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Cranbrook is truly an explorer’s paradise.  Whether you are into history or the outdoors Cranbrook has it all.  Of course, there are a few must sees in the area such as, Fort Steele, The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, and the Kootenay Trout Hatchery.

Fort Steele was a booming gold rush town in the 1860s.  People flocked from all over to live in Fort Steele because it was so full of life and opportunity.  In 1865 alone it is estimated that over 5000 prospectors packed up and moved themselves and their families to Fort Steele in search for their own fortunes.  The town was originally named Galbraith’s Ferry after the ferry crossing built to aid miners across the Kootenay River.  The building of the railway in 1882 only encouraged more settlers to move to the area, of course this cause many disputes about land ownership and such.  As a result Superintendent Samuel B. Steele and a group of NWMP were sent to Galbraith’s Ferry to settle the disputes.  Shortly after Sam Steele left the town changed their name to Fort Steele in honour of the Superintendent.  In the late 1800s Colonel James Baker convinced the CPR to build through his settlement of Cranbrook rather than Fort Steele causing the quick demise of Fort Steele.  Today Fort Steele is a living museum of the past.  You can have lunch in the International Hotel, or grab a scoop of homemade ice cream from Mrs. Mather’s Ice Cream Parlour.  It is also very popular on special holidays such as Halloween and Canada Day.  For more information about tours, times, rates, or their history go to:  http://fortsteele.ca/

The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel hosts a large majority of Cranbrook’s history.  You can travel back in time through the vintage rail cars at the museum.  Your tour guide will tell you all about the specific cars and their purposes.  You will also see the restoration process the train cars have gone through in the different generations.   The museum is also home to the Cranbrook Archives, where you can walk through and learn more about the history of the city as well as the area.  For more information go to: http://www.trainsdeluxe.com/

Just outside of Cranbrook you can visit the Kootenay Trout Hatchery for a guided tour around the building or a quick afternoon fish.  Whether you like the outdoors or not this is the place for you.  You can take a nature hike and learn about the native plants and aquatic animals in the area, or you can stay inside for a tour of the hatchery itself.  If there are kids in your group you can enter them in the learn to fish program and they can fish right there at the hatchery lake.  The Kootenay Trout Hatchery will even sell you a fishing license and lend you their equipment so you can head out to one of the various lakes and try your luck at fishing.  The trout hatchery is a great way to spend some time outside with the family.  For more information about the Hatchery, Learn to Fish program, hours or rates go to: http://www.gofishbc.com/about-us/what-we-do/fish-hatcheries/kootenay-visitor.aspx

Cranbrook has so much to offer so make sure you check a few of these things out for yourself!