Busting a myth in the Alberta Foothills…?

Vulcan Aerodrome

For years I have wondered, for years I had hoped, for years I wanted to know – do we have actually have a Magnetic Hill is southern Alberta.   I decided to take my curiosity onto the open road to find out.   My son and I drove south along Highway 2 for approximately one hour until we entered the small town Nanton, known for numerous antique stores and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, which houses a Lancaster Bomber used in World War II.  From there we made a quick turn west onto Secondary road 533, a nicely paved highway that drives through the foothills for about 40 kilometers before you intersect with Highway 22.  Mystery has it, that 23 kilometers west of Nanton on 533 there is a small dirt road that is supposedly the entrance to the Magnetic Hill.  Well, we drove and drove, we actually missed the dirt road entirely, but thanks to our handy-dandy back road atlas, we were soon headed in the right direction.   However, there were no signs highlighting the area.  The road rose and dived like a roller coaster, but still no signs.  We did try one spot, but alas, nothing….!  All this time, I had hoped…but as we drove we concluded that this myth was busted!   That said, if anyone out there knows about this hill in Alberta, please share your discovery!

However, that didn’t stop our adventure.  We headed back into Nanton and crossed over Highway 2 and decided to head east on Secondary Road 533 to continue exploring.   I had read that there was an old abandon Aerodrome located in the middle of a prairie field, located approximately 30 minutes east of Nanton.  The Vulcan Aerodrome was short-lived and was only used for World War II training during 1942-1945; however, the remnants of its former glory years still stand.

Vulcan Aerodrome

Vulcan Aerodrome

Vulcan Aerodrome

Vulcan Aerodrome

Vulcan Aerodrome

Vulcan Aerodrome

As we drove into the open prairie, where trees only dotted the landscape, I spotted buildings off into the distance.  Excited to see that this myth wasn’t busted, I started to drive faster.   Soon we were located within the ghostly compound driving along a forgotten past.   Skydiving and “no trespassing” signs were plastered on the buildings and an eerie silence encompassed the area.  We stopped briefly to take some photos, and as I walked in long grass and tiptoed around broken glass, I wondering if this area would ever come back to life like its formal glory days.

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Categories: Around Alberta, Road Trip Pictures, The Unusual...

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9 replies

  1. Interesting post! I’d never heard of a Magnetic Hill. Nice pictures!

  2. LOVE THIS! We planned to go to a Gravity Hill in Wisconsin (Shullsburg) but couldn’t get there. I was so anticipating finding one in Alberta once I started your blog! 😀 I hope you find it!

  3. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

  4. Magnetic Hill is there. You’re in the right spot. Ive visited it a couple of times. But I was checking on line to refresh my memory on its exact location. If its not off the 533 its off the 540, but Im leaning more towards the 533. As far as I remember there is a small unobtrusive sign on the side of the highway that says ‘magnetic hill’ and the actual hill is barely off the highway. Last time I was there must’ve been about 2000, 2001.

  5. I can tell you that you were so close to the Magnetic Hill site. The road you turned onto is what the Local folks actually do call “Roller Coaster Road”. If you would of proceeded West on #533 just a bit more around the bend, it would of been your next left turn. It’s been closed and gated off for years now. I think the land-owner got tired of the local teenagers having parties up there and leaving their garbage so he locked the gate and took down the sign.

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