McCutcheon Dr, and McCutcheon Place were named after early pioneer Robert McCutcheon*, known colloquially as “one of the first white settlers in Medicine Hat”. He was in the NWMP, and vice-president and founding member of the Agricultural Society in 1887. Born in Cornwall, ON he was first stationed as a Mountie in Fort MacLeod, and then was transferred to and helped build Fort Walsh. He was also known as the first Canadian official to greet Indigenous leader Sitting Bull on Canadian soil. He lived a long life, and died in 1943 at the age of 90.
This scenic view follows a very long trail and starts at Division Avenue North and goes west along the upper breaks of the McCutcheon Drive hills and continues north to the west end of 12 Street NW. This scenic view show cases the dry, native grassland hills and patches of woody plants overlooking areas of the North Flats, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Downtown, NW Riverside, CP Rail Mainline, South Saskatchewan River, River Heights and Harlow, SE and SW Hill, our Regional Hospital.
Native grasses such as needle and thread, June grass, Blue grama grass, prickly pear cactus and cushion or ball cactus, and pussy-toes can be found. Semi-arid grasslands such as these are important wildlife habitats for grassland song birds such a variety of sparrow species and meadowlarks.
Towards the east end of McCutcheon trail, there is a view point deck where wetlands provide conditions suitable for moisture-loving cattails and grasslike plants, and woodies like chokecherry, Saskatoon and deciduous trees.
If one wants to venture further, at the far end of the trail there is a staircase up that will lead you to Division Avenue and onto the Jeffries Trail Scenic View. Or you can take the staircase down and with a walkway over the CP Rail Tracks to Riverside and beyond over Finlay Bridge to downtown Medicine Hat.
*McCutcheon name history information kindly provided by Jennifer Barrientos B.A., Assistant Archivist, Cultural Development, City of Medicine Hat.