Longview & The Bar U Ranch
The village of Longview is located on The Cowboy Trail just 17 km south of Black Diamond, 32 km west of High River and only 13 km north of the Historic Bar U Ranch.
The views as you drive into town are absolutely breathtaking and change with the seasons. If you are searching for serenity, Longview is the place for you.
Photo above by Andrew Penner
Longview was established at the turn of the century to service farms and ranches. With the discovery of oil and gas in the area in 1914, Longview’s population surged to an estimated 2,500 residents at the height of the boom. The community became known as Little New York, a name that is still celebrated each year in July with “Little New York Daze.”
The population of Longview has settled out at about 300 these days and the local business owners strive to retain the “western hospitality” that drew them to the community in the first place.
A fine example of this country charm is found at the Little New York Bistro. Just look for the log building on Main Street. Expect to be greeted by Jamal, the owner, with the warmth of a cherished friend. Start your day with a hearty brunch or end your day by
reliving your adventures over fine Mediterranean-style cuisine.
Known for their exceptional service and big city standards, come see why John Gilchrist gives the Little New York Bistro 8/10!
Brent Malmberg, a local historian believes that the Twin Cities Hotel was built by three National Hockey League (NHL) players in 1938, making it the oldest landmark in the village today. The name Twin Cities will appear rather odd to travellers, until you learn that during the boom 100 years ago, a second town called Royalties (aka Little Chicago) sprung up in the area.
If you are looking for a hearty affordable meal, cold beer and some country music, be sure to stop at the Twin Cities Hotel.
Lost American Art Gallery specializes in turquoise jewellery, Navajo rugs, bronze sculptures, landscape and western art, Edward S. Curtis photographs, and Pendleton blankets. In their museum we find rare Southwest pottery, historically significant baskets from many tribes, and artifacts relating to the North American lifestyle of days gone by. Also on display are antique saddles, bridles and other cowboy gear.
Other services and facilities in Longview include a Post Office, Visitor Information Centre, 2 gas bars, a campground, and a playground in Centennial Park suitable for the whole family and great for a picnic. And don’t leave town without trying some world-famous Longview Jerky. That’s what real cowboys eat!
To enter Kananaskis Country (p.52), drive west along Hwy #541. Watch for sheep, elk, moose, deer, bear (both black and grizzly), coyotes, wolves and other wildlife.
Please note that Hwy #40, the connecting road north from Hwy #541 towards Kananaskis Village, is closed December 1 to June 15 due to snow pack and wildlife calving. But you can always venture to Highwood House (at the junction of these highways) and enjoy a day of winter fun: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or just a day of hiking and taking in the fresh air. No matter what the season, the opportunity is there for great photography.
The Bar U Ranch was one of the first and most enduring of the large corporate ranches established in the 1880’s. It was chosen by Parks Canada to commemorate the history of the ranching industry in Canada.
Now known as the Bar U National Historic Site of Canada, and located on The Cowboy Trail, 13 km south of Longview at the intersection of Highway 540, The Bar U is open to the public from May 26th – September 30th.
Follow the story of the Bar U through seven decades of change from 1882 to 1950. Explore the ranch headquarters and visit the many historic buildings. Learn about the people who made the Bar U one of the most famous ranches in its time. Immerse yourself in stories of ranching pioneers…fortunes made and lost, cattle-killing winters and massive roundups.
Experience the authentic presentation of ranching history as you ride the wagon pulled by the Bar U Percherons, and try your and at roping.
The Bar U Cafe welcomes you with the aroma of fresh baked goods. The menu offers homemade ranch meals such as cow camp stew, homemade soup and biscuits. The Bar U Gift Shop stocks various items by local artists and crafts people. Quality items include, sewing, western gifts, jewellery, woodwork, handmade soap, candles and Friends of the Bar U promotional items.
Come out for Special Events hosted throughout the summer.