Say “Macleod Trail” to someone in Alberta, and most people will immediately think of the busy commercial strip on the south side of Calgary. Fewer people will think of the Macleod Trails which are located in a number of smaller communities such as High River. Ever fewer will think of the original Macleod Trail which was the pathway from Fort Benton, Montana through to Fort Calgary in the 1870’s.
There is a wonderful article detailing the history of this trail and the markers which show the way here: http://www.highrivertimes.com/2013/06/13/marking-the-historic-macleod-trail
It is through the efforts of the volunteers like Bill Dunn of Cayley, AB that I was able to take a “creative” route down to Lethbridge last weekend when visiting friends and family.
Starting in De Winton, I headed south through the towns of Okotoks and High River before getting out into the more rural markers. Staying to the west of Highway 2, I picked my way along mostly gravel roads, with the next marker’s coordinates entered into my Nuvi. I would pass a grain elevator (and see the ones in Nanton off in the distance), abandoned barns and homesteads, the Pine Coulee reservoir, and even the occasional car.
The outcome of that trip is a photo essay which shows the Alberta prairies in all their Spring splendor. While I would run out of sunlight before getting to see all the markers, that just means there is another adventure waiting for another trip. This trip only covered the markers I found between De Winton and Claresholm.