You will find St. Mary’s Anglican Church 106 kms south of Edmonton on the QEII Hwy in the town of Ponoka. The community of Ponoka is the southernmost point of the Diocese of Edmonton. St. Mary’s is a warm and welcoming community that follows the path of Jesus through intention worship and prayer.
Stop by the church, at 5120 - 49 Avenue, when you arrive in town and take a selfie out front before checking out some favourite attractions recommended by local community members. You can enjoy a prayerful walk around the newly installed three-circuit labyrinth in St. Mary’s Prayer Garden.
The church is located steps away from Main Street which is home to a number of unique shops and boutiques. Park your car at the church and explore downtown on foot!
After your Mainstreet tour drive across the river and park at the trailhead of the Diamond Willow Trail System. This system is a 5.2-km paved trail situated along the east banks of the scenic Battle River. The paved trails wander among a variety of trees, through open spaces, sharing the river valley with waterfowl, songbirds and other wildlife. The trails are ideal for walkers, joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters to enjoy the benefits of a natural area and are a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
While enjoying the Diamond Willow Trail, check out the “Thinking Tree,” a Manitoba maple tree, registered as an Alberta Heritage Tree, growing along the bank of the Battle River. Some of its branches extend above the river. It’s become a popular picnic and photo opp stop Families with curious and adventurous kids are known to stay and climb this tree for hours!!
After your walk head over to Siding 14, the Local Brewery in town, for a beer and a snack. They offer an abundance of mainline brews and COVID-safe patio seating to enjoy a sample or two.
Ponoka is also home to the World Famous Ponoka Stampede. Cowboys and rodeo fans from across the country travel to Ponoka for this week-long stampede held every year over the July 1st weekend. Complete with a full schedule of rodeo events, chuckwagon races, parade, carnival rides and the most delicious carnival food; you’ll leave town with a full belly and bright smile on your face! Please note that due to COVID restrictions the stampede may be postponed. Keep it on your list of attractions to visit at a later date!
**Please Note: When visiting Ponoka, please adhere to the guidelines mandated in Alberta. Stay 6ft apart. Wear a mask. Stay home if you are sick.