The Edmonton trails include the largest stretch of urban parkland in all of North America! That’s over 150 kilometres of trails. It’s 22 times the size of New York’s Central Park.
With all of that green space at our disposal, and accessible most pretty much all year long, there’s no excuse not to get out and be active.
Thought I’d share a few of my favourite spots that might just motivate you to get out, enjoy nature, be active and maybe even explore a part of the city you are not all that familiar with.
Brent’s Favourite Edmonton Trails
Probably my favourite starting point in the city. Whether you choose to head north or south you’ll go along the Whitemud Creek and instantly feel like you are no longer in a big city.
These are out and back nature trails that are pretty flat with some rolling hills along the way. Heading north you might even get a visit from some horses (fenced in).
Mill Creek Ravine
Starting at the Mill Creek Pool I love to head south along the trails through the ravine. Eventually you’ll end up near the Argyll Velodrome.
You can head north too and get a look at what’s happening with the LRT line from downtown to Bonnie Doon.
Gold Bar Park
Starting here you can head west on the south side of the river past the water treatment plant, through Capilano Park, and then either go up along the paved path or down along the nature trail closer to the river. I love the nature trail.
As you cross under Wayne Gretzky Drive you have another couple of options if you want to go further around the Riverside Golf Course. You can go up along the paved trail which is pretty hilly or you can head along the river and the nature trail that goes around the golf course. Of course you can start at the Riverside Golf Course parking lot and go the other direction or continue south from there along the river below McNally High School.
From Gold Bar Park you can also head east and north across the river and into Rundle Park where you can turn back west and head uphill along Ada Blvd to see some of Edmonton’s most historic homes and on along the Highlands Golf Course towards downtown.
Or you can just continue east along the trail system and go for miles along the river trails. So much to explore from this starting point.
This centrally located park was always a great starting place when a group of friends met for Saturday morning runs. From here you can head in a few different directions. My favourite is to head west staying on the south side of the river which takes you through Emily Murphy Park, around the outside of the Mayfair Golf Course and around Hawrelak Park. You can continue on to Fort Edmonton Park or even cross the river and head towards the Valley Zoo.
An out and back mostly flat trail with both paved and packed trail.
My Own Neighbourhood
Sometimes I just want to head out from my front door and not drive to start my hike, walk, or run. Being able to do so is one of the many reasons I love where I live. When we first moved into the area we were on the edge of the city. I used to head out for a run and be on a country road within 5 minutes. Then I’d run past a few farm houses and through an old closed down golf course. Depending on the path I took I could go through an old camp ground, stay on paved trails or hit the nature trails along a creek and through neighbourhoods with big beautiful homes.
Of course over the years the city has grown but even now we have 4 storm sewer ponds nearby, trails through a forest, and many paved trails through our section of the city.
Why get out and enjoy Edmonton trails?
I know there are many great walking, hiking, running, and cycling paths in our river valley and in many neighbourhoods in our wonderful city. These are just some of the ones I have grown up loving and have come to love as I’ve settled into the community I am in.
Head on out and give some of these a try. I hope you love them too.
Here’s a link to a city site with trail maps and information for even more ideas.
I am sure many of you also have your favourites and likely have great trails near your home. When you make it a priority to get out and experience our wonderful Edmonton trails so many benefits result.
Decide what works best for you. If it’s walking, then walk. Maybe though you love to run or create a hike along the nature trails with a picnic in a park with family. Perhaps it cycling for you. Maybe you go alone or maybe you go with others and really embrace the social element. It’s all good.
As you make it a regular thing in your life you’ll begin to see the results that come. Increased energy, lower stress, a grounded feeling connecting with nature, clarity of thought towards all that is important, family connectedness and so many more great things that come with getting out and enjoying nature.
I’d love to hear about your favourite trails in and around Edmonton. Please comment to share the spot you love best when you head out for a walk, hike, run or cycle and how it makes things better in your world.
Be active and enjoy!