Warm days are on their way and what better way to experience all Calgary has to offer than by taking a spin around town. With more than 550km of pathways and 260km of on-street bikeways, we have the most extensive urban pathway system. So no matter what age your children are there is a trail around town that will capture even the most hardened couch potato’s imagination.
In the Northwest try:
Baker Park/Bowness Park: This 6km trail is a great one for kids of all ages. The paved path follows along-side the Bow River and through Bowness Park. Better yet is the option of stopping to cool down at the spray pool or visit at Angel’s Drive-inn home for an ice cream cone or a great burger.
Confederation Park: This is one of the quieter places to take the kids in Calgary. While traveling along this path enjoy the vast manicured lawns which are perfect for picnics or take a moment to watch families of ducks swim in the creek that flows throughout the park. The paved 4km trail makes for an easy ride through this stunning park.
Nose Hill Park: Visit what some Calgarians call the city’s best kept secret. With 1,093 hectares this is Canada’s largest natural park. The paths range from moderate to extremely hilly, paved pathways to dirt trails. It’s a great opportunity to challenge your teen. Nose Hill Park is a quiet getaway in the inner-city. Enjoy a great view of the mountains along with downtown Calgary.
In the Northeast try:
Nose Creek/West Nose Creek Park: Running north 22km from the Bow River at the Zoo to approximately 96 Avenue NE, this trail provides a quiet ride with the stroller or baby trailer. The paved path follows along-side muddy Nose Creek all the way to Symons Valley. On cool evenings don’t be surprised to see deer foraging for food or coyote pups romping.
Wildwood/Bridgeland: Take a spin through the quiet inner-city neighborhoods or challenge your kids to see who can make it to the top of the hill near Spruce Cliff first. The 30km of trails vary from easy all the way to difficult but provide ample motivation as you pass by the Zoo, Chinatown, Eau Claire Market, and Prince’s Island Park on your way to sweet treats at Lics or Extreem Bean Cafe.
In Southwest Calgary:
Fish Creek Provincial Park: This 19km path is for the wildlife lover, while paved and gravel trails provide a fun ride for kids of all ages. Go through open grasslands, wildflowers, and watch deer along the creek. Check out the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre, the archeological digs that happen all summer, or take a break at Sikome Lake for a quick dip to cool off on a hot day.
Glenmore Reservoir: The reservoir is Calgary’s largest body of water and provides amazing views of the mountains. This 16.5km trail takes you through the Weaselhead Corridor and allows you access to Sandy Beach, Heritage Park and Glenmore Landing. Catch a glimpse of the wildlife who call this reservoir home or look for the S.S Moyie as it paddles its way around.
In Southeast Calgary:
Elliston Regional Park: This small prairie park in the east end of Calgary holds the cities second biggest lake. Rolling hills, trees and shrubs surround the lake and the path that flows along it. Take a short afternoon for this one to three km trail.
Inglewood/Mount Royal/Scotsman’s Hill
Pass by some of the nicest houses in Calgary along this 20km trail and go through the lush, colorful river valley trails. Or travel to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, which is a moderately easy 17km bike ride. While you’re there take a break at the bird sanctuary to spy some of the 270 species of birds that come there throughout the year.Nanica is a freelance writer who works at home part-time amid the distractions of her three cats, her husband and the never ending pile of laundry.
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