This dynamic urban and rural community of 15,000 boasts a vibrant lifestyle in the heart of Central Alberta. Nestled in the lush and picturesque Battle River Valley, Ponoka is still one of Alberta’s ‘best kept secrets.’ Ponoka provides family entertainment and activities all year-round.
Calgary is only two hours south, Edmonton is an hour north, and Red Deer is just 30 minutes south. An added feature is the local industrial airport with CANPASS, and the Edmonton International Airport that is only 45 minutes away. Ponoka is a service hub for both the oil and gas industry and the agricultural sector, and an innovative and thriving manufacturing sector.
Visitors can enjoy hiking, jogging and biking along the paved trail systems or the acres of rolling landscape with trails for orienteering and nature observation. RV parking and camping is available in Stampede Park, where residents and tourists alike can ‘Cowboy Up’ at the annual Ponoka Stampede.
Since 1936, rodeo fans and professional cowboys have headed to the Ponoka Stampede, with its rodeo action with seven days of professional cowboys and cowgirls competing at their best, and the thrill of the amazing chuckwagon races.
For the urban explorer, experience Ponoka’s unique shops and restaurants. Discover Ponoka’s historic downtown, with its many restored buildings. The quaint, turn-of-the-century streetscape is a delight to explorers and niche market shoppers.
• Various agri-tourism events include a County Fair in August, Farmers’ Market from May to September and various equine events. Other community events include the Ultimate Car Show in July, a Vintage Bike Rally in July and September’s Downhill Soapbox Derby.
• For history buffs, the Fort Ostell Museum is a must-see, with its agricultural and household objects of the early pioneers and Indigenous people from the late 1800s to the present. In 2004, as part of Ponoka’s Centennial, the museum brought back from storage the “Alberta Mental Hospital Museum” collection – unique as few similar collections exist in Canada.
• Ponoka is home to the World’s Largest Bucking Saddle Bronc Horse and Rider – look for it in Ponoka’s Centennial Park!
The summers are long and comfortable, the winters are freezing, dry and windy.
Travel time from Calgary to Ponoka is about two hours north via AB-2, and travel from Red Deer about 35 minutes. From Edmonton, travel south about 70 minutes along AB-2.
Dream now, travel later. To plan for future adventures here and throughout the West Coast, visit westcoasttraveller.com