Picture Butte rhymes with cute, not butt. Still, I call it Picture Butt. I thought the boys would think it cute to head out to a place where you “take a picture of your butt,” or “pick your butt.” Apparently, I’m the child in the family.
On a rainy weekend that washed out our plans to go camping, I took Zacharie on a road trip southeast of Calgary to visit Nanton, Vulcan, Little Bow Provincial Park, and .. Picture Butte. (did you read it as butt in your head? I did)
Picture Butte doesn’t have an actual butte anymore. They eroded it away when building the city decades ago. So there isn’t a picturesque butte to see in what is now called The Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada.
Picture Butte is a town of less than 2000 that has a reservoir, a main street, a grain elevator and a tractor museum. That’s about it.
There is not much to do in Picture Butte, but as someone who likes to collect pictures of prairie grain elevators, I absolutely had to add this one to my collection.
“We know we don’t have it all, as they say, but what we have is terrific and we are proud to call this town home,” says Mike Derricott, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Picture Butte.
While I missed Koster’s Bakery, I did pop in to the Frosty Dip (seemingly the only place open on Sunday of the May Long Weekend). Classic burgers, dogs, and handmade milkshakes are what you’ll find here. Perfect.
Just south of town is the Prairie Tractor and Engineer Club Museum. It is a large piece of land featuring a dozen or so heritage buildings from around Southern Alberta as well as a collection of hundreds of pieces of farm equipment. They’re all lying out in the field, and you can drive around, wander about, or climb in all of them. Admission is by donation and it’s a fabulous place to kickstart the imagination of kids who love mighty machines.
“Southern Alberta has a rich history, filled with inventors, collectors, pioneers, bootleggers and more. This collection of history does not simply include pictures and the items used during those times, the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village is assembled by the very buildings the people who shaped our history lived in. Brought in from around the province, the history is kept alive. Walk the streets, see the history written about in books and the activities that kept our ancestors busy throughout their days.”
A visit to Picture Butte makes for a long daytrip from Calgary (it’s 450km round trip), but if you’re already headed to the south of the province on other business or a longer vacation, spending a lunch break in Picture Butte is a great way to stretch the legs for an hour or so.