Cypress County: A Hidden Gem in Alberta
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Alberta, Cypress County is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant community, Cypress County is the perfect destination for travelers looking for an authentic Alberta experience.
Cypress County is home to a variety of attractions that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Here are just a few of the must-see sights in the area:
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park: This park spans the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan and is home to some of the highest points in Canada between the Rockies and Labrador. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and more in this beautiful natural setting.
- Historic Reesor Ranch: This working ranch has been in operation since 1904 and offers visitors a chance to experience life on the prairies. Guests can take a trail ride, enjoy a home-cooked meal, or stay overnight in one of the ranch's cozy cabins.
- Medicine Hat Speedway: Racing fans won't want to miss the action at the Medicine Hat Speedway. This 1/3-mile oval track hosts races throughout the summer months and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
- Red Rock Coulee Natural Area: This unique geological formation is home to a collection of large, red boulders that are unlike anything else in the area. Visitors can explore the area on foot and take in the stunning views of the surrounding prairie landscape.
Parks and Lakes
Cypress County is home to a number of parks and lakes that offer visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Here are a few of the top spots:
- Elkwater Lake: Located in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Elkwater Lake is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake is surrounded by beautiful forests and is a great place to spot wildlife.
- Sandy Point Park: This park is located on the shores of the South Saskatchewan River and offers visitors a chance to swim, fish, and picnic. The park also has a playground and a boat launch.
- Police Point Park: This park is located in Medicine Hat and is a popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and beavers.
- Cypress Hills Provincial Park: This park is located on the Alberta side of the Cypress Hills and offers visitors a chance to explore the area's unique flora and fauna. The park has a variety of hiking trails, as well as camping and picnic facilities.
Festivals and Events
Cypress County is home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Here are a few of the top picks:
- Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede: This annual event takes place in late July and features rodeo events, live music, and a midway.
- Cypress Hills Dark Sky Festival: This festival celebrates the area's status as a Dark Sky Preserve and features stargazing events, workshops, and presentations.
- Medicine Hat JazzFest: This annual festival takes place in late June and features a variety of jazz performances in venues throughout the city.
- Cypress County Fair and Rodeo: This annual event takes place in August and features a rodeo, agricultural exhibits, and a midway.
Cypress County was established in 1885 and was named after the Cypress Hills, which are located in the area. The county was incorporated in 1995 and is currently home to over 7,000 residents.
The area has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The Blackfoot people were the first inhabitants of the area, and their presence can still be felt today in the form of archaeological sites and traditional cultural practices.
In the late 1800s, European settlers began to arrive in the area, drawn by the promise of fertile land and abundant resources. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883 helped to spur growth and development in the area, and by the turn of the century, Cypress County was a thriving agricultural community.
Today, Cypress County is a vibrant and diverse community that celebrates its rich history while looking towards the future.
Whether you're looking to explore the great outdoors, learn about Alberta's history, or simply relax and enjoy the local culture, Cypress County has something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty, friendly locals, and vibrant community, Cypress County is a destination that should not be missed.
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/south/cypress-hills-pp/
- Historic Reesor Ranch. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://reesorranch.com/
- Medicine Hat Speedway. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://mhara.ca/
- Red Rock Coulee Natural Area. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/south/red-rock-coulee-natural-area/
- Elkwater Lake. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/south/cypress-hills-pp/information-facilities/camping/elkwater-lake-campground/
- Sandy Point Park. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cypress.ab.ca/parks-recreation/sandy-point-park
- Police Point Park. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cypress.ab.ca/parks-recreation/police-point-park
- Cypress Hills Provincial Park. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/south/cypress-hills-pp/