Heartland is one of the biggest equine TV success stories of the modern-day. Now in its fifteenth season, this wholesome family drama has had many of us hooked right from the start! But have you ever looked at the beautiful scenery and wondered if there is a real Heartland ranch?
If you’re not familiar with Heartland, this popular Canadian TV series follows the story of the Fleming family on their family ranch. Let’s take a look at where Heartland ranch actually is and the story behind this successful TV series.
What Is Heartland About?
Heartland is a Canadian comedy-drama series. First launched in 2007, Heartland is now on its fifteenth season and still going strong. In fact, Heartland is now the longest-running Canadian TV series ever made!
This highly popular series is based on the Heartland book series by Lauren Brooke. The program follows sisters Amy and Lou Fleming on their family ranch in Alberta – known locally as ‘Heartland’. The story charts the highs, lows, conflicts, and celebrations of the family over the years.
The main star of the show is Amy, who has a talent for training and helping injured or abused horses by listening to them. Amy and Lou live on the ranch with their grandfather, father, and Ty, a hired hand. Over the years this household experiences many incidents and situations, with storylines that have kept us gripped throughout.
And why do so many people love Heartland? Fans adore the family-friendly and feel-good vibe of this show. The characters overcome adversity and hard times whilst cultivating a strong family bond,
Is Heartland A Real Ranch?
The original Heartland books were actually based 2000 miles south of Canada, in rural Virginia! The books themselves were not based on a real ranch. They are an amalgamation of the author’s experiences growing up around horses in the southern states of the US.
While Heartland itself is not a real ranch, this long-running series has put the locations where it is filmed firmly on the map. In fact, a whole tourist industry has sprung up around Heartland locations, so fans can go and see where it was filmed!
Here are some incredible facts about the Heartland TV series:
- The series is broadcast in more than 100 different countries
- Heartland has won five Directors Guild of Canada Awards for best family television series
- This hugely popular series has averaged more than 1 million viewers per episode
Where Was Heartland Filmed?
Heartland is a small-town series, based on a fictional town called Hudson. The locations used for Heartland are stunning and beloved by fans around the world. For many of them, Heartland seems like it is a real place!
Although the heart of Heartland (pardon the pun!) lies in America, the entire TV series is filmed in Canada. The town of Hudson itself does not exist, but the majority of the town scenes are filmed in a small town called High River.
This small town has embraced the entire concept of Heartland, and even has a new slogan: “High River – Home of Heartland”. High River is now a popular tourist attraction for Heartland fans. Many of them flock to High River to visit locations such as the main street and diner.
Where Is The Heartland Ranch?
Although the Heartland Ranch itself is a fictional place, filming for the ranch scenes takes place on location at a ranch in the west of Millarville in Canada. As with most TV series, the locations used are scattered across a wide area. The Millarville ranch is the location most would associate with the Heartland Ranch.
Unfortunately, the Millarville ranch used is private. The location has not been disclosed and visitors cannot visit the ranch set itself. But if you want to experience the real-life feel of Heartland Ranch, take a trail ride from High River. The scenery is incredible and feels just like you are riding through Heartland!
Can I Visit Heartland?
The Canadian tourist board has cottoned on to the popularity of Heartland, so you can take in the sights of where Heartland was based. It is possible to take a self-guided Heartland tour of the town of High River where Heartland was filmed. Download the Town of High River’s “Famous People, Famous Places” map and explore the familiar sights from the show!
High River is so much the heart of Heartland, that a lot of the town itself is given over to film sets! Maggie’s Diner, popular with characters in the show, exists not only as a fictional diner but also as a real-life version too! The main street includes many real shops as well as TV sets and familiar sights from the show.
Fans who visit the town can peek through the windows of the sets – as long as filming isn’t taking place of course. Or you may be lucky enough to visit on a filming day and see some of the stars of the show.
And if you can’t get to Canada, here is a tour of the set with two of the stars of the show!
In 2013, the town of High River was swept by a huge flood which caused enormous amounts of damage. The stars, crew, and production staff of Heartland were saddened for the people of High River and wanted to help the town. Their fundraising efforts raised over $80,000, and included TV studio tours and a live online auction.
Heartland fans will all agree that finding the right balance when making a TV drama about horses is very hard. However, this popular series has kept us all gripped for many years!
Although there is not a real Heartland ranch, the story itself closely follows the location first outlined in the books. Just bear in mind that this is 2000 miles further north on TV compared to where the book series was based!
Are you a big Heartland fan? Perhaps you’ve got some other suggestions of great horse-focused TV series for us to review? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!