Star Trek lovers rejoice! Vulcan, a town in Southern Alberta, has long prospered from the influx tourists attracted by its name. There is a variety of sights and events themed around the famous franchise. But even if you do not know anything about Star Trek, other activities abound in the area, including a vintage train ride through the prairies. Vulcan is a small Albertan prairie town, with a meager population of around 1800 people. The town was not actually named after the planet of Vulcan featured in Star Trek, but rather after the Roman god of fire also named Vulcan. After the TV series became popular, the community capitalized on the name and began catering to super fans and interested tourists. If you are looking for a little-known place on your Canadian adventure, make sure to stop in Vulcan and enjoy the attractions!
The most popular sight in the town is definitely the replica of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek V. It is mounted on a pedestal that is engraved with different languages from the franchise such as Klingon. The starship is a great roadside attraction, and provides wonderful photo opportunities. Also nearby is the Vulcan Tourism and Trek Station, which offers more Star Trek memorabilia and information about both Star Trek and the history of the area. Every summer the town also hosts a Star Trek convention, bringing in hundreds of fans. The convention is called Vul-Con, and if you are a hardcore fan, this is an amazing opportunity to meet others that share your interests. A local farmer I met recently said about the convention that, “Vulcan is a little bit country, and a little bit Star Trek, and that’s what both visitors and residents love about it.” Boldly go where not many people have gone before and enjoy Vulcan’s Star Trek influence.
About a thirty-minute drive from Vulcan, in the small town of Mossleigh, there is a train station called Aspen Crossing. The station has no commercial trains that actually stop there, but rather offers a 40 km round trip experience through the Albertan prairies. This is a great way to see the countryside, and you may even spot some wildlife, such as deer or moose.The excursion packages available on the train offer a variety of options: a champagne brunch, a twilight tour where you can enjoy the beautiful Prairie sunset, a high tea, a circus train catered to families, or a dinner theater. The train runs on weekends from May until October. During the high season in July and August, it also offers tours during the week. If you are in the area during a holiday there are some interesting specials, including the Polar Express Ride for families, themed around the Polar Express movie, where hot chocolate and cookies are served on board, and the Train of Terror, a haunted train experience in October to celebrate Halloween. In addition to the train attraction, The Aspen Crossing Station also features a quality restaurant and offers a campground or cabins for accommodation. You will enjoy the train experience, no matter which excursion you choose!
The economy of Vulcan is mostly focused around agriculture and tourism, so you will see many farmers in the area going about their business. The locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming and ready to give recommendations to visitors looking to explore their area. The farmers and residents of Vulcan are always happy that people are coming to see their small section of the world and believe that it has some great experiences to offer. Another notable event in Vulcan is the Tinman Triathlon. If you are into golfing, there is also a nice golf course in town. Enjoy your stay, and make sure to socialize with the locals who are always happy to greet new faces in their small community!