FALL HIKES

Take a hike within city lim­its

Where Calgary - - CONTENTS - BY SIL­VIA PIKAL

With golden leaves, cool­ing tem­per­a­tures and qui­eter trails, the au­tumn shoul­der sea­son is the per­fect time to ex­plore trails in a beau­ti­ful park in Cal­gary. Th­ese nat­u­ral trails range from chal­leng­ing hillier ter­rain to hikes suit­able for all abil­i­ties. Ex­pe­ri­ence stun­ning city and moun­tain vis­tas and see abun­dant wildlife with­out leav­ing town.

WEASELHEAD FLATS

Weaselhead Flats nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment park bor­ders the west end of the Glen­more Reser­voir. Park at the lot at 66 Av­enue and 37 Street SW. Take a paved trail down a steep hill be­fore cross­ing a con­crete bridge to ac­cess the Weaselhead Flats trail sys­tem. Here you’ll find Cal­gary’s only delta, cre­ated by the El­bow River slow­ing down as it flows into the Glen­more Reser­voir, and de­posit­ing sand and gravel to cre­ate a net­work of chan­nels and marsh. The me­an­der­ing trail in­ter­sects sev­eral times, giv­ing you the op­tion of stop­ping for a rest on benches in quiet ar­eas. The area sup­ports water birds, beavers, muskrats, and a mix of vege­ta­tion. Stick to the trails and be cau­tious of horse rid­ers. 66 Ave and 37 St SW

FISH CREEK PRO­VIN­CIAL PARK

This pro­vin­cial park fea­tures 80 kilo­me­tres of paved and un­paved trails. Start at Bow Val­ley Ranch his­tor­i­cal site at the end of Bow Bot­tom Trail South. Stroll through the Ar­ti­san Gar­dens, a public art gallery in na­ture fea­tur­ing Cana­dian artists, be­fore em­bark­ing on Fish Creek’s large trail sys­tem. The route is mostly flat on the main paved path, but you can travel on sev­eral hilly trails along the way that pro­vide views of the park be­low. On the way back, treat your­self to a cof­fee from An­nie’s Bak­ery and Café. 15979 Bow Bot­tom Trail SE

BOWMONT PARK

Bowmont Park stretches along the north edge of the Bow River, over­look­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of Mont­gomery and Bow­ness. In ad­di­tion to the main paved path, there are sev­eral sin­gle-track trails to ex­plore, which are fre­quented by hik­ers and moun­tain bik­ers. At the top of the park, you’re treated to views of the Bow River and moun­tain vis­tas to the west. For a unique ex­pe­ri­ence right in the city, head to the Wa­ter­fall Val­ley trail con­ve­niently lo­cated near the cen­tre of the park. Bring the kids along for a fun hike down a wooden path­way to see wild­flow­ers, bushes, trees, and best of all—a wa­ter­fall. 85 St NW and 48 Ave NW

NOSE HILL PARK

Nose Hill Park fea­tures a nat­u­ral prairie landscape with more than 60 kilo­me­tres of des­ig­nated trails and path­ways. For a good work­out, park at the Many Owls Val­ley Park­ing Lot and get ready for a steep in­cline that tops out to a flat plateau, with stun­ning views of down­town Cal­gary. En­joy the view at sun­set; there’s a good chance you’ll see deer. To con­tinue your walk, fol­low any one of the nu­mer­ous trails that in­ter­sect and cross at the top of the hill and of­fer many dif­fer­ent op­tions for dis­tance and ter­rain. 5620 - 14 St NW

Bowmont Park

Nose Hill Park

Weaselhead Flats

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