Tag Archives: East Coulee

Altas Coal Mine in East Coulee, Alberta

Atlas Coal Mine is a National Historic Site near East Coulee, Alberta and one of Alberta’s hidden tourism secrets.

Wendy, Mark, Oliver, and I took a 2014 Ford Escape for a week long review and this was one of our destinations.  After driving to Drumheller, grabbing a quick lunch and then heading out to the Atlas Coal Mine, we explored the mine, a wooden (and condemned) truss rail bridge that crossed the Red Deer River.  On our way back to Drumheller, we stopped in Rosedale and explore the Star Mine Suspension Bridge.

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The trip was worth it.  If you are in or passing through Drumheller, you need to take a couple of hours and check it out yourself.   They are located 20 minutes southeast of Drumheller, along Highway 10 which is a marvelous drive all by itself.  Make sure you take some time to check out the Hoodoos, the Star Mine Suspension Bridge and grab an ice cream or a cool drink along many of the roadside diners.

Canadian Pacific Railway Train Bridge at East Coulee, Alberta

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The wooden C.P.R. ”Howe Truss” bridge over the Red Deer River at East Coulee was built in 1936 and destroyed by heavy flooding and ice flows in April 1948. It was rebuilt soon thereafter. It was already an old-fashioned design when it was built, as wooden Howe Truss bridges were primarily used in the 19th century.

By 2014 it had several rotten beams and locals had placed down timber and plywood to help one get across.  If that wasn’t scary enough, there are rattlesnakes that are living in the soft timber and dirt on the bridge.