Cardiff Park Edmonton
Location: Exit Edmonton on 97th Street NW, which becomes Hwy 28. Turn left on Township Road 554 (Cardiff Road) and left onto RR 250A.
Info: Day use only, from 5:00 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset. 780-939-4321; 1-866-9399303.
East of Morinville, 65-hectare Cardiff Park encompasses a number of historic coal mine sites. Cardiff Lake is home to rainbow trout and perch. Walk or cycle the five-kilometre trail system in spring and summer, or enjoy the well-groomed cross-country skiing trails in the winter. As well as family and group picnic sites with barbecues and firepits, you’ll find three playgrounds, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, four soccer pitches, and four fenced softball/slow-pitch diamonds.
Directions: Exit Edmonton northbound on Hwy 28; turn left onto Hwy 803 (Range Road 243) and left again at Hwy 651 (Township Road 574).
Distance: 52 km, or about 46 minutes, from Edmonton.
Info: Mural tours are available in French and English by phoning Ernie Chauvet at 780-9101871 or Centralta Tourism Society at 780-460-1034.
The rolling landscape you pass on the way to Legal also welcomed the area’s first settlers at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Seeking the area’s rich and fertile soil, most pioneers travelled from Quebec, but others arrived from Canada’s eastern provinces, the United States, and Europe. Abbe Jean-Baptiste Morin, who founded Morinville, also recruited settlers from Quebec. Founded in 1891, the settlement was named after a man who spent many years as a missionary and became Edmonton’s first Roman Catholic Archbishop, Monsignor Emile-Joseph Legal (1849-1920).
Legal’s post office opened in May 1900. Over time, the community grew from a settlement into a village, and finally achieved status as a town on January 1, 1998. Two years later, official bilingual status was proclaimed. The area’s strong cultural heritage and history is depicted in more than 35 murals located throughout the town, which is known as the French Mural Capital of Canada. If you smell bread baking, follow your nose to the working open oven (le four a pain) found on Legal’s 50th Street. During special events, summer visitors can taste freshly baked bread made in the style of the area’s pioneers.