The filming location of the Heartland TV series and its surrounding areas are stunning places worth learning about, whether you’re planning to visit them or just curious where your favorite drama was filmed. Heartland is set on a ranch at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, near the town of Hudson.
Although Hudson is a fictional area, the small town in Alberta actually exists that the drama fans can visit. Its real name is High River, a small community located about thirty minutes from the south of Calgary. This town is rich in history and offers outdoor adventures, picturesque scenery, and nearly thirty kilometers of biking and walking trails. So if you’re here to discover the Heartland locations, you can do other activities to keep you busy.
The ranch that provides the setting for the TV series is situated about forty-five minutes from High River and ten minutes from Millarville, which is another shooting location. Unfortunately for Heartland fans, you can’t just rock up at the ranch and take a tour. Since it’s private property, entering it without the owner’s permission would be considered trespassing and disrespecting the owner. Some of the interior scenes were shot inside a studio in Calgary.
Some of the main Heartland actors, including Amber Marshall and Alisha Newton, playing Georgie Flemming, are avid horse lovers in real life with years of experience around horses.
Amy and Ty’s first kiss scene in Heartland
The Barn, High River, Alberta
Amy and Ty got off on the wrong foot when they first met, but you’ll see their relationship gradually blooms as the first season progresses. There’s been a time when Ty comforts her, and the couple nearly kiss. However, the much-awaited kiss didn’t happen until the first season's final episode.
On the night of Amy’s victory after competing in the Fall Finale and winning first place with her horse, Spartan, she and Ty have a serious conversation in the barn. Amy is still ecstatic about winning and feels delighted with Spartan’s performance. Ty declares he’s proud of her and wants to say something else but struggles to find the right words to tell her how he feels. Then Amy says her famous line, “Talking is underrated.” Then Ty takes a step, holds her close, and kisses her.
This iconic moment happens in the season one finale, Coming Together, in episode 13. It’s a heartwarming scene and certainly a treat to the couple's fans waiting for their sweet moment.
Besides this kissing scene, the barn was featured in numerous remarkable parts and episodes of the show, from season 1 to 15. It’s one of the drama’s primary shooting locations in High River, and some of the best scenes in Heartland were filmed here. However, the Heartland production also created a perfect replica of the barn inside a studio. They used both locations for filming barn scenes.
Tim and Lou’s argument scene in Heartland
Maggie’s Diner, High River
Who would forget the gossip and date scenes that bring color to the characters and events in Heartland? Perhaps, one of the Heartland film sets that play a significant role in the drama is Maggie’s Diner, Tack & Feed store. In the series, it’s a busy local store owned by Margaret ‘Maggie’ Duval (Suzanne Coy). It’s a popular meeting point and a place where everyone hangs out, chats, and gets lunch or a nice cup of coffee.
In the season 7 Wrecking Ball episode, you’ll find Tim and Lou on the opposite ends of a fight as Maggie’s diner was put up for sale. It sparks a competition between the father and daughter because Tim wants to tear down the store to build a Buff Burger franchise, but Lou wants it to “stay the way it is.” Adding to her sentiments is the fact that it’s been in the town since 1902.
Maggie’s Diner, Tack & Feed is one of the notable locations in the drama with its charming rustic log cabin style. Unlike other television shows that use real restaurants or working businesses, Maggie’s Diner is a dedicated set for shooting. It’s a popular tourist spot, especially among the series’ fans looking to tour the location.
While you can’t go in to have a slice of pie or order coffee here, you can always stop by, see the exterior, and take a picture outside. You’ll see the diner with a kitchen area, countertop, chairs, and tables, just like the ones you’ll see in the drama when you look through the window. If you walk around the area, you might recognize a few other storefronts that have also been featured in the show throughout the seasons.
If you’re coming from Calgary, no direct bus will take you from the city to the High River. The best and most convenient way to get to the town is through a taxi or a private vehicle.
Relay race scene in Heartland
Millarville Racetrack, Millarville
Since it’s a drama series centered on a horse-whisperer living on a ranch, expect to see horse-riding scenes, races, and rodeos. In one of the scenes in season 5, episode 5, Never Let Go, Amy does a trick riding performance in front of Ty with a horse that would only go counterclockwise, which she noted that “trick riding horses are trained to do.”
In episode 8, season 14, Riders on the Storm, Emmett (Justin Rain) appears as Scott’s nephew, seeking to continue his family’s relay racing tradition. He’s having trouble with one of the horses, Barega, who’s the fastest on the circuit, but Emmett feels she’s wasted on him.
Frustrated and annoyed during a training session, he asks why he can’t land it, as Barega is always ready to take off and run. Of course, our heroine finds a solution, and Emmett eventually decides to race despite his doubt and reluctance at the beginning.
These and many other rodeo and horse racing scenes take place in the fictional Hudson race track. In reality, they were filmed in a small village called Millarville. It is home to The Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society, just 35 minutes southwest of Calgary.
This historical racetrack has been around for over a century and now hosts various family-oriented events. These include Millarville Heritage Rodeo, seasonal Farmer’s Market, races, etc. It also offers facility rentals and a campground in a gorgeous natural setting for a relaxing camping experience.
There’s no direct connection from Calgary city to Millarville. But you can take the tram 201 to Sb Somerset-Bridlewood C-train Station. Then, you’ll have to take a taxi or drive to the village. The fastest way to get to Millarville from Calgary is by taxi.
High school graduation scene in Heartland
George Lane Memorial Park, High River
Do you remember Heartland’s fourth episode in season 4, Graduation? How about the A Time to Remember episode in season 13? If you’ve followed the series from the beginning, you’ll most likely remember these critical milestones in Amy and Georgie’s lives – their high school graduation!
Even if you’re not a fan of the series, you’ve probably heard or taken note of the quote about obstacles from the valedictorian speech during Georgie’s graduation. Perhaps, one of the things we can get from that moving speech is that “obstacles aren’t meant to be tackled alone.”
Amy and Georgie’s graduation scenes took place in an outdoor setting at George Lane Memorial Park. Avid watchers of the show who visit the site will undoubtedly recognize the famous red gazebo. It is located next to the beautiful downtown of High River, featuring a playground, a baseball diamond, horseshoe pits, an events stage, and picnic areas. It is also home to mature black cottonwoods, many of which are over a hundred years old.
The park and campground is only a few minutes’ walk from shops, bars, and restaurants. It’s also close to the Highwood River, which is great for swimming. However, you’ll need a car or hire a taxi to get to the park, as it could take you over three hours on a bus to get there. If you want to take the train, you can catch the Line 201 tram and ride two buses, which could take about three hours and a half.
Peter and Lou’s wedding scene in Heartland
Millarville Christ Church
Peter and Lou got married in the show's third season, and then we get a flashback of the big day in season 8, episode 15, Eclipse of the Heart. While helping Amy pick her wedding dress, Lou tearfully looked back at the day she married her “one true love” and became Mrs. Morris. It’s an exciting moment for Amy but the opposite for Lou, who confesses that she and Peter decided to separate.
The ceremony venue for Lou and Peter’s wedding was the Millarville Christ Church, located off the scenic Highway 549. It’s a historical vertical log chapel that was built in 1896.
Those who visit this Heartland filming location will enjoy spectacular Rocky Mountain views, well-maintained grounds, and wildlife. After more than 120 years since its establishment, it remains a hot spot in the community and a favorite attraction among Heartland fans.
Ambush scene in Heartland
Season 10, episode 9, A Horse with No Rider, opens in an unfamiliar desert setting. In one of the scenes, you’ll see Ty and Bob in a truck being ambushed by Mongolian-speaking men. They narrate that they shot a female bear and probably wounded a cub while shooting at a hunter to “frighten him away.”
The Heartland production added the scenes in Mongolia to expand the drama’s storyline outside Alberta and Canada. However, they didn’t go to Mongolia to shoot these scenes. Instead, they went to Drumheller and used the valley’s scenic backdrop to recreate Mongolia’s land of vast, unspoiled wilderness.
You need to drive to get to Drumheller from Calgary. But if you’re traveling without a car, the best mode of transportation is the J & L Shuttle Service and taxi, which would take over two hours to get there.
Countless TV series and iconic movies have used Calgary and its surrounding areas for filming, and Heartland is one of them. This Canadian drama series will take you to the heart of a small town in Canada, a beautiful ranch, and a desert location. They also used a gorgeous park just minutes from downtown High River, where you can immerse in nature and enjoy various outdoor activities.
Whether you’re a fan of the drama or not, a Heartland tour through the Rocky Mountains foothills will give you memorable experiences in Alberta. Don’t forget to stop by the Millarville Racetrack and head to the Millarville Church nearby. If you’ve seen the series, you can’t look at this charming log chapel and not think about Lou’s wedding scene in Heartland. Take your time as you explore the ranch and countryside where the show was filmed.