This year, flooding closed some of our favourite places for fall walks – Beaverdam flats, Bowness Park and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (unless you book a tour) are all closed until repairs are complete. But Calgary’s parks and pathway system is expansive and there are still plenty of opportunities for a stroll in the crisp, autumn air.
Here are a few walks within Calgary’s city limits to consider.
This area gets its name because it is 12 miles from the post office in Fort Calgary and was a mail drop on the stagecoach run to Cochrane. Now it is one of the perks of living in Tuscany. There is a paved pathway that follows the ravine along the creek.
Confederation Park is more than 160 hectares of manicured park in northwest Calgary. There are bridges and ducks and wetlands. And Balsam Poplar trees, Red-osier Dogwood shrubs and willows make it pretty in autumn.
The Douglas Fir Trail is short at 2.5 kilometres long, but it puts you right among the trees. The pathway, which sometimes includes rickety wood planks and sloping stairs, can get slippery and it closes in the winter, so fall is the best time to try the trail. While you are there, tack on some time walking the rest of the green spaces and pathways in the 169 hectare Edworthy Park.
This mega park in south Calgary stretches 19 kilometres east to west with 80 kilometres of trails. It’s the largest park in Calgary. The Bow river and Fish Creek go through it, and while there was flood damage, the debris has been cleared to the sides and the paths are open.
Visit the artisan gardens, created by the Fish Creek Restoration Society for the Historical Bow Valley Ranche. There are more than 175 pieces of original art from more than 60 artists. The gardens are in Fish Creek Provincial Park south on Bow Bottom Trail past 146 Avenue. Pair your walk with brunch at The Ranche Restaurant.
The huge park is mostly grassland covering 11 square-kilometres in the northwest. 12 communities surround the park, including Edgemont and Huntington Hills. When you are on the plateau, you get views of the mountains, the Calgary skyline and the river valley. It also has a big off-leash area.
This park connects South Glenmore Park and North Glenmore Park. It is 237 acres and has the only delta in the city. Weaselhead Flats lays at the mouth of the Elbow River, which means there was some flood damage. If you choose to walk here, you have to stay on the regional pathway. The Department of National Defence is assessing the area for flood remediation.