COURTESY BEAVERHILL BIRD OBSERVATORY MAP EDMONTON

COURTESY BEAVERHILL BIRD OBSERVATORY MAP EDMONTON

Mountain Bluebird, Beaverhill Lake Natural Area Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre and Tofield Museum,

Location: 5020-48th Avenue, Tofield. Exit Hwy 14 and take the access road to Tofield; look for a tower with birdhouses.

Info: The Tofield Museum offers guided tours. Summer hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For museum winter hours (September through May), call to arrange a visit or tour. The nature centre is closed in winter. 780-662-3269; www.tofieldalberta.ca.

The Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre offers wildlife interpretive displays and tourist information. The building also houses the Tofield Museum , which depicts the lives of early Aboriginal people and European settlers, as well as life in succeeding years. Displays encompass medicine, education, pioneer tools, everyday living, and early businesses. Artifacts are rotated to provide an ongoing variety of displays. Just 50 metres north of the museum, you will find a restored 1940s Alberta Government Telephone Building which houses an interpretive centre exploring local telephone history.

You can view the Artists’ Gallery, displaying the work of local artists, and take a self-guided walk at Nature’s Marsh, a small natural area behind the centre. The Tofield historical walk includes buildings from the early 1900s, such as the Tofield Hotel and Dr. Bain’s house. Tofield’s oldest building is a Presbyterian Church built in 1904. The walk can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how long you linger along the way. Ask for the historical walk brochure at the nature centre/museum or town office.

The centre participates in Bounty in Beaver County, an annual August self-guided driving event that leads participants on a tour through the Beaver County communities of Tofield, Viking, Ryley, and Holden. Visit www.beaver.ab.ca to see which farms, markets, shops, eateries, museums, and other attractions are taking part. You might get to see a horse being shod, view private car and tractor collections, visit a beehive, or attend a bison barbecue.

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