The first reported white man to see the Innisfail area and beyond was Anthony Henday. In October of 1754 he and his group came to what is now Alberta from York Factory with a mission to meet the infamous Blackfoot natives and perhaps trade with them.
After receiving an indefinite answer from the Blackfoot (which Henday took as a “no”), Henday traveled back to York Factory with news that he had explored the area and had met with the Blackfoot. Since the answer had been unsure, there was no more expeditions to Alberta.
Alberta remained relatively undisturbed by white people for a century until Rev. John McDougall came through the area. He developed a trail from Fort Edmonton to Morley (near Banff) while he was on a church mission. This trail went right through the area where Innisfail is now located (Trails to Poplar Grove 5).