We love it here, you will too!
On a late summer evening in 2007, three friends drove into Grasslands National Park for the very first time. A sentinel prairie dog colony stood at full attention in greeting. Bending down to adjust a camera tripod, one of the friends heard, and then saw, air escaping from a tire. Suddenly, the gilded stillness of a timeless evening was charged with urgency. They needed to find a less isolated spot before the tire went completely flat and night fell.
Three minutes later they were back on the main road – looking at not one, not two, but three flat tires. It was as if something was trying to catch their attention. Or wanting them to stay.
During the golden hour before sunset, only one vehicle approached the stranded friends, driven by a local rancher who gave them help. But repairing the tires took so long that instead of returning to the park as intended, time ran out and they returned to their urban homes instead.
But the unfinished memory lived on.
Seven years later, two finally returned, and the calling became clear. One originally from the west, the other from the east, they’d both lived in many places, travelled all over the world, but it was here – at The Grasslands – that inexplicably, they both felt the wonder of homecoming. Remarkably, a beautiful property on the edge of the park was for sale, including a house and a small business called The Crossing Resort.
Some might call it destiny, some might call it fate. They called it time. Within fourteen months they’d rearranged their lives and moved to The Crossing where they now welcome visitors home to Grasslands National Park.
History of The Crossing
In the 19th century, the area surrounding Val Marie was known as The Crossing. It was here, midway between Wood Mountain and Fort Walsh, that patrols of the North West Mounted Police crossed the Frenchman River. Today, this is where visitors cross over from altered, farmed prairie to wide open, unfenced natural Prairie protected within Grasslands National Park.
The Crossing at Grasslands is located on an 80 acre remnant of the McInnis family homestead, most of which became part of Grasslands National Park. In 2000, Ken and Johanna Jensen built and opened The Crossing Resort, with two one-bedroom suites and a campground to host visitors to the Park. In 2008, an additional 2-bedroom vacation suite was built.
In August 2015, Neil and Susan purchased The Crossing and visitors continued to be welcomed to the timeless beauty of the grasslands.