Where is Heartland Filmed?
Heartland is hands down the best show in the world for horse lovers. But where is Heartland filmed?
The show is filmed in Calgary, Canada. The backdrop of the show is set against the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The setting is as legit as it gets, with the actual film set nestled in Albertan ranching country, surrounded by farms and plenty of horses.
Heartland is not just filmed in a boring old studio. It’s actually filmed on a dedicated studio set and in a handful of real local venues less than an hour from the city of Calgary. The quaint community of High River is turned into the TV town of Hudson using film magic.
High River (AKA Hudson) just so happens to be the best small town in Southern Alberta, making it a great location to film Heartland. There’s even a visitor’s centre in town where you can get a scoop on all the various film locations for an authentic visit.
If you’re interested in visiting the real-life Hudson, check out behind the local museum. The film crews park their vans behind it. If you see them there, it means they’re filming somewhere! But don’t get your hopes up, as they aren’t filming often.
Speaking of a visit, be sure to check out the Museum of Highwood in High River. This place has all kinds of great artifacts from the show itself, like the wardrobes worn by the actors. They have a pair of Amy’s shoes and Ty’s iconic jacket. This is also a great place to pick up some incredible Heartland merchandise. The best part is that the museum is free for all visitors.
What else has been filmed in the area? Fargo, Unforgiven, and the Revenant! The area surrounding Calgary is one of the most beautiful and wild in the whole world.
Is Maggie’s Diner Real?
3rd Avenue of High River is home to Maggie’s Diner, Tack and Feed. Yes, the diner is a real building. However, you can’t actually go inside and order yourself lunch. The building isn’t a functional business. The interior is entirely fictional. The detail is amazing and everything looks just like in the show, but there’s nobody there to serve the coffee!
In High River, there’s a local diner a lot like Maggie’s. It’s called Evelyn’s Memory Lane and they have the best ice cream and lunch specials in town. located on 4th Avenue, the same street where they filmed the cattle drive back in season 4.
George Lane Park is another spot in High River that has Heartland significance. It’s the place where Amy had her high school graduation ceremony in the show. Then there’s the High River Motor Hotel, which was featured in a few episodes as well. But to be honest, this is one place that’s less savory in real life than it is in the show!
Most of Heartland’s filming doesn’t take place in the city of High River, it’s done at a working ranch to the west of Millarville. However, the ranch is private and fans aren’t allowed to visit. The closest you can come to physically seeing the ranch is on Google Maps.
There are some other cool locations near Millarville where the filming gets done. There’s the Millarville Anglican Church where Lou’s wedding happened in season 3. And whenever you see a scene involving green and white horse stables, or whenever there’s rodeo and horse racing, you know the episode is being filmed at the Millarville Farmer’s Market and Race Track.
Horse Riding in Heartland
For those interested in a real taste of Heartland, there are riding possibilities less than an hour from Calgary. One of the best places to get the full Heartland riding experience is The Cowboy Trail. Hiring a professional trail rider in the area is the best way to be introduced to cowboy life. Riding here will take you through the most beautiful Heartland country.
They use a lot of horses in the TV show, just like in the movies and it always interesting to find out more information about the horses and the riders.
How Much Does Canada Make from Heartland?
The provincial economy of Alberta makes a pretty handsome amount from hosting the Heartland TV show. Back in 2019, it was estimated that Heartland poured at least $200 million into the local economy. This money is through tourism, attracting addition film production, and jobs.
The small Albertan town of High River gets very busy in the summer from Canadian and international tourists who love the show and want to see the real-life locations, and the local businesses prosper a lot from all the attention.
Do Heartland Actors Ride Horses?
The Heartland actors do almost all their own riding. The only time they don’t is when there are some dangerous riding scenes, at which point stunt doubles will usually ride for them.
As for who owns the horses on Heartland, most of them are owned by a man named John Scott. He’s the master wrangler of the show and well-known throughout the film industry for his horses.
Back in season 11, the Heartland show welcomed a Przewalski’s Horse from Mongolia, one of the rarest breeds in the whole world! However, it wasn’t a real Mongolian horse. These horses are so endangered in real life that the Heartland crew was unable to find one. Instead, they used a Norwegian Fjord horse.
The Heartland Book Series Location
Those who are true dedicated fans to Heartland will know the show was a book before it was ever a TV show. Heartland is based on a series of novels by Lauren Brooke. In the books, Heartland is based over 2,000 miles away from where it is in the show, in Virginia.
Other than the difference of location, everything is pretty similar between the Heartland book series and the Heartland show. Even most of the characters are the same. And in case you were curious, Lauren Brooke doesn’t have anything to do with the show as it develops, meaning she doesn’t have any input in the storylines or how the plot develops.