- Written by Dana Wheatley; photo: Courtesy of Dana Wheatley: South Glenmore Sailing School
Like many young kids, my son is a huge fan of watching vehicles. It’s not uncommon to find us roaming Inglewood looking for freight trains. There are a number of parking lots we’ve found that provide good views of the trains, but the atmosphere leaves a little to be desired. Below is a list of a few places where you can set up on a blanket or picnic table and have a picnic while you watch for trains, planes or boats.
Edworthy Park (Bow Trail & Spruce Drive SW) – The train line cuts right through Edworthy Park; they come by regularly and you can see the trains right up-close. There are a couple of playgrounds and picnic areas right nearby that you can hang out at until you hear the train crossing bells.
Shillington Crescent Park (Sacramento Drive & Shillington Crescent SW) – This park has a playground and a soccer field with views of both the C-train and rail lines.
Lions Park – (south of Lions Park Station, 13 Avenue and 16A Street NW) – This park runs behind the C-train tracks at Lions Park Station. There is a playground at the East end complete with picnic tables and a view of the C-trains going by. For added fun, you can walk onto the nearby pedestrian overpass and watch the C-trains go by as well as buses and other traffic pass underneath you.
Edward H. Laborde Airplane Watching Area (McKnight & Aviation Road – between Deerfoot and Barlow Trail) – This is probably the best spot in the city for watching airplanes take off and land. There is a small park area to the South with benches and picnic tables as well as picnic tables along the parking lot. In cooler weather you can watch the runway from the comfort of your car.
Prairie Winds Park (233 Castleridge Boulevard NE) - The planes fly so low over this large NE park, you’re not allowed to fly kites. To get even closer, climb to the top of the large hill – from there, it feels like you could almost touch the planes. Prairie Winds Park also has two playgrounds, a large wading pool and multiple picnic areas.
Glenmore Reservoir (North Glenmore Park: 7305 Crowchild Trail SW; South Glenmore Park: 90 Avenue & 24 Street SW) – When you think about Calgary, boat watching is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but there is plenty to see at the Glenmore Reservoir. The Calgary Canoe Club and Calgary Rowing Club are both located at North Glenmore Park, the Calgary Sailing School and boat rentals are located at South Glenmore Park, and the S.S. Moyie (a working replica of a historic paddle steamer) runs out of Heritage Park Historical Village to the East of the reservoir. Both North and South Glenmore Park have picnic areas, playgrounds and pathways.
Dana spends her free time seeking out the best indoor and outdoor places to play in Calgary with her son and blogging about them. For more information, visit www.calgaryplaygroundreview.com.