As you wind your way through farmland and abandoned townships in central Alberta — you may happen upon a small little town called Torrington, which is located at the junction of Highways 27 and 805 (easily accessible from the QEII Highway). As you enter the town, the first thing you’ll notice is the town greeter: Clem T. GoFur, standing rather nonchalant over a wagon wheel. He’s hard to miss because he’s 12 feet high.
After seeing the town mascot, turn left, then right, then left again, and you’ll find the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum — a well known Albertan roadside attraction.
The museum is not housed in a large building and once inside it’s dark and feels a bit like you’ve moved underground where you can see ground squirrels in their natural habitat.
Inside these pockets of gopher holes, you see stuffed ground squirrels dressed up and in delicate poses that showcase scenes from every day Torrington life — both historical and modern. Scenes from the arena, school, post office, community hall, parade day, seniors club, pre-historic times, etc.
Each scene is carefully constructed to create an anthropomorphic worm’s eye view of what a gopher’s life could be like underground. It reminded me of Beatrix Potter stories where animals dress in jackets, pinafores and stockings.
The taxidermy is superb.
–> GPS Coordinates: 51.79147°N 113.603354°W
–> Google Map: Uniquely Alberta Google Map
–> Cost: Adults $2, Children $.50
–> Season: Open June 1-Sep 30; 10am-5pm
Kid Rating: 3 out of 5 because the little gophers were cute and I liked their funny poses. They made me laugh and I want to visit again.
Adult Rating: 3 out of 5 because it was a quick visit without a lot of drama. It’s not a destination unto itself, but a great way to break up a long trip. It rates high on the bizarre scale, which I like.