Location, location location!! Old
Entrance, Alberta is located within Yellowhead
County along the north bank of the beautiful Athabasca River, 14 km north-west of Hinton, Alberta,
Canada and 30 km from the east gate of Jasper National Park on trans-Canada Yellowhead highway #16.
Brief History: During construction of the two transcontinental railroads my grand father Roy Woodley came west working with the Canadian Northern Railway track survey crew. In 1913, Roy settled beside the railway line at a spot that he called Entrance along the Athabasca River. Roy had been employed as a store clerk for seven years in Ontario prior to coming west in 1911. During the years 1914 to 1927 that the railway line was in operation Roy Woodley held the government contract for the "ENTRANCE" post office, located in his general store building. Woodleys also owned a restaurant beside their store that at one time displayed a sign "Meals & Beds" - the first B&B at this location. Early plans indicate that this railway station, the last station prior to entering Jasper Forest Park and the Rockies, was to be called HEDA however by 1914 the locale had come to be known as Entrance and the station bore the name of "ENTRANCE". Woodleys sold their business in 1925 and the store and Entrance post office were relocated one mile east to the other side of the river near the the DYKE station on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway line, then operating as Canadian National Railways. With the relocation of the post office in 1927, DYKE station was renamed ENTRANCE and the original community of Entrance on the north side of the river was referred to as "Old Entrance".
The Forest Service retained their ranger station on the adjacent land and several people had residences on the Woodley land. Outfitter & guide Harry Ennis operated at this location for twenty years, living in the railway station building and renting the Woodley land. Billy Magee bought the railway station and the Woodley property in 1954. Billy, a self-employed guide, saddle maker, horse breeder, trapper and landlord, operated the Old Entrance property until his passing in 1986.
Restaurant & Store (First B&B) at Old Entrance, 1914 - 1927
Today with the railway gone historic Old
Entrance is a beautiful riverfront site for Old Entrance B 'n B Cabins, a quiet country vacation destination. The historic 1914 CNoR train station building is now used as our B & B main house, a 1923 log schoolhouse and Shand-Harvey's 1921 trapper's cabin remain. Our 60 acre property and surrounding crown lands provide excellent bird watching, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding trails. Often deer can be spotted grazing the hillside and coyotes can be heard yelping across the river. Usually clear night skies provide spectacular star gazing.
Local fishing: Athabasca River hosts numerous types of fish, including northern pike, mountain white fish, bull trout, native rainbow trout, arctic grayling, brown trout, and more! Athabasca River is a fast, broad-shouldered glacial river that for most of the summer is at high water and is either milky or muddy. This river beginning at Columbia Ice Fields flows northeast and eventually empties into Lake Athabasca. When it flows clear in early spring and late summer or fall it does hold a few huge bull trout (catch and release) and northern pike. During summer for rainbows, brookies or whitefish you're better off trying smaller streams or lakes. Oil and logging roads provide easy access to tributaries of Berland and McLeod rivers such as Wildhay, Little Berland, Gregg, Embarras, Erith, Sundance and many others. Popular fishing lakes within easy driving distance of Old Entrance are Kinky, Wildhorse, Mary Gregg, Jarvis, Blue, Graveyard, Cache, Gregg, No Name, Petite and Dunn.