents to hang on the fridge 😊.

Figure 2. Spur-of-the-moment team photo! Look out for the muscles.

Figure 3. Action shot of Tim swinging! We had the TV playing the winning Raptors game in the dugout.

One of the first things I noticed moving down to Sundre was that everyone owned a bike. Not talking Harleys, but trail and mountain bikes. I had the sudden urge to purchase one and explore the trail system that runs throughout Sundre, and even down to the river. I noticed that a gentleman was selling refurbished bikes on his front lawn and I bought a small bike off him for a whopping 60 bones. Here is that glorious machine.

Figure 4. My personal bike that I did not know I was too big for by the river that runs through Sundre.

Well, I started bragging about my recent bike purchase at work and I was invited to join the local Bike Club through a few coworkers. They ride the trails throughout Sundre for a few hours on Tuesday evenings, and the age of bikers ranges from around 8 years old to 65+! This was awesome as I was able to go at my own pace and there was a variation of trails that ranged from easy to hard.

Figure 5. Photo of the Bike Club, there was about 13 people on this ride.

I quickly found out that my $60 bike from 1996 was just not enough to keep up on the trails. My bike was the smallest of the whole gang (including the 8-year old’s bike) and I was working very hard to keep up with the group. One of the gentlemen that has been a part of the club for many years then graciously offered me his old mountain bike to borrow for the rest of the ride which helped so much! It was actually appropriate for my size and from this decade!

Figure 6. Quick pit-stop on the trail to fix some minor bike issues and apply bug spray!

Figure 7. Stopped for the view. In front is the bike that the gentleman let me borrow.

Figure 8. The view of the river that runs through Sundre.

The Bike Club was super welcoming, and we had a blast on such a beautiful evening. I’ll most definitely be going again.

I have not yet had a chance to explore the water adventures such as rafting or kayaking, golfing or the rodeos. I’m hoping to experience at least one of those this summer!

A place I mentioned earlier was Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, located about 85km west of Sundre and located just outside of our FMA. This ranch offers activities such as horseback riding, hiking, camping and is home to a lot of wildlife. I had the opportunity last summer to go exploring there with my parents who were visiting Sundre for the weekend. I took them on a quick hike (20 minutes) which took us to some gorgeous waterfalls.

Figure 9. Waterfalls at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch.

Figure 10. My parents posing pretty in front of the falls.

There are 2 other waterfalls located in this area that are a farther hike than this that I really want to see. This is yet ANOTHER one of my summer exploring plans!

The final adventure that I wanted to mention was the Sundre and District Museum. I know, I know, we’ve all been to museums and seen the antiques, but I can guarantee this museum has the potential to blow your mind! I visited the museum last February with my boyfriend while I was visiting Sundre before work begun. It was a gold mine that we stumbled into.

This museum has an ENTIRE ROOM dedicated to Chester Mjolsness, a Didsbury resident who began trophy hunting after his retirement from the Spray Lakes Sawmill. This man toured everywhere from New Zealand, to Russia, to South Africa! He hunted some incredible wildlife and donated them to the museum for public viewing, and the museum is keeping his legacy well alive.

This came as such a surprise for us as we weren’t expecting such an extravagant display in small town Sundre. Not to mention there was a tour guide who discussed each piece, where it was from and what it was. I don’t want to spoil it, but there was even a real polar bear and a giraffe! I recommend viewing this museum to anyone who plans on staying in or even passing through Sundre!

Well folks, I always try to keep it short but with this many cool adventures to talk about its hard! I hope you enjoyed learning about the different places to explore around the community, I’ll keep you posted with any new adventures I get up to! Feel free to follow my personal Instagram account: gabby_higs for some in-the-moment photos.

In summary, come visit Sundre! It’s a small town with a lot of character and places to explore!


Gabby 😊

1 Comment

  • Avatar Jeff Schneider says:

    Hey Gabby!
    Just tripped across your blog tonight. I am the stacker operator for A crew at the Sundre Forest Products sawmill. Don’t know if you and I have ever crossed paths, but we have been close. As far as the Timber Wookies, I am Rachel and Nathans’ father and father-in-law respectively. My wife and I did show up for the Justin Dezall Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament in Caroline to watch a couple of games (Rachel had invited her twin sister Melissa to fill a roster position and I make it a policy of when two or more of my children are in one place at the same time, I want to be there too!), so if you were there we may have been close. Otherwise I live on along the River Reserve in the north end of town. Our backyard overlooks at least one of the bike paths and have seen a few bikes traversing down there, so it’s possible to have maybe seen you there too. After 20 years of living in Sundre and working at the mill, it is fun to listen to someone exploring Sundre and surroundings. I guess I have learned to maybe take it too much for granted. You have a very readable writing style and I was impressed by your short story in the July 22nd blog. Keep up the good work out west and keep writing about it. I’ll be reading!

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