Hamlet of Fort Vermilion

The Hamlet of Fort Vermilion was founded in 1788 as a post for the North West Company, this picturesque community stretches for six kilometers along the southern banks of the Mighty Peace River.

During the early years, riverboats were a way of life and Fort Vermilion’s riverbanks bustled with these stately vessels. Laborers manually pulled goods up the Vermilion Chutes and reloaded them onto riverboats to continue on their way. The grand entrance of the railway in High Level and Fort Chipewyan divided the North and ended the river trading system. In 1952 the M.B. Watson Lake made the final commercial run to Fort Vermilion, bringing the riverboat era to an end.

Aboriginal people, represented by two major language groups, the Dene and the Cree, were the first to inhabit the area. With the onset of the fur trade in the late 1700s, the aboriginal way of life changed and outside goods were offered in trade for furs, hides, and provisions from the native peoples.

When the province of Alberta was formed in 1905, the thriving trade and settlement at Fort Vermilion influenced the political decision to strike the northern boundary of Alberta at 60 degrees north latitude. In 1974 the bridge across the Peace River was opened and the region changed forever. There was no longer a need for the ferry in summer and an ice bridge in winter to link Fort Vermilion with people and services across the river.

The community has preserved many of the old original buildings, including a Hudson’s Bay trading post and office and a trapper’s shack. The 1923 dove-tailed log St. Germain House is now the Visitor Information Centre. The Lean-To Museum and Archives constructed in 1995, features exhibits depicting historical life in Fort Vermilion with artifacts dating back as far as the late 1700s.

Fort Vermilion has a handsome modern hospital overlooking the Peace River Valley. This was the first facility to service the entire municipality. The Bicentennial Park is situated along the Mighty Peace River and features a monument and time capsule from the 1988 celebration. The site of the old Roman Catholic mission hospital was replaced by an all-service RV Park and golf course.

The Fort Vermilion Nature Trail is an easy hike along the river shore through a mostly forested area promising an incredible view of the Peace River. The trail is marked by signs on each end and is accessible from River Road.

Annual community events include a winter carnival, outdoor rodeo, and River Daze.

For more information about Fort Vermilion visit:

Hamlet of La Crete

La Crete is situated in the northwest corner of Alberta and lies at the north base of the beautiful Buffalo Head Hills. A few miles to the east lays the Mighty Peace River, in all its roaring splendor and peaceful serenity. Besides the scenic hills and majestic rivers, we are also surrounded by forests, lakes, and lush farmland. The location provides unlimited opportunities for adventures such as water sports, hunting, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, and many more.

The Hamlet of La Crete is a Mennonite community started in the mid-’30s and has a unique Mennonite heritage. You won’t want to miss the Mennonite Heritage Village, where the history of La Crete comes to life in the many original buildings.

La Crete is the agricultural center of the County and has seen vast growth in recent years. La Crete remains a friendly, family-oriented community with a strong sense of pride in its heritage making it a friendly place to visit. Tourists are encouraged to come and explore La Crete and take in the beautiful sights and rich heritage that the hamlet offers.

For more information about La Crete visit:

Hamlet of Zama City

Perhaps the most interestingly named community in Alberta; Zama City isn’t actually a city. Named after a Dene Tha’ Chief, Zama is home to about 150 permanent residents and bursts with seasonal workers.

About 85 km north of High Level on the Mackenzie Highway (Hwy 35) just past the community of Meander River, hang a left on the secondary road and travel the 63 km of high-grade gravel – partly paved Zama Access road. Zama City is Alberta’s most Northern community and is right in the middle of the largest known oil and gas fields in Alberta, which is also the junction of the only pipeline from the Northwest Territories (Norman Wells).

Zama City is within the Bistcho Caribou Range and the closest community to the amazing Bistcho Lake, which is surrounded by wildlife and Boreal Forest.

Life runs ‘round the clock’ in Zama but the ‘small-town’ atmosphere offers residents an off-the-grid feel with the convenience of grid amenities. Security, safety, privacy, and freedom. For Zama residents, it’s all about a good day’s work, friendships, and family.

For more information about Zama City visit:

NeighboUring Communities

High Level

For more information visit the Town of High Level.

Rainbow Lake

For more information visit the Town of Rainbow Lake.