Muskeg Creek Trails
Location: The trailhead borders Landing Trail Intermediate School at 5502-48th Avenue, Athabasca.
Info: Neither motorized vehicles nor pets are allowed on the trail. Contact Athabasca Regional Recreation for maps or to borrow a key for the log chalet. 780-675-2967.
Those who embrace the outdoors in all seasons will also appreciate the woodland trails and ravine in Muskeg Creek Valleyan Athabascan treasure. The Muskeg Creek Trail system has 17.5 kilometres of groomed trails, easily accessible from town and suitable for hiking or mountain biking. As indicated by interpretive signage, a variety of wildlife may be seen, as well as wildflowers and certain rare species of fern. In winter, the hilly terrain is groomed for cross-country skiers and provides both Nordic and skate skiers with a pleasant challenge. The trails are considered fit for provincial ski competitions. Those who prefer to snowshoe will also enjoy exploring these pathways. The 1.2-kilometre trail is lit for winter nighttime users. Maps are posted along the trail, and outhouses and a chalet with a wood-burning stove are available. The trail connects to the Rotary Riverfront Trail and to Athabasca University.
Amber Valley Community Cultural Centre and Obadiah Place
Location: About 18 km, or 15 minutes, east of Athabasca on Hwy 55. Follow the blue and white provincial signs to the Amber Valley Community Cultural Centre. Obadiah Place is 3.2 kilometres east of the Community Cultural Centre on Hwy 55. Turn south onto Amber Valley Road and watch for the homestead on the east side. Note that there is no signage to Obadiah Place.
Info: Open by appointment on Saturdays in July and August. Guided tours are available. 780-213-1505.
Originally named Pine Creek, the community of Amber Valley comprised Alberta’s largest group of African-American settlers, some of whom came from Oklahoma in 1911 to avoid repressive laws that forbade them from voting and restricted their liberties. They rented boxcars and travelled with livestock and all their possessions, passing through Edmonton to Athabasca Landing. Here they faced 32 kilometres of tedious travel through muskeg and deep forest. Harsh winters, crop failures, and the struggles of clearing treed land made the first few years extremely challenging. A school was opened in 1913, and a non-denominational church was built the following year.
The Amber Valley Community Cultural Centre has an important place in the community’s history and has a museum attached. A designated provincial historic resource, Obadiah Place is an Amber Valley homestead converted into a museum. It is named for Obadiah Bowen, who grew up in the house and lived in Amber Valley until 1996. The property includes a square, 1.5-storey house, four outbuildings, and a phone booth. The property was home to the community’s first post office and telephone.
CITY OF EDMONTON ARCHIVES
Mrs. Willie Kinamore (left) with her mother-in-law, Henrietta Kinamore, circa 1909, at Amber Valley
Muskeg Creek Map Photo Gallery
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