Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher accustomed to her high society life,receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges.Abigail Stanton is a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads.Set against the wild canvas of an early 20th century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.
Elizabeth and Jack try to put their differences aside to stop Julie and Tom before they make another mistake. Bill sorts out a relationship from his past. Gowen targets Abigail’s Café in his next underhanded scheme.
The townsfolk celebrate the New Year, which allows Jack and Elizabeth to make a fresh start. Meanwhile, Rosemary and Lee have a new adventure and Pastor Hogan runs into an unwelcome visitor from his past.
Elizabeth surprises Jack with a home of her own; Abigail learns of Gowen's latest greedy scheme; Frank's past catches up to him.
When the people of Hope Valley learn that Frank is a wanted man, they quickly turn on him. Abigail sets out to prove that the mistakes of the past don't define the future.
After Hope Valley learns redemption is possible, Abigail and Frank pursue a romance before the heart of the town is tested by the threat of a gang of outlaws.
Jack and Faith's friendship begins to complicate his relationship with Elizabeth; Abigail pitches in to help a struggling community; a wave of kindness in Hope Valley has everyone opening their heart for a grand occasion.
Jack prepares to take a big step toward building a life with Elizabeth; Abigail welcomes Becky back into her home before making an emotional decision about their future as a family.
Abigail has to come to terms with the sudden arrival of the children's aunt; Elizabeth, Jack and the rest of Hope Valley come to witness a powerful act of love that proves everyone is right where they belong.
Elizabeth strives to help a young boy come to terms with an past injury while she and Jack coach the kids in baseball.
Elizabeth must try to coax the truth from Robert after his lie about seeing a bear makes him the town hero.
To raise money for new school supplies, Elizabeth and the kids throw a carnival; the carnival sheds new light and possibly even hope, on Phillip's relationship with his distant father.
Elizabeth struggles with growing pains at the school; an old friend comes to visit Jack; Abigail's tenure as mayor is threatened; Rosemary plays matchmaker.
Elizabeth fights to clear her name and get her job back; Jack gets some troubling news; Wyatt and the railroad continue to make problems for Hope Valley; the children have to deal with a stern new schoolteacher.
After the death of a friend, Jack makes some difficult life choices that may affect Elizabeth as well.
Elizabeth has problems in her classroom when the nephews of Ray Wyatt come to her class and bully other students; Lee loses his voice and Rosemary does the talking for him; Bill finds AJ foster; Ray Wyatt opens a commissary.
Tension between Elizabeth and her new students continues; Lee and Rosemary fight about Rosemary learning to drive; Abigail struggles to hold the cafe together while the railroad's commissary thrives.
Elizabeth takes Opal in while her parents are away; a newcomer to Hope Valley has some insight into Carson Shepherd's mysterious past; an unlikely turn of events puts Cody in harm's way.
Elizabeth's sister Julie visits Hope Valley in her quest to become a teacher; Lee is made acting Sheriff when Abigail and Bill leave town to testify in Gowen's trial; Carson has problems with a traveling tonic salesmen.
Elizabeth mentors Julie, who finds teaching more difficult than she imagined; Abigail has to find a way to convince the railroad to build its depot in Hope Valley.
Jack returns and begins planning his future with Elizabeth; Elizabeth teaches her students the difference between facts and speculation; the town is put on edge when Lee cannot withdraw funds to pay his employees.