Whitecourt is a town of 10,200 people (2016) in North Central Alberta. Its main industries are forestry, oil & gas, and tourism. Its many trails are available for a wide range of recreational uses.

Understand

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History

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The original inhabitants, the Woodland Cree Nation, call this area Sagitawah – “the place where the rivers meet.” The first Hudson's Bay Company trading post was established in 1897, and the first permanent resident settled in 1905. In 1910, with the expansion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, immigrants were encouraged settle in the inhabited area between Edmonton and the Peace River Country. The name "Whitecourt" was chosen in 1910 by Walter White, the postmaster of the young community.

Geography

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Whitecourt is located at the confluence of the McLeod and Athabasca Rivers and has three identifiable geographic components:

  • Valley: includes the town centre, the Athabasca Flats residential area, sawmill, and pulp mill
  • Hilltop: includes the Hilltop and Southlands Estates residential areas, the Hilltop industrial area, and a 2.5-km highway commercial strip along Highway 43
  • West Whitecourt: between the McLeod and Athabasca Rivers, includes an industrial area and a 1.0-km highway commercial strip along Highway 43.

Get in

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By car

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  • Whitecourt is along Highway 43 (CANAMEX Corridor) and is the main route between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, the Alaska Highway (which travels to the Yukon and Alaska), as well as the Mackenzie Highway (with connects to the Northwest Territories).
  • Highway 32 connects travels south to Highway 16 east of Edson and north to Swan Hills.

By plane

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By bus

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Get around

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  • Whitecourt Transit. Bus service provided M-F 6:30AM-8:45PM, Sa 9AM-4:45PM. $3 cash fare, children 6 and under free.
 
Whitecourt's Forest Interpretive Centre
  • Forest Interpretive Centre & Visitor Centre, 3002 33 Street, +1 780-778-3433. Exhibits explore and explains the role of the forest; also a meteorite display and outdoor heritage buildings. Amenities include: a Visitor Information Centre, public washrooms, free WiFi, meeting rooms, sani-dump station, outdoor picnic area, playground and walking trails.
  • Industry Tours (through the Whitecourt and District Chamber of Commerce), +1 780-778-5363. Get an insider's look into the operation of Millar Western Forest Products and Alberta Newsprint Company.
  • 1 Whitecourt crater (10 km (6.2 mi) southeast on nearby Whitecourt Mountain). The crater is approximately 36 m (118 ft) in diameter and 9 m (30 ft) deep. Its age is estimated to be between 1,080 and 1,130 years since the buried fragments of the impacting meteorite are all found above a layer of carbon from a forest fire dating around 1,100 years ago. More than 3,000 pieces of the impacting meteorite have been found (as of 2012). The pieces are shrapnel, mostly between a few grams and 500 grams in mass, with sharp edges and mechanically deformed from the impact, but showing no sign of impact melt. About one-half dozen individual meteorites have also been found with the largest weighing 31 kilograms. The iron meteorite fragments were ejected eastward from the crater. Collecting fragments is prohibited and subject to a $50,000 fine or one year in jail.    

There are over 50 kilometres of walking trails throughout Whitecourt that will take you from the hilltop area to the valley. Trail maps are available online or at the Town Office, Allan & Jean Millar Centre, and Forest Interpretive Centre. Whitecourt and the surrounding area have hundreds of kilometres of designated trails for off-highway vehicle use (snowmobiles, dirt bikes and ATVs).

  • Snowmobiling, toll-free: +1-800-313-7383, . With a large network of groomed trails and an annual snowfall of 174 cm (68.5 in), Whitecourt is known as the Snowmobile Capital of Alberta.
  • Cross-country skiing, toll-free: +1-800-313-7383. Whitecourt has 4.5 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing on the Whitecourt Golf & Country Club course. Carson Pegasus Provincial Park, located 10 km north on Hwy 32 north, is also a well known and used trail system.
  • Hunting, toll-free: +1-800-313-7383. Whitecourt and Woodlands County boasts a variety of big game trophy hunting for elk, moose, mule deer and whitetail deer. They also have excellent opportunities to hunt for bear, wolves, and cougars. There is also a variety of game bird species, including geese and ducks.
  • 1 Eagle River Casino (8 km northwest of Whitecourt at the Hwy 43/32N jct.), +1-780-779-2727. Located on the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, the Casino features 250 slot machines, 12 table games, 6 poker tables, and Timbers Bar & Grill.
  • 2 Hard Luck Canyon, Range Road 125, Woodlands County (7 km south on West Mountain Road, 14 km west and south on Range Road 125). Waterfall with hiking trails within a limestone canyon.
  • 3 Whitecourt River Slides (part of the Whitecourt Rotary Park) (Located at the north end of 51 Streetin downtown Whitecourt). Open during the summer months for family enjoyment. The water feature includes two man-made creeks with a series of pools and drops for tubing and play, with a shallow basin and beach at the end of the creeks.
  • Whitecourt Golf & Country Club, 1 Flatts Rd, +1-780-778-3531, . Par-72, 18 hole layout with restaurant and lounge facilities.
  • Downtown Whitecourt. Browse the specialty and boutique shops. A variety of shopping including gift shops, clothing stores, and craft stores; also home to larger retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Hardware, and Canadian Tire.
  • Green Gables Restaurant, 3527 Caxton St., 51 Ave, +1-780-778-3142. Steaks, burgers, salads, wings, Greek dishes, breakfast.
  • Original Joe's, #100, 5004A Dahl Drive, +1 403-263-4323. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-2AM. Varied menu: burgers, wings, Asian dishes, gluten-free, vegetarian.
  • Violet Mae's Bakery, 5107 50 Ave. M-F 8AM-5:30PM. Soups, sandwiches, desserts, breakfasts, gluten-free choices.
  • Linh's Kitchen, 5117 49 St. M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa 9:30AM-2:30PM. Vietnamese.

Drink

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Sleep

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Connect

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Go next

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Routes through Whitecourt
Grande PrairieValleyview  NW   SE  MayerthorpeEdmonton


This city travel guide to Whitecourt is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.