Quick Facts About the Region

Abraham Lake

  • The largest artificial lake in Alberta. The lake is 33 km (20 mi) long and 54 km² (21 sq mi) in size.
  • The Bighorn Dam was finished in 1972 creating Abraham Lake on the North Saskatchewan River. It is operated by TransAlta and is the highest producing dam in Alberta at 408,000 megawatt-hours each year.
  • The dam is 90 metres high, built mostly with rocks and dirt.
  • The lake is north-south, not east-west as most people believe.
  • The area is very windy with cold water.
  • The lake levels can fluctuate by 40 metres between the low levels of May and the highs of November.
  • The lake is named after Silas Abraham, a member of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations who lived in the area with his family in the early 1900s. The name was chosen in a province-wide contest.


  • A hamlet in Clearwater County, Nordegg was founded by a German entrepreneur named Martin Nordegg.
  • The first mining camp was established in 1911 and coal mining started in 1912. The railway connection was established in 1913.
  • The mine was operated by Brazeau Collieries Ltd. The mine site is now a National Historic Site operated by Clearwater County.
  • On October 31, 1941, a large underground explosion killed 29 miners.
  • The mine closed in 1955 after trains switched to diesel. There is still coal in the area.
  • The province used the town site as a minimum-security prison camp from 1963 to 1995.
  • The townsite was transferred to Clearwater County in 1996.
  • The highest population was in the 1940s when it reached 2,500.
  • Elevation: 1,287 metres / 4,222 feet