Castle River Backroads | Alberta, Canada
The backroads of the lower Castle River Valley weave through a countryside unspoiled by development sprawl. The winding gravel-topped roads afford views that are often more evocative of Vermont's Green Mountains than of the Rockies Foothills.
The focal point of this scenic splendour is the Canyon Bridge over the Castle River. From the bridge's wooden deck you can peek downstream into a deep gorge passable only by kayak. This reach of the river provides the region's biggest white-water thrills, but should not be attempted for the first time without a knowledgeable local paddler to guide the way.
Waypoints: Lundbreck to Canyon Bridge
Exit Highway 3 at the hamlet of Lunbreck (GPS N49 35.296 W114 09.736) and proceed south to the end of Breckenridge Ave. (GPS N49 34.976 W114 09.763). Turn east on Township Road 74A and continue a short distance to the intersection with Range Road 2-1 (GPS N49 34.944 W114 09.453). Turn south on Range Road 2-1 and continue past the leaning barn (GPS N49 32.494 W114 09.567). The road changes designation to Township Road 70 and ends at a T-intersection with Highway 507 (GPS N49 31.451 W114 12.232).
Head south briefly on Highway 507 to Township Road 65 (GPS N49 30.583 W114 12.115) and turn east. Continue on Township Road 65 (aka Riverside Road) to the intersection with Range Road 20 (GPS N49 29.902 W114 08.113). Follow Range Road 20 south as it twists and dips down to Canyon Bridge (GPS N49 29.093 W114 08.543). Trails lead from the bridge's western abutment to swimming holes and fishing points along the river's edge.
From Canyon Bridge continue west, through a four-way intersection (GPS N49 28.843 W114 10.813) and on to the road's end at Highway 507 (GPS N49 28.835 W114 12.155).
Waypoints: Cowley to Pincher Creek Station
From Highway 3 at Cowley (GPS N49 33.861 W114 04.167) , head south on Range Road 13. Canada's first wind farm is just to the west. Continue across the Castle River to the intersection with Range Road 11 (GPS N49 31.384 W114 01.286). Drive south past the Castle River Wind Farm to the T-intersection with Highway 507 (GPS N49 28.374 W114 01.412). From there you may head east to Pincher Creek, or west to Highway 507 at Beaver Mines.
Waypoints: Highway 507 to Beauvais Lake Provincial Park
From Highway 507 (GPS N49 28.216 W114 05.628) head south on Highway 775 and continue to road's end at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park (GPS N49 25.090 W114 06.861). On your return, turn north at Range Road 1-5 (GPS N49 26.217 W114 06.776) and head southto the intersection withTownship Road 61A (GPS N49 27.805 W114 06.768). Turn west on Township Road 61A and continue until it rejoins Highway 507 at the bridge over Mill Creek (GPS N49 28.403 W114 07.568).
Starting Milemarker or Town