Bragg Creek

Posted on: March 26th, 2015

Much of Bragg Creek suffered extensive damage during the Flood of 2013. One of the hardest hit buildings was the historic Trading Post, located on the banks of the Elbow River. Built by Guy Coates in 1925, it was originally called the Upper Elbow General Store. Jack Elsdon purchased it in 1940 and his daughter, Barbara Teghtmeyer took it over from him.

For years, travellers have come from far and wide to purchase affordably priced, authentic native handicrafts, mercantile goods and treats from Barbara. Sadly, most of the inventory on hand was lost in the flood. What she was able to save was moved into Trading Post II, a convenience store and Shell service station in the heart of Bragg Creek. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, be sure to say hello and ask what she has available.

Bragg Creek is a favourite day trip destination for Calgarians. It’s the gateway to Elbow Valley, a recreation area enjoyed by all: hikers, bikers and riders. And this funky town also offers unique shops and some great dining experiences.

The 30-minute drive from South Calgary to Bragg Creek along Hwy #22X is still a relaxing, and scenic experience. Perhaps that is why the town has always been a favourite day trip destination for Calgarians. Enjoy strolling around the interconnected covered shopping district that boasts great western art and fashion. We advise you to watch your speed while traveling along Hwy #22X, as police monitor the 4-lane section of this road frequently for speeders.

The Creek still offers multiple unique shops and great restaurants. The Bavarian Inn serves traditional German fare, The Steak Pit specializes in Alberta beef and kids of all ages enjoy an ice cream cone at Scoops & Snacks. The Italian Farmhouse draws those who love country food with passion, Mountain Bistro specializes in fresh hand-tossed pizza, and there’s even a new restaurant called Wok On.

The PowderHorn Saloon has been a favorite for locals and tourists since 1979. If you’re looking for a wide selection of cold beer check out Bragg Creek’s Cowboy Saloon Sports Bar. Recently renovated by the new owners, expect friendly service, good food, fun times and great daily specials. With a live band playing on Fridays and a Jam session Wednesdays, there’s something for every two-stepper or toe-tapper.

Creekers Bistro is open for Sunday Brunch, breakfast, lunch, and, dinner. They have a fine selection of craft beers on tap.

The Heart Cafe is nestled amongst the evergreens across the street from the hamlet’s commercial core. It offers top quality coffee and tea and, fresh baking created on location with healthy ingredients. In 1965 this cabin was the home of the Merryfield family. Today the family-run cafe’s mission, and associated Yoga Studio, is your place for connection and respite, away from a hurried life. Take some time to sip a cup, browse their offerings of craft or take in the sun on their patio.

The Heart Cafe, Photo Courtesy of David Copithorne Photography

The artist-owned and operated, Studio and Gallery is the latest art venture showcasing local talents. Part art gallery, part studio, 10 artists will tantalize you with beautiful creations. The studio also offers group classes or private lessons freeing the artist within you. Come try your hand at pottery, jewelry making, textile art and painting. The gallery is located right next to the Heart Cafe.

Studio and Gallery, Photo Courtesy of Renee Delorme

Korner Kitchen is one of the newer family restaurants in town. Unassuming yet well-rooted in the community, the ‘Kitchen’s’ owner Sean Birgit offers delicious pizzas as well as hearty German and English inspired cuisine. The restaurant is located on the “sunny side” of the mall. That is where must stop for a solid meal and pint of craft beer after a day
playing in Kananaskis country.

SunCatchers Design Studio and River Dragonfly is hidden off White Avenue, also known as “Heritage Mile”, on Burntall street. There, amongst the spruce trees, the glass studio has operated for 38 years and the shop for 23 years.

The River Dragon Fly, Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Hertz

This inviting cluster of buildings has created a sanctuary for arts and crafts. At its heart is Elizabeth Hertz, a well-known stained glass artist. Her partner Rod, oversees the boutique filled with a treasure trove of antiques, jewelry, stained glass and clothing. Be sure to check them out.

Scoops and Snacks is the towns “cherry on the sundae.” A refreshing summer treat located in a small, somewhat tired yet charming old, log cabin half way down White Avenue. This treat shack boasts as many as 50 flavors of ice cream, yogurt or sherbet and, on those warm and beautiful days, you can expect a bit of a line up. Check them out on Facebook for more information.

Bragg Creek is known for its enjoyable outdoor activities and beautiful landscape. West Bragg Creek is well known for golf, pleasant hikes, and outdoor adventures. And on almost any warm summer’s day, you’ll still find some pretty amazing motorcycles in town, because the ride out and around the area is simply amazing. Bragg Creek also has a number of popular shops throughout the hamlet. These stores are the perfect place to pick up a local memorabilia, high quality home and garden wares, and gifts you are not likely to find anywhere else.

Let’s show our support for Barbara and the rest of the merchants of Bragg Creek as they rebuild their businesses and their lives. Hope to see you at The Creek!

Bragg Creek map

 

The hamlet of Priddis is only 20 km west of Macleod Trail. From this point west, pay attention for wildlife especially at dawn or dusk. And be ready for some jaw-dropping landscapes!

History

Bragg Creek gets its name from two young brother adventurers who arrived in 1885. Warren Bragg, aged 17 and John Bragg, aged 14 ran away from their home located Nova Scotia over a disagreement with their new, very young step-mother.

Dr. George Ings prospected this area in the 1890s. He mined a thousand tons of coal out of Moose Mountain. The discovery of natural gas then fueled oil speculation. Many wells were drilled over the next 70 years but no oil was found.

The Trading Post was originally built by Guy Coates in 1925 and called the Upper Elbow General Store. In 1940, Jack Elsdon purchased it and delivered mail from Calgary to all the homes along Hwy 8. Jack’s daughter Barbara, rebuilt the business after the flood and runs an old fashioned store that provides native handicrafts, treats and mercantile goods.

Hwy 758 continues west for another 1.5 km, to Bragg Creek Provincial Park, where you can enjoy a picnic listening to the river, or launch a tube if the river is not running high.

Bragg Creek is a terrific destination and a jumping off point for exploring the Elbow River Valley. Check on hiking, biking and equestrian trails at the Elbow Valley Information Centre, located just 3 minutes west of town on Hwy 66.

Thank you to Renée Delorme for contributing some of the content for this article.

Events In Bragg Creek

June 21
Aboriginal Awareness Day

July 1
Canada Day Celebrations

July 21 & 22
Bragg Creek Days & Ride for Sight

July 27 – 29
Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow and Rodeo

August 25
Moose Mountain Trail Races

September 22 & 23
Heritage Festival

October 5 – November 4
Scarecrow Festival

November 17 & 18
Artisans Christmas Sale

December 1, 2 & 8, 9
Spirit of Christmas

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