For Water Valley, Cochrane, Sundre & Bragg Creek.
Debbie Ashcroft - Sutton Group Canwest Vista Real Estate.
Welcome to Water Valley, Alberta, Canada
It's beautiful in the Alberta foothills any time of year
Visitors turning west on Highway 579 from Highway 22 will travel but a few kilometers to the community of Water Valley. About 45 minutes northwest of Calgary, this community is a gateway to the Foothills, greeting visitors like a smile on a neighbour's face.
For many residents and weekenders, Water Valley is a refuge from the hectic pace of the city. A broad cross-section of people call Water Valley home. Writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, retirees, and commuters live on acreages or in one of the several sub-divisions in the area along with the long-time ranchers and farmers.
If you are looking for a day trip or a place to call home, Water Valley is just a short jaunt west off the Cowboy Trail (Highway 22), 37 km. north of Cochrane. The road leads to our community. We welcome you.
What’s in a name?
Take a quick look around Water Valley and you’ll ask: Where’s the Water? Where’s the Valley? Actually the water and the valley, or valleys, border the greater Water Valley area. The Little Red Deer River runs to the west and circles to the north of the community, and Winchell Coulee and Lake are straight south. To the East the small Stoney Creek coulee completes the boundary.
At the turn of the 20th century a farmer could get a quarter section around Water Valley for about $10.00. The river area and surrounding wooded valleys made Water Valley a perfect place to homestead back in the early 1900’s, when homesteaders began arriving to harvest the natural resources found in the area.
In what is now called Winchell Coulee, the Winchell’s became one of the first families to homestead when they set up one of the first sawmills in the area. Grandma Winchell lived in the original log home into the 1980’s and in 1978 the province installed power to the home in honour of her 100th birthday.
The area saw the first school district of Bituma created in 1912. The school opened in 1914, and it was no easy trek for the children as they laboured through the snowy and spring-mudded fields on horseback and on foot. WWI saw the land homesteaded by Veterans and many farms sprung up.
The community of Water Valley became known as such when the official Water Valley School District was formed in 1921. The name was selected by a drawing from the hat. Water Valley School opened in 1926 in what is now called the Chinook Creative Arts Building. The school served the area until 1963 (since then, local children are bussed to Cremona).
The school helped to form the community bringing families together through events such as Christmas concerts. It wasn’t long before the need for a hall became ever present, and in 1932, the first community hall, a log building was created by a group of volunteers. It burned down in 1942, causing a new hall to be built by the mid 1940’s.
The community has seen changes in businesses and buildings over the last hundred years too. Land was donated for a cemetery, community hall and ball diamond.
Visitors and residents have a wide choice of outdoor activities including equestrian activities at the arena or trail riding at a local riding stable. Fishermen travel to the area to cast from the banks of the Little Red Deer River or Winchell Lake and hunters stop in Water Valley on their way west in search of deer, elk and moose. Recreational vehicles can use one of the campgrounds in the area and spend time hiking, swimming or floating on a tube down the Little Red Deer River.