At the junction of Highway 855 and Victoria Trail, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of Smoky Lake, Métis Crossing (780/656-2229, daily 11 a.m.–6 p.m. mid-May–Aug., adult $5, senior and child $3) is the country’s largest cultural center dedicated to the Métis, the descendants of those born as the result of relationships between French traders and native Cree women.
George McDougall established a mission on the site in 1862 and within a decade it was surrounded by a bustling Métis community, who used the riverfront setting as a hub for trade.
The restoration project is still in its infancy (the first phase opened in late 2006), but already there are plenty of things to do and see, including a restored barn containing the story of the people’s role in the fur trade and how a distinct culture emerged. A craft store, playground, and campground are also on site.