Brule is located approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Hinton in the Alberta Coal Branch. The hamlet was initially developed as a gathering place by explorers, trappers and traders before they entered the Rocky Mountains. It was later developed as a coal mining town in the early 1900s. This once-thriving mining town is now a bedroom community for Hinton and is fast becoming a seasonal recreation community. Situated between Brule Hill and Brule Lake, with a beautiful view of the Rockies towards the west, the hamlet is considered the “prettiest place in the County.”
Remnants of a thriving mining community can be found in the hills behind the townsite of Brule. The cement wall structure of the old Brule School is also still standing. Located outside of town is the old Brule Cemetery. There are graves that date back to the early 1900s. One unique grave is that of a two-year-old child, which is in the shape of a longhouse. Located northwest of Brule are the remains of a German Prisoner of War Camp. Another historical site in Brule is the old train tunnel.
Brule is the access point to Ogre Canyon. From the hamlet of Brule, you can hike into Ogre Canyon on the old CN right-of-way. The Ogre Canyon is a day trip. You can make the hike as difficult as you want depending on how far up the canyon you want to go.
Places to stay:
Local campground (in Brule).
Black Cat Guest Ranch, 780-865-3084.
Old Entrance Bed and Breakfast – cabins, teepees, and trail rides, 780-865-4760.
Blue Diamond Mountain Bed and Breakfast, 780-865-4895.
William Switzer Provincial Park. Lots of lakes and campgrounds. Some with full-service hook up.
Cadomin is located in the area of Yellowhead County known as the Coal Branch, approximately 50 km south of Hinton and 100 km southwest of Edson, between Leyland Mountain and Cadomin Mountain. Cadomin was named after the Canadian Dominion Mine and was the second coal mine along the western arm of the Coal Branch.
Established sometime in the early 1900’s, Cadomin was a bustling mining town until 1952 when the mine shut down causing a slow decline in population. Cadomin’s coal production became highly profitable because it shipped its coal using the privately built and maintained Mountain Park Railroad. Cadomin once had an RCMP detachment, government liquor store, drug store, and Bank of Nova Scotia. The population was 1,700 in 1931.
Now Cadomin is a destination area for outdoor tourism. Currently in Cadomin there is food, lodging and propane, but no gas station. You will have to gas up in Hinton, Robb or Edson. Located near Cadomin are the historical remains of the mines, Mountain Park Cemetery, Cadomin Caves, the McLeod River, and numerous campgrounds.
The notable Cadomin Cave (created by time and groundwater) is one of the oldest in the province. The cave has been closed to the public for the 2012 season in order to help sustain the bat population. Please click here to find the latest updates regarding access. When open, the cave offers everything from hiking to rappelling on your own or with a guided tour.
Southwest of Cadomin is the Whitehorse Wildland Provincial Park and the Cardinal Divide.
In the Cadomin area are old mine sites that you can explore and plenty of ATV Trails.
Places to stay:
There are many places to camp around the Cadomin area.
Cadomin Motel, 780-692-3663.
Evansburg is located approximately 100 km west of Edmonton on Highway 16 along the Pembina River Valley and is the first community at the eastern border of Yellowhead County. Evansburg is the largest hamlet within the County and is slated to grow larger with the recently developed subdivision.
Evansburg has a thriving small business centre catering to the surrounding agricultural community. There is a grocery store, clothing store, restaurants, bakery, hairdressers and other small businesses. The Evansburg/Entwistle Chamber of Commerce supports and enhances business development in the hamlets.
Evansburg began with the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1910 and the completion of the bridge across the Pembina River. Coal mining (Pembina Peerless Coal Mine) brought expansion and immigration to the hamlet in its early years. The mine operated for 24 years but shut down in 1936 during the depression. As mixed farming increased in the area, the Village of Evansburg became a viable community again. In 1998 when the Municipal District of Yellowhead No. 94 became Yellowhead County Evansburg dissolved and became the Hamlet of Evansburg.
Marlboro is located fifteen minutes west of Edson on Highway 16.
This locale was established in 1913 as a result of the development of a marl mine. Marlboro offers an opportunity for potential residents seeking a rustic lifestyle.
Marlboro also has a great ball diamond and new playground with a mini-zipline!
Niton Junction is located on the north side of Highway 16, approximately 55 km east of Edson. Niton Junction evolved during the 1930s to service the motoring community, and still functions as a highway commercial node. Agriculture, petroleum, and the public school are the other economic forces in the community.
Just four kilometres north of Niton Junction is where the original settlement of Niton was located, now referred to as Old Niton. Old Niton was a major station located along the railroad and consisted of a school, post office, a store, stockyards for shipping cattle by rail, and other businesses and services.
Today there is a historical museum where the Niton townsite used to be. Yellowhead County’s Green Grove Swimming Pool is also found in Niton.
Located approximately 32 km east of Edson on Highway 16 and eight km north on Highway 32. Settled by pioneers from the western part of the United States in the early 20th century, Peers was established as a farming community, however, farm consolidation in 1941 decreased the number of homesteaders and resulted in larger but fewer farms. Today, Peers remains a strong agriculture community.
Rosevear is located approximately 13.5 km North of Highway 16 on Range Road 154. At one time, Rosevear had a store, post office, dentistry practice, a school, and other businesses. Today Rosevear is famous for its ferry that crosses the McLeod River as it is one of the few ferry’s still operating in Alberta.
The YO-HO Museum in Peers is operated by Bill and Isabella Dixon. Some of the items you will find there include: a 1917 hand built cabin; clothing, furniture and collectibles from the 1920’s or earlier; over 32 antique cars and a Cochin-Saw (aka Jig Saw) patented in 1876.
Robb is located 60 km southwest of Edson in the “Coal Branch” along the Embarras River. Robb is one of two remaining communities in the Coal Branch and is associated with forestry and coal mining.
With the reemergence of a demand for coal, several mines reopened in the 1970s and prospects for increased development were good. Over time, Robb has become home to those who remain working in the Coal Branch and those who wish to enjoy the rustic environment of the hamlet, either seasonally or throughout the year.
As another old mining town in the Coal Branch, many of the old mine buildings from the town of Robb and other communities along the coal branch, are still located in Robb. This beautiful little hamlet is settled comfortably among the hills and trees with a strong sense of community support and pride from its residents.
In Robb, you can access food, gas, diesel, propane and lodging. There is a hotel, restaurant, Bed and Breakfast. The hotel has some full-service RV hook-ups. There is plenty of basic camping in the surrounding area.
Robb is an excellent spot for snowmobiling in the winter and quadding during the rest of the year. This is the backcountry of Alberta. You can random camp in lots of areas and then just explore. All we ask is that you leave the area as pristine as when you arrived. Please pack out what you bring in. Robb hosts the annual ATV Poker Rally on a Saturday in mid-May with over 400 machines participating. At the Gregg Cabin site there is plenty of access to ATV trails.
South of Robb is the Forestry Truck Road by which you can access more of the back country, rivers and lakes. You can explore the back country south of Robb on the forestry roads. The best thing to do is pick up the Hinton Forest Management Area Recreation and Activities Map that provides a detailed introduction to the area.
South of Robb on the Pembina River Road (forestry road) you will find the Brazeau Canyon Wildland Park and the Brazeau Canyon on the Brazeau River. There is plenty of good rafting and kayaking in this part of the country.
There are three snowmobile staging areas in the Robb area: Lovett River Snowmobile Staging Area south of Robb on Highway 40 is the start of more than 1000 km of ungroomed trails. Closer to Hinton are the Peppers Lake and Skidoo Valley snowmobiling areas.
Local companies host mine tours during the summer.
Places to stay:
Coal Branch Hotel, 780-794-3761.
The Bunkhouse Lodging Place and RV Park, 1-780-794-2384.
Robb Inn B & B, 780-794-3931.
Wildwood is located approximately 116 km west of Edmonton on Highway 16. There is currently a significant amount of vacant and undeveloped land, as well as capacity in services, in Wildwood. The County will support growth and future development in this community.
During the early 1900s, Wildwood, then called Jarawa, was a settlement of new black Canadian pioneers that came from the U.S. to start farming and and a new life. When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad went through, the name of the community was changed to Junkins as the letter ‘J’ was the next letter in line to be used in the naming system, but Junkins was later renamed Wildwood. Wildwood has a rich and interesting history of settlers, churches, cemeteries, and schools, just to name a few. Located west of Wildwood, between the two highways to the southeast of Granada was a Prisoner of War Camp for the Japanese. This camp would have been in operation during the Second World War.
Today, Wildwood is a community of thriving businesses and services with one of the main attractions being Chip Lake Park. Also located in Wildwood is Yellowhead County’s Community Services Office.
Please note this important information regarding the water well that services the Gregg Lake subdivision:
UPDATE (January 8, 2020): Jan. 8 Report
The Gregg Lake well is clear of Total Coliform and E.coli.
The next sampling is scheduled for March 6, with results being posted on March 13.