Quality Inn & Suites Blog for High Level Hotels


Northern Alberta Facts

posted by: High Level Hotels on: October 30, 2013 6:26:54 PM

Northern Alberta’s Mackenzie County, where the town of High Level is located, is unlike any other place in Canada. Most visitors quickly learn that the area is full of small, tight-knit communities; however, they may not know exactly what makes this region stand out from everywhere else.

Read on to find out more about why Mackenzie County is such a unique place to live, work and visit.

It’s bigger than some provinces

Mackenzie County covers a whopping 80,000 square kilometres, equaling about 12% of Alberta’s overall land mass. That makes it the largest county in the province.

In fact, Mackenzie County is even physically larger than the province of New Brunswick. Population-wise, of course, it’s a far different story:  about 750,000 people live in New Brunswick versus 11,000 in Mackenzie County. Talk about wide-open spaces.

Local industry creates communities
If you’re traveling to northern Alberta for work, you already realize that this region has a very strong economy. But did you know that Mackenzie County holds 36% of the Peace Region’s natural gas reserves and 80% of its light-medium crude oil reserves? Two communities in the area – Town of Rainbow Lake and the Hamlet of Zama City – developed as a result of the thriving petroleum industry.

But this county isn’t only about oil and gas. Forestry remains a major employer in the region, with mature timber covering about 24% of Mackenzie County’s 1.9 million hectares of land. It’s also home to the world’s biggest single-line continuous press Oriented Strand Board operation. Meanwhile, agriculture remains an important part of the economy. There are about 700 farms in the county, which produce grain, livestock, peas, oats, canola and other crops.

The wildlife is incredibly diverse
Mackenzie County has a well-deserved reputation as a hotspot for anyone who wants to explore the outdoors. From river otters and giant black beavers to towering moose, our region provides a rare opportunity to witness a variety of creatures.

Perhaps one of the most talked about mammals in the region is the buffalo. Watch for them along the roads or in large herds on the plains near the Hay-Zama Lakes wetland. You might also see them near Rainbow Lake or the nearby First Nations reserve Chateh.

It’s this remarkable diversity that continues to attract hunters, bird watchers and other wildlife enthusiasts on a regular basis. Although not nearly as big as the resource sector, tourism also plays an important economic role in Mackenzie County.

If you’re planning a trip to the region, you’ll find comfortable and affordable accommodations at one of our hotels in High Level.