Laid back in Lacombe County: Get back to Alberta’s roots
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Mirror is the place to find for antiques, garden treasures, cinnamon buns and craft beer
Join ZenSeekers as we go on expedition across the #BoomTownTrail. Learn more on what several communities across this region have in store. You’ll find inspiration and education to explore Alberta via our #BoomTownTrail expedition hub.
Mirror is place where you have to slow down, take your time and appreciate the finer things of rural living, like heirloom furniture, hardy vegetables, bright flowers, horse riding, fresh homemade baking and downhome rural Albertan hospitality.
Driving into Mirror it’s hard to imagine that this little hamlet in Lacombe County was once a contender for the title of provincial capital. Since the old Imperial Hotel burned down in 2016, the skyline is rather underwhelming. Fewer than 500 people reside there today.
But don’t let that deceive you — there’s more to Mirror than meets the eye. And yes, pun fully intended. The small towns and rolling prairies of Lacombe County reflect an Alberta that is too often forgotten in the rush of modern daily life. The pace is different here, tied more to the land and seasons than to smart phones and deadlines.
Summer and small-town rodeos are a big thing in Alberta. In Mirror, you can catch a slice of rural heritage watching talented riders and ropers.
As the dust settles and the sun sinks toward the horizon, I sit on the porch swing in front of one of the guest cabins at Morris Meadows and take stock. Off in the distant fields, cows graze, swallows flit among the willows and the grass bends ever so slightly with the breeze. A lone truck trundles down a gravel road.
Had fate (and the railroad) taken a different turn, things might be different in Alberta today. Mirror might have become the booming capital, and Edmonton the distant outpost. There may be those who wish it had turned out that way, but I’m sure glad it didn’t.
If You Go
Learn to commute the classic Alberta way, with a riding lesson at Extreme Stables.
Head to The Whistle Stop restaurant for burgers, fresh homemade pie and the day’s local gossip. Also, Mae’s Kitchen for soups, sandwiches and her popular cinnamon buns.
The Mirror Museum features well-researched collections on the history of the railroad in Alberta, aerial views of the hamlet and collection showcasing life in the Boomtown era.
Lacombe’s award-winning Blindman Brewery has over 20 taps with selection ranging from classic ales and stouts to sours, saisons and foeders.
Make it a road trip - discover seven destinations brimming with unique experiences - start here by visiting ZenSeekers’ #BoomTownTrail expedition page.