Athabasca Landing Trail Attractions




Rochester is a hamlet in northern Alberta in Athabasca County, located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of Highway 2. It has a major staging area on the Athabasca Landing Trail across from the general store.

Rochester was originally called Ideal Flats by people who settled here in the early 1900s. The mailing address in the stage coach era was McDonalds for the family run stopping house where it was delivered or Two Creeks for the two little creeks that meet on the east side of the Landing Trail. The hamlet was renamed Rochester in 1912 when rail service from Edmonton to Athabasca was completed. It was named for Herbert Rochester who was secretary to the General Manager of the Canadian National Railway from 1909-15.

Rochester's first store keeper was Tom O'Connor who also served as postmaster and telephone operator. His brother Martin joined him and then took over the business in 1919 when Tom died in the influenza epidemic. Marrtin purchased another local store, Lorrison's, in 1927, which was sold to Walter Gerlach in the 1940's. Gerlach branched out by adding a garage to the operations and becoming an International Harvester truck and machinery dealer. When the store burned down in 1956, the garage was converted into the store that still exists today.

Tawatinaw Valley Appaloosas near Rochester adheres to the principals that because of the versatility and uniqueness of the Appaloosa breed, the spirit of the horse should not be kept within the confines of a barn, but out in the open pastures. These beautiful horses can be seen in their pasture by people travelling the Athabasca Landing Trail. Email:

Rochester Interpretive Sign

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