Aspen Crossing like ‘coming home to a simpler time,’ says staff member

On your way to Mossleigh, Alta., you’ll spot their iconic grain elevators – a historic landmark of the past. As you approach the town, a sign points to Aspen Crossing – a place filled with activities for the whole family.

The dining car, gift shop, greenhouses and campground are among the popular destinations making this a hot spot.

“I’ve had people tell me it’s like coming home to a simpler time,” said Donna Biggar, business manager at Aspen Crossing.

An 1887 Pullman Rail Car turned dining car is a nostalgic reminder of the past. The dining car’s booths and tables are all made from the original wood, and the windows reveal a prairie landscape similar to that of John Diefenbaker’s private business car while he was travelling across Western Canada.

Aspen Crossing’s gift shop located in Mossleigh, Alta.
Photo courtesy of: Aspen Crossing

Menu options include everything from homemade soups to country bread pudding. Besides daily dining, there is a Sunday brunch every week from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Monday through Thursday, Aspen Crossing offers a high tea from 2 to 4 p.m. – including savoury foods like cucumber sandwiches and other goodies. Reservations are required.

As well, from September to March, dinner-theatre shows are held in the dining car.

“It’s very interactive,” Biggar said, also adding the dinner theatres are presented in such a way that the actors involve guests to bring the story to life.

Apart from the dining car, Aspen Crossing has greenhouses open during the spring and summer months, filled with trees and flowers.

The dining car waits to take guests to a “simpler time”.
Photo courtesy of: Aspen Crossing

Biggar said the trains and horticulture are connected to the Canada’s railway history. She said the idea was that beautiful gardens at each train station would show that the soil was fertile and demonstrated to settlers arriving in the west that they could make a good living.

Besides the retail aspect, Biggar said the greenhouses are open for events such as weddings, corporate events and family reunions.

About two years ago, a campground was added to Aspen Crossing.

Old train cars and cabooses serve as guest cabins — complete with indoor plumbing, electricity, heated floors and a gas fireplace and can house four to five people.

“I think it is a relaxing experience. People come out here to re-connect with friends and family. It’s a getaway for sure,” said Leanna Biggar, Donna’s daughter.

“There’s something for everyone,” Leanna said.

For more information regarding Aspen Crossing, visit www.aspencrossing.com.

dswan@cjournal.ca