Hidden gems: 5 Calgary parks you still need to check out this summer

Calgary has more than 8,000 hectares of parks you can explore

Chevron Learning Pathway. COURTESY PARKS FOUNDATION CALGARY

Calgary’s beautiful (but smoky and dry) summer is winding to a close – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the great outdoors before winter arrives.

The city has more than 8,000 hectares of parks (with 800 kilometres of pathway intertwined) so there’s more than enough space to go around. With the help of Parks Foundation Calgary, we’ve put together a list of ‘secret’ parks around Calgary that you might not know about, but certainly need to check out.

Chevron Learning Pathway. COURTESY CALGARY PARKS FOUNDATION

Chevron Learning Pathway: This wetland situated on the east end of Prince’s Island Park in downtown Calgary is an education pathway – so you get some learning in as well. The wetland and pathway are designed to engage visitors on the importance of urban storm water management. The wetland helps to prevent contaminants in storm water runoff from entering the Bow River. In the summer, it removes 90 percent of sediment and nitrogen and 75 percent of phosphorous, and in the winter it helps buffer road salt to make it less harmful.

Griffith Woods park COURTESY PARKS FOUNDATION CALGARY

Griffith Woods: Located in New Discovery, Griffith Woods is a great choice in the summer heat because a lot of its trails follow creeks and are in the shade. Great for exploring, it’s also along the Rotary Mattamy Greenway.

Douglas Fir Trail COURTESY CITY OF CALGARY WEBSITE
Gerry Shaw Garden. COURTESY PARKS FOUNDATION CALGARY

Douglas Fir Trail: The Douglas Fir Trail recently underwent a restoration and is open again. It’s accessible from the pathway near Edworthy Park, along the Bow River. According to the City of Calgary, this is also called “The Drunken Forest” due to the odd angles some trees are growing because of their location on the steep-ish escarpment.

Gerry Shaw Garden: Tucked between Elbow Drive and the Elbow River near 30 Avenue, this small garden is a beautiful spot to sit and relax or take photos.

Ralph Klein Park: Ralph Klein park is a natural wetland. It also features an Environmental Education Centre with an indoor classroom, resource library, art studio, interpretive signage, meeting space and composting/low flush toilets. The entire Centre can be booked for special events or each room individually. It’s located just east of Stoney Trail in Calgary’s southeast, off 114 Avenue.

And this is just five of them. You can check out more by visiting the City of Calgary’s Parks page.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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About Darren Krause 134 Articles
Journalist, husband, father, golfer, writer, painter, video gamer, gardener, amateur botanist, dreamer, realist... never in that order.

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