Located on scenic Highway 22, the communities of Redwood Meadows and Bragg Creek offer scenic living and adventures only 30 minutes away from Calgary.
Redwood Meadows is a planned community developed by the Tsuu T’ina Nation in the late 1970s. The area earned its name after a grass fire in the 1940s after which Elders of the Tsuu T’ina Nation, noticing regrowth of poplar and spruce trees had a reddish colour to them, dubbed the area Redwood Yard.
Mayor John Welsh explained the development started with about 150 homes growing through the years to the current total of 351 homes occupied by about 1,200 people.
“It’s very young families so the idea initially was to develop a self-sustaining neighbourhood without any sort of commercial development . . . so it very much feels like you’re on an acreage in a lot of ways,” he said.
For the outdoor enthusiast there’s plenty to do in the small community, which is nestled between Highway 22 and the Elbow River. Facilities include a baseball diamond, basketball court and community building, Redwood House. Welsh said a skateboard park has been added in the last two years and a Zamboni has been purchased to maintain the outdoor skating rink. In the winter, there are cross-country ski trails between Redwood Meadows and Bragg Creek.
“Most people who live here do so for the same reason, because they want to be close to the environment in a lot of ways,” said Welsh. “So it’s very homogenous community based on similar belief systems and there’s very little conflict, it’s just a happy place.”
Five minutes down the highway from Redwood Meadows is the picturesque community of Bragg Creek. Named for settler Albert Warren Bragg and his younger brother John Thomas, the area was first settled in 1885.
Most settlers didn’t stay in the area for long after realizing the harshness of the winter months but the few who remained ranching and trading with the nearby Nakoda First Nation. The area gathered speed as a destination in the 1920s onward and was home to the first youth hostel in North America in 1933.
Today the town is dubbed, “Gateway to Kananaskis”. “Hike or bike in Elbow Valley and Kananaskis Country, then enjoy our fascinating and artful stores, and cool restaurants,” states www.visitbraggcreek.com.
Bragg Creek is known for its arts and restaurant scene as well including The Bavarian Inn, the Powderhorn Saloon and the Steak Pit resort where people can stop in for a nice dinner out or to cap off a day of hiking or biking in many of the nearby stops.
As of the 2011 Census there were almost 600 people living in Bragg Creek with access to amenities such as grocery stores, a post office, schools and the community hub of Bragg Creek Centre.
Redwood Meadows Golf & Country Club The Tsuu T’ina Nation established the Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club in 1976. The 9-hole course — which was expanded to 18 holes in 1978 — was designed by Bill Newis and Stan Leonard and includes water hazards on seven holes and picturesque mountain views. The course includes a driving range and is open to the public. PGA professionals who have tried their hand on the course include Lee Trevino, Stephen Ames and 2012 Master’s champion Bubba Watson.
Tsuu T’ina Nation Rodeo The Tsuu T’ina Nation Rodeo Annual Indian Days Celebration (the grounds are located just south of Redwood Meadows) is celebrating its 38th year in 2012. As well as traditional rodeo, events include barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling and bull riding as well as baseball, a Pow-Wow and other games. Check out www.tsuutinarodeo.com for more information.
Bragg Creek Centre The Bragg Creek Centre sits at the heart of the small community and is a hub of activity for locals and beyond. The centre includes family and teen dances, movie nights, a Christmas festival and several concerts in a year. The arena is in full swing in the winter with hockey and skating, and the centre also has several amenities to rent including meeting rooms, the auditorium and concession. Check out www.braggcreekca.com for more information.
Elbow Falls The Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area is just 15 minutes west of Bragg Creek within the mountainous splendor of Kananaskis Country. The area includes picnic tables and hiking trails along the Elbow River. The falls are accessible year round but at their most scenic during the summer. The area is also close to a variety of other hiking trails such as Elbow Valley Trail and ForgetMeNot Ridge.