The Best Places To Walk In Calgary - For The Love Of Long Walks!
Did you know that Calgary is home to the most extensive pathway network in all of North America? It’s true, Calgarians love their walks and as such we have everything from walkable neighbourhoods, walkable attractions, guided walking tours, and that’s just the start.
Because most of us love a good summer walk, we've put together a list of some of our favourite walkable parks and paths, walkable neighbourhoods, and our top urban walking trails for you but a word to the wise, there's not much summer heat left so you need to get yourself motivated and get out there if you hope to beat the winter snowfall.
Also, even though it technically is still summer (okay fall), we all know what Calgary weather can be like - unpredictable to say the least. As such, please be mindful of the weather and dress accordingly.
Apart from wearing proper attire, the city streets and pedestrian friendly crosswalks in Calgary are very well-lit which makes Calgary one of the safest places to get around by foot in North America; something we all probably take for granted.
So, without further delay, here are some of our favourite options for getting out of the house so you can take in some new city-scapes, some natural vistas, all while soaking in some amazingly fresh air to clean the mind and invigorate the soul. Here we go!
Walkable Parks & Paths In Calgary
Luckily for all of us, Calgary has plenty of walkable parks and paths that are sure to provide a little exercise in a visually enjoyable experience.
Here are our top-5 walkable parks and paths to check out before the end of summer.
- Devonian Gardens: Devonian Gardens is an urban oasis in the heart of Calgary that offers one hectare of botanical gardens including over 500 trees, 50 varieties of plants, a 900 sq. ft. living wall, fountains, fish ponds and a playground to climb and explore.
- Fish Creek Provincial Park: Home to more than 80 kilometres of mixed-use pathways, with 30 kilometres paved and 50 kilometres of shale, Fish Creek Provincial Park is an untapped gold mine of mental rejuvenation and physical well-being.
- Inglewood Bird Sanctuary: The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a natural habitat that has been home to migratory birds and outdoor enthusiasts since 1929. Located on 36 hectares near the neighbourhood of Inglewood, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary has an extensive pathway system perfect for walking (no bikes or dogs allowed).
- Prince’s Island Park: Prince’s Island Park is a natural oasis in the middle of the city and includes some of the most popular pedestrian pathways in all of Calgary. The Chevron Learning Pathway is an educational pathway on the east end of the island that winds around a constructed wetland and includes interpretive signage about the inner workings of the wetland.
- Rotary / Mattamy Greenway Pathway: In 2009, the Rotary / Mattamy Greenway was a dream. The idea was to build a pathway that encircled the city of Calgary, the only one of its kind anywhere. Along the way, there would be over a dozen parks and amenities to visit and enjoy. The $50M project was massive and unprecedented in scale, both for Calgary and for the Parks Foundation. Imagine a wheel – the Rotary / Mattamy Greenway, connecting to spokes – Calgary’s many existing pathways. Together, they form one of the largest pathway networks in the world with over 1000 kms of trails. Starting with pathway construction in Calgary’s northeast in early 2010, the Rotary / Mattamy Greenway progressed with support from key partners, including all levels of government, real estate developers, energy companies and individual Calgarians.
Walkable Neighbourhoods In Calgary
While it might not be a walking option that comes to mind right away (other than your local neighbourhood of course), Calgary actually has some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in North America with most being well-lit with street lamps, have sidewalks in excellent condition, and crosswalks that take a safety first approach for pedestrians. That's why we love a good neighbourhood walk that isn't our own neighbourhood.
Here are our top-4 neighbourhood walks to get in before summer ends:
- Kensington: Whether you want to walk along the river, stroll the neighbourhood while sipping some of Calgary’s finest coffee or spend the night listening to live music, Kensington has it all! Considered Calgary’s Urban Village, Kensington offers a unique, inner-city experience. Located just off the Sunnyside LRT Station and walking distance from downtown, it’s possible to spend an entire day exploring the shops and restaurants, or an entire weekend by staying at one of the beautiful boutique hotels.
- Inglewood: Inglewood is Calgary’s original main street and a popular place in Calgary to shop, eat, and walk. This historic neighbourhood is home to a unique collection of local shops, restaurants, and breweries that are easily walkable. Music lovers will enjoy walking the Music Mile, a stretch of music venues from 9th Avenue SE at the Blues Can to Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. The next great music venue is just steps away.
- 17th Avenue SW: 17th Avenue SW is at the heart of Calgary’s nightlife scene with a walkable stretch of trendy retailers, restaurants, and pubs that are easy to explore on foot. Enjoy a coffee and an afternoon stroll or a patio pint in the evening for a great place to people watch in the city.
- East Village: East Village was designed with the pedestrian in mind. Walking paths, parks, and community spaces make it easy to navigate this revitalized neighbourhood on foot. Explore the Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk, grab a bite to eat at the Simmons Building, or walk across the George C. King Bridge to St. Patrick’s Island for a family-friendly day in the park.
Top Urban Walking Trails In And Around Calgary
Apart from all the options already listed, Calgary is home to even more walking options for those of us who love the outdoors, learning about the diverse natural habitats our city has to offer, all while getting a little fresh air exercise. Urban walking trails are the perfect option to bridge a little city with a little nature.
Here is our top-5 list of urban walking trials that you definitely should give a try before the end of summer.
- Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk: The Jack and Jean Leslie RiverWalk (also known simply as RiverWalk) is a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) section of the Bow River pathway between the Centre Street Bridge and the 9th Avenue SE Bridge, along the Bow and Elbow rivers in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This stretch is perfect for walk which includes architecture, sights, and sounds of East Village.
- Bebo Grove Loop: Located inside Fish Creek Provincial Park, the Bebo Grove Loop offers an easy hike for young and old alike. It’s a 5.6 kilometer loop with wonderful views of nature and wildlife hidden right in the city of Calgary. Bring along a snack and enjoy a picnic along the way in one of the seating areas.
- Glenmore Reservoir Trail: The Glenmore Reservoir Trail is a popular one! It’s good for all skill levels and there are a lot of variations available to you. It’s 15.4 kilometres long, and it’s a great way to feel like you’re out of the city. Keep an eye out for chickadees and other bird friends.
- Weaselhead Pink and Red Trail Loop: Head to Weaselhead Flats for this awesome trail. It’s 5 kilometers and takes you through a beautiful area of Calgary including the Elbow River, the Glenmore Reservoir, and lots of amazing trees and visually stunning vistas.
- South Nose Hill Loop: The South Nose Hill Loop is an amazing trail for you and your 4-legged friend. Go to Nose Hill Park and do this 6.1 kilometer loop along the south side of the park. If you’re looking for a longer or shorter hike, Nose Hill has a lot of trails to offer, just pick one that suits you!
Well, given how much time we have left in summer, this list of walkable outdoor adventures should be more than enough to give you a new walking visual experience every day until snowfall. Enjoy!
Some tips for your walks
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring an extra layer of clothing.
- Pack a snack.
- Bring a buddy.
- Bring your dog.