2018 Experience Calgary and Kananaskis

Page 1


EXPERIENCE 2018/2019


Calgary & Kananaskis

23 Helpful Map Pages Campground Directory Biking in Fish Creek Cochrane Bow Valley Trail Kananaskis Valley Bragg Creek

Reader Contest




Experience Calgary & Kananaskis A Message from the Publisher Welcome to the sixth annual edition of this, our guide to the parks, pathways, and the recreational opportunities located within and in close proximity to Calgary. As residents of Calgary for 25 years, we appreciate the opportunity to step into Fish Creek Provincial Park in just minutes. It is therapeutic to be able to “get out of the city” so quickly, breathe deeply, and de-stress. But our situation isn’t unique. Fish Creek may be one of the largest urban parks in Canada, but it certainly isn’t the only park to which Calgarians flock, daily. Most residents can access a green space quickly now that our parks have been connected by a network of 1,000 km

of trails and paths. To find a park, path or activity in your area, check out the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway maps. Readers familiar with our Experience Travel Guides brand will recognize the similarities between this and our other 3 magazines. In addition to our compelling stories, you’ll find maps, and more maps: because everyone loves maps! NEW for 2018: expanded coverage of Kananaskis Country including Cochrane, the Ghost Area and Bragg Creek. To view and download this magazine, or any of our current and back issues of our sister publications onto your mobile device, go to ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Library. Time in nature has been proven to enhance the quality of our physical and mental health. Make time for it. Bob Harris

Our Contributors

Karen Ung is married

Jo-Anne Oucharek

Dr. Don Findlay

Tanya Koob is a

Andrew Penner is

to her backpacking sweetheart and is a mother and lover of maps, mountains, and mochas. With her Geography degree and experience leading hikes and backpacking trips in the Rockies, she is full of ideas on where to go and what to do. Her blog “Play Outside Guide” will provide everything you need to know to get outside and have fun. (Experience Bow Valley pg 52)

is a bird & wildlife photographer. Her move to Cochrane brought her camera out of retirement. It was the birds that inspired “Nature in my Backyard”! When not out taking pics, Jo-Anne is busy promoting Cochrane and area as the Executive Director of Cochrane Tourism. natureinmybackyard.ca. (Birding on the Bow Valley Trail pg 44)

and his brother Dan operate Chiropractical, a high-energy massage and chiropractic clinic offering state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques. They are committed to education and bringing people back to wellness. Married with 2 kids, Don enjoys weight training, running and dancing with his sweetheart Kyla. Visit chiropractical.ca (Experience More Fun pg. 28)

Calgary-based freelance writer and lover of all things adventurous in the mountains. She spends her weekends gliding through snow or water. She has a 9 year old son and loves hiking, camping, and exploring the backcountry with her husband and son. Visit Tanya’s Blog where she chronicles her adventures

an independent writer and photographer living in Calgary, Alberta. His work has been featured in Westworld, Westjet Magazine, Golf Magazine, Golf Tips, Golf Canada, and many leading golf and lifestyle publications. When not travelling or working, he enjoys reading, movies, and chilling out in the backyard with his wife, Dawn, and their four boys. (Biking in Fish Creek pg 24)


(Family- Friendly Rambles pg 8)

4 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Calgary & Kananaskis The 2018-19 Edition of Experience Calgary & Kananaskis Use this or our mobile eBooklet to enhance your yearround enjoyment of the growing network of paths and parks within and near to the city. This magazine is produced and distributed annually by CMI Publishing, a division of Complete Marketing Inc, a privately-owned company with offices in Calgary. Please support our advertisers and sponsors. Kindly mention where you saw their ad. Without their support this guide would not be possible. Cover photo: Taken by Moe Haimour near the Elbow Drive Parking Lot in Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary Publisher: Bob Harris, CMI Publishing Ph: (403) 259.8290 | bob@CMIpublishing.ca Designer: Christine Karchewski Cartographer: Rob Storeshaw Special thanks to: The Parks Foundation Calgary, Glenbow Museum, Alberta Culture and Tourism, and the Edworthy Park Heritage Society. For more info: ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Table of Contents Specialty Pages


Calgary 6 Campground Directory 50 Cochrane 36 Edworthy Park 32 Fish Creek Restoration Society 16 Kananaskis Country 47 Rotary/Mattamy Greenway 10 Off-Leash Dog Parks 12

Biking in Fish Creek 24 Birding on the Bow Valley Trail 44 Bragg Creek 64 Foodie’s Guide to Fish Creek Park 18 Cochrane Ranche 38 Experience Sikome Lake 26 Experience the Kananaskis Trail 58 Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park 34

Map Pages Bow Valley Provincial Park 54 Bragg Creek 65 Cochrane Parks and Trails 43 Elbow Valley 63 Fish Creek Provincial Park Map 20-21 Fish Creek Single Track Map 22-23 Ghost Area 51 Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park 35 Greenway NE Calgary Map 31 Greenway NW Calgary Map 30

Greenway SE Calgary Map 15 Greenway SW Calgary Map 14 Highwood & Cataract Area 61 Kananaskis Country 48-49 Kananaskis Valley 56 Kananaskis Village 57 Peter Lougheed Provincial Park 60 Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Map 11 Sheep River Provincial Park 62 Spray Valley Provincial Park 55



mywaterton.ca 5 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Calgary

Photo Courtesy of L. Thomas

Giant Pandas Photo Courtesy of Toronto Zoo

Calgary is located at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers and is the largest city in Alberta. Every year, this vibrant community hosts numerous events, such as: the Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, Beakerhead Arts, Science and Engineering Festival, FunnyFest, Folk Festival, Greek Festival, GlobalFest, the Calgary Fringe Festival, Summerstock, Calgary Pride, and many more. visitcalgary.com/things-to-do/festivals

Red Panda Photo Courtesy of Mathias Appel

fort. Colonel James McLeod came up with the name “Fort Calgary”, after his home in the Scottish Highlands. Come here to discover the rich scarlet history of the North West Mounted Police. Located east of the downtown on 9th Avenue South. Close by, take the kids to the Calgary Zoo. It is open from 9am to 5pm each day, 364 days each year and hosts about 800 animals from around the world. Already Canada’s most visited zoo, they expects to host 1.5 million visitors over the next year.

In July, during a 10-day celebration of our authentic western heritage, The Calgary Stampede hosts more than one million attendees to the greatest outdoor show on earth. To learn more, pick up a copy of Experience the Cowboy Trails.

Why? Because the Giant Pandas have arrived! That’s right, after many years of planning, and $100 million in upgrades, the Calgary Zoo opened the doors to its new stateof-the-art Panda Passage on May 7, 2018.

Calgary is also home to major attractions. Including Heritage Park, Telus Spark, Glenbow Museum, Canada Olympic Park, Spruce Meadows and the Military Museum.

Bringing the pandas to Calgary was part of an international agreement signed in 2012 between China and Canada. The panda habitat, located at the heart of the zoo, promises to be one of the best animal facilities of its kind in the world.

The Calgary Tower is another “must-see”, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018! On the Observation Deck you’ll enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the bustling city as well as the majestic Rocky Mountains. Dine in the rotating restaurant or stand on the glass floor for a bird’s-eye view of the streets below. This city’s history dates back to 1875 when a troop of North West Mounted Policemen found the ideal place to build a

“Not only is Panda Passage the most unique animal habitat we’ve ever created, but we have also renovated every corner of the zoo,” says Dr. Clément Lanthier, President and CEO of the Calgary Zoo. “We expect a 25% increase in the number of visitors in the first year of the pandas’ five-year stay, so we needed to make the necessary changes to specific areas of the park in order to create an amazing experience for our guests.”

6 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Calgary The opening of Pandas Passage culminates four years of major projects across the zoo. Beyond the Great Wall is an exciting habitat for Japanese snow monkeys, Amur tigers, and takin that draws together species from Eastern China, Korea and Japan. The Shadow of the Himalayas sees a complete redevelopment of the west end of the island, creating a new and vibrant fiveyear home for giant pandas and permanent homes for other animals from Asia including, Przewalski’s horses, Bactrian camels, snow leopards and red pandas! When you see the zoo’s irresistibly cute red pandas, chances are they’ll be up in the trees. They eat, climb, walk and play in the branches, rarely venturing down to ground level. This tree-house lifestyle is made possible with their semi-retractable claws and acrobatic skills. They even sleep in the trees using their bushy tails as pillows and blankets for extra warmth. Another of the key projects was the opening of an $8 million Land of Lemurs habitat in 2017 which added 1.3 acres on the east end of zoo island. Other important changes include upgraded and new food concessions, suspension bridge, new wayfinding system, widened pathways, an expanded parking

lot with fully automated parking payment system and new play features in Canadian Wilds and the Prehistoric Park. The landscaping within the Prehistoric Park was designed to recreate an environment reminiscent of the Mesozoic Era from 225 to 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs lived towards the end of that era, in what is now Alberta. That’s right, when you visit the Calgary Zoo, you should expect to see dinosaurs! Dinny the Dinosaur is a 118-ton replica of a brontosaurus. It was one of 56 dinosaur sculptures that were initially installed in the park. Fossils found in Southern Alberta inspired these models and it is rumoured that the artist added several mystery contents to Dinny’s stomach to add to its bulk. Dinny’s Green, located at the heart of the zoo, will bring him out of retirement. A food services and a new children’s play area, as well as the replacement of the suspension bridge from the North Shore, makes this an exciting gathering place. Please note that the Prehistoric Park at the Calgary Zoo is only open from March 23 – October 31. For more information, call (403) 232-9300. calgaryzoo.com

Honesty • Integrity • Quality • ALWAYS

Quality Supplies For: • Fermenting • Kitchen • Canning • Gardening Exclusive Canadian supplier of Stone Creek Trading Products and Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice.

info@wisecrock.com www.wisecrock.com

Some Services Offered: Full Service Plumbing and Gasfitting Hot Water Tanks Drain and Sewer Pipe Camera Inspection Drain and Sewer Cleaning Hydronic Heating Installation and Service Bathroom Renovations Basement Developments Red Seal Journeyman Plumber & Gasfitter Since 2006 Over 25 years of Home Renovation Experience

Contact Us Today: 403-809-5813 info@monolithrenos.com 7 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Supplies exclusively for Birds, Rabbits and Small Animals. We have over 14 years of pet industry experience and knowledge specifically for Birds, Rabbits and Small Animals. We would be happy to help any of your feathered or small furry family members with their supply needs, contact us today! Free Ship, no minimum to these Calgary areas: • Deer Run • Diamond Cove • Willow Park • Canyon Meadows • Queensland • Parkland • Lake Bonavista For all other shipping information, visit our website

info@hopnflypet.com www.hopnflypet.com

Family-Friendly Rambles in Calgary’s Natural Areas I’ve lived in Calgary for over fifteen years now and it wasn’t until I became a parent that I began to explore the nature on my own doorstep. We escaped to the mountains to go hiking every weekend, but I never knew that I could go for a hike without ever leaving the city limits. Nobody had ever told me how vast the City of Calgary’s natural areas were and that from any community in Calgary you could quickly find nature by just stepping out your front door. The city maintains over 5,600 park sites and nearly 1000 kilometres of pathways spread out over 10,000 hectares of parkland. Explore the city’s natural areas and you’ll discover something new around every corner - from natural springs and waterfalls to wooden boardwalks, oxbow wetlands, forests with towering Douglas fir trees, and a pond with a bridge made out of stepping stones. I challenge you to take the children out this summer to explore some of our favourite family-friendly rambles.

Nose Hill Park and the Old Quarry Nose Hill Park is surrounded by 12 communities and covers an area of 11 km2 in northwest Calgary. I love this park because in many places you honestly can’t tell you are in the city anymore, all you see when you look around is prairie, grass, and a big blue sky. Nose Hill parking lots can be accessed from Shaganappi Trail, 14th Street, and John Laurie Boulevard. We usually start from the parking lot at John Laurie Boulevard and Brisebois Drive and head straight for the quarry. To find the quarry, follow the paved trail up to the top of the hill and north on an old gravel and dirt road - you really can’t miss it. You might find a porcupine hiding in a tree, see the stones from an old tipi ring, or even see a deer hiding in a thicket. If you’re going to visit the quarry, be prepared with rubber boots, a change of clothes, and some wet wipes to clean muddy children and pets before getting in the vehicle afterwards: the quarry usually fills with water creating a pond for children to play in. A rock bridge across the middle guarantees at least one child will fall in and come home wet. Nose Hill Quarry

Edworthy Park and the Douglas Fir Trail The Douglas Fir Trail is one of the most well-known hikes in Calgary and is located in Edworthy Park on the southern bank of the Bow River. If you access the park off Spruce Drive in the southwest, you’ll be parked right beside the Bow River Pathway on the south side of the train tracks that run through the park.Follow the paved regional trail heading east until you come to the official sign for the Douglas Fir Trail. Truly a gem in our city, the trail will have you walking over wooden boardwalks and climbing flights of stairs as you make your way to the top of an escarpment looking down over the park and the river. The trail winds its way through a beautiful forest that is scenic even on an overcast or rainy day. Note that if it’s raining however, the boardwalks get very slippery and extreme caution is required. The trail is also closed in winter and early spring due to ice caused from natural springs found along the path.

Douglas Fir Trail

The trail is 2.5 km long from Edworthy Park to Cedar Crescent. Return the same way or make your way down to the regional pathway and return on the paved trail. For a shorter hike with small children climb to the top of the stairs. 8 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Family-Friendly Rambles in Calgary’s Natural Areas Bowmont Natural Environment Park and Waterfall Valley I was never so impressed with our natural areas until I found the incredible Waterfall Valley. The Bowmont area stretches from Bowness Park in the northwest, to the community of Varsity further east, as it follows the northern bank of the Bow River. It passes by the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club and eventually ends at Home Road a few blocks away from Market Mall. While the park offers a myriad of trails to explore, our favourite is the little known Waterfall Valley Trail. It is accessed from the bottom of Silver Springs Blvd at the intersection with 54th Ave NW. Park on the street beside the large sign for Bowmont Natural Environment Park and follow the paved pathway heading west. You’ll see the sign for Waterfall Valley within a few hundred metres and descend into the valley. You’ll be following wooden boardwalks and stairs as you make your way to a set of natural springs near the Bow River. The river is not currently accessible but there are plenty of natural trails you can take from further up heading west if you want to make your hike longer.

Waterfall Valley

North Glenmore Park and the Weaselhead Natural Area There’s nothing quite like it in all of Calgary. Follow the meandering Elbow River past Oxbow Wetlands, over wooden boardwalks, and through Calgary’s only delta. Look for the signed Weaselhead parking lot at North Glenmore Park at the bottom of 37th Street SW. You’ll be right beside the paved regional pathway that descends a large hill towards South Glenmore Park. Looking down on the west end of the Glenmore reservoir, head southwest on the regional pathway, and make your way down to a bridge that crosses the reservoir. You’ll see the sign for the Weaselhead Area shortly after you cross the bridge. A map can be found at the trailhead so plot out your route and make note of intersections you will want to remember. The orange loop is the most scenic and offers you a complete tour of the area. Families with young children can double back on the green trail which features a short boardwalk.

Weaselhead Natural Area

Discovery Ridge and Griffith Woods Griffith Woods is another natural area located along the banks of the Elbow River in this southwest community. There are several entrances into the park from the south side of Discovery Ridge Boulevard, but the official parking lot is found off Discovery Ridge Cove and Link. The paved pathway is great for biking, and the natural gravel paths are also fun to bike or hike as a family. Hiking in Griffith Woods feels like you’ve discovered a secret forest in the middle of the city with a meandering creek and bridges throughout. What you’re really looking for though is the pond with a bridge made out of stepping stones. While it’s a bit of a scavenger hunt to find, the natural path is on the northwest side of the park, north of the power lines. Once you find it, you’ll remember where it is. Story and Photos by: Tanya Koob 9 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Griffith Woods

Experience the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway was just a dream in 2009. The idea was to build a pathway that encircled Calgary, the only one of its kind anywhere. Along the pathway, 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 the largest pathway network in the world, over 1000 km of trails. Starting with pathway construction in Calgary’s northeast in early 2010, the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway progressed with support from key partners, including real estate developers, energy companies, individual Calgarians and all levels of government. After ten years since inception, the dream of leaving a legacy to our city and a unique outdoor free recreational attraction of connected urban pathways for everyone to enjoy is becoming a reality. The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway project is unique in that it makes use of the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC), by safely incorporating public pathways and park amenities on underutilized and often vacant green spaces. Bordering Tsuu T’ina Nation lands on the west side, and continuing through several areas of significance for the Blackfoot and other First Nation communities, it travels through 55 Calgary neighbourhoods, and reflects the diversity of the city’s population. Portions of the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway use existing pathways through established neighbourhoods, while other sections traverse several communities that were once separate towns or hamlets, including Midnapore, Shepard and Bowness, places that have their own unique identities. Large sections of the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway are adjacent to the city’s newest neighbourhoods, which are just beginning to establish a sense of place and community. As a year-round destination for cyclists, cross-country skiers, runners, nature lovers, and kids of all ages, the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway is home to over 12 specialized and incredible amenities. At Parks Foundation Calgary, our dream is to continue enhancing the pathway, with more and more amenities, like pearls to a necklace. We’ll see you out there! By: Alexandra Velosa 10 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway

Evanston Panorama Hills

Sage Hill Nolan Hill



Coventry Hills


Royal Oak

Skyview Ranch

Stonegate Landing


Cityscape Interpretive Wetland


Rocky Ridge Saddle Ridge

Arbour Lake


Saddlebrook Playpark Taradale

Scenic Acres

Baker Park

Taradale Dog Park

Silver Springs

Coral Springs Monterey Park

Arc Resources Interpretive Wetland

Bowness Montgomery

Tourmaline Outdoor Fitness Park in Point McKay

Patterson Strathcona Christie Park


Point McKay Wildwood

Applewood Park


CN Rail Playpark


Progress Energy Memorial Garden

Signal Hill

Discovery Ridge




Greenway pathways Transportation utility corridor Parkland Nature park Wetland Dog park Playground Memorial



Woodbine Woodlands


Canyon Meadows

Lake Bonavista

Southeast Wetlands

Shawnee Slopes

Deer Run Midnapore



Jim Davidson Bark n’ Play McKenzieDog Park Lake

Fitness park

Auburn Bay

Rotary Nature Park



Transcanada Outdoor Fitness Park and Mahogany Wetlands Seton


Courtesy of Parks Foundation Calgary

11 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Off-Leash Dog Parks The Off-Leash Park Rules! • Your dog must be under your control and able to respond to voice or signals. • You must pick up after your dog. • Parking lots and pathways are on-leash. • Dogs must not harass or chase wildlife.

There are many different versions of etiquette for off-leash parks. Tension mounts when ideas differ, or when people and their dogs seem to follow no particular rules at all. We all have bad days, dogs included! When something goes wrong I take a deep breath and say to myself “we are in training.” When my shoe squishes in poo, a puppy jumps up, or I have to hold up traffic to wait for a dog to tear around the parking lot, I think “those people are in training.” I could make a long list, but I would rather share some things that can easily make everyone’s day a little better: 1. I am going to just come out and say it: poop! Yes, we all hate picking up after our dog. Yes, it is gross, smelly, hot, and squishy. Make poop pick-up better with lavender, vanilla, or textured biodegradable poop bags. If your dog’s poop has magically disappeared, pick up three others that you find at the park. When there is a lot of poop lying around dogs develop the habit of ingesting feces - it is nature’s yucky way of keeping the park clean. 2. Always bring your leash! My leash helps safely break up dog fights, carry poop bags, and keeps my dog safe when it sees wildlife. I can’t count the number of dogs my leash has returned to its panicked owner. I love my leash! If a dog is on a leash ask permission before approaching. If they say “no”, but it is too late, grab your dog gently and say “sorry, we’re in training.” When you practice this, your dog will begin to look at you or “ask permission” before visiting other dogs on a leash.

3. Move! Walk, jog, crawl...just move. Off-leash parks exist to facilitate exercise for our dogs. When owners stand still it creates conflict with the dogs. They get aroused in play, and some guard owners. Moving helps your dog relax making it more welcoming to others. But keep in mind that although you and your dog may meet wonderful new friends, it should not be your sole reason for going. Why go to the park? For mental and physical exercise. 4. Toys and treats: some use them, some don’t. There is no question that it feels wonderful to give your dog a reward for a job well done. The controversy? Some can be food aggressive, ball possessive, or bother people with treats! Those who get upset about people carrying rewards have yet to run into the man on a park bench eating a sandwich, the toddler with a box of Timbits, or a family playing Frisbee. If your dog can’t behave around food or toys, you have got bigger problems. If you carry treats or toys with you at the park, only give them to your dog. We are lucky to have off-leash parks. The one thing they all have? Other life! Other life is welcome! Having a dog isn’t a prerequisite for the off-leash park. Don’t get upset at others for your dog’s misbehaviour. If your dog is being absolutely horrible, catch them and leave the park. Your “horrible” dog may just be sore, frustrated, intimidated, or over-aroused. Take a deep breath, clip on your leash and get out of there. We all have days where we are “in training.” And don’t forget to pick up poop! It will make everyone’s day just a little better. Photo and Story By: Reanne Heuston

12 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Proper Trail Etiquette Our parks are a great place to picnic, exercise, and explore nature with your fur kids. Activities are more enjoyable when proper park etiquette is observed. Although both humans and canines have evolved, we are still both mammals and have certain conditioned responses to stimuli. If someone makes a unexpected loud noise close to us, we startle. When something runs, dogs (a predatory animal) naturally want to chase. It isn’t necessary to pull someone off the path and make small talk to communicate effectively. Using body language, calling out a quick warning, or simply moving over can help make the park more harmonious. Knowing about canine body language can also help to improve nonverbal communication at the park. Animals communicate differently than humans. A pathway is designed so that users travel almost straight towards each other. In dog language moving straight and staring at one another is the opposite of polite, in fact, it’s like calling your mother a bad name. When greeting politely, dogs approach in an arc. Dogs communicate by turning their head, sniffing, licking their lips or simply shifting their weight. There are other subtle signals of their complex nonverbal language. Dogs act aggressively when people ignore their “hints” to slow, calm down or move away. Instead of walking your dog down the path’s centre line you can make people seem less threatening by moving Buster to the right side. By walking on the side adjacent to the grass your dog will realize he doesn’t have to sniff every bum that passes 50 cm from him and the pads on his paws stay scrapefree from the asphalt.

When owners tense up and tighten up on the leash some dogs feel frustrated or threatened and therefore more protective. Owners can teach their dogs to walk on a loose leash that is 2 metres or less. Try to avoid retractable leashes on a small path. Reasons to be cautious of these tools are stamped on the warning label of the device. When travelling through the park and you notice a dog pulling on it’s leash or staring at you, look away or arc as you approach. This will make the dog feel more comfortable as well as let the owner know you are feeling threatened by their dog. Fox hunters that use hounds have an old saying, “if his nose is on the ground and his mouth is closed...his ears are closed”. You may think a dog would hear a bike coming up behind it, but this old saying carries some truth. Give ample warning when approaching someone from behind. “Howdy!” or “On yer left” are two Calgarian favourites. When feeling unsure of someone, their dog, or their skills on those wheeled demons you can always use the universal cue to ignore someone. Avoid eye contact and arc way around them. You close your eyes to take in the sounds and smells of nature in this Calgary paradise. You hear a bike bell ring. Your dog knows that sound. He sits down and looks up at you, as if he’s smiling. While passing by, the cyclist calls out “Thank You”. All is well, and you and Buster continue to explore the paths. By: Reanne Heuston

Photo Courtesy of Alberta Parks

13 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Map - SW Calgary Bo

17 Ave SW



Glenmore Trail

d Tr ail

Progress Energy Memorial Garden

Crowchild Trail

griffith woods park


37 Street SW

69 Street SW


Glenmore Trail

weaslehead natural area north glenmore park

south glenmore park

d Trail

Anderson Road


Please call our office if you would like to invite MLA Graham Sucha to your community event.

14 Street SW

We are available to help residents resolve issues with provincial programs and services.

Heritage Drive

24 Street SW

Our office is working hard to serve the people of Calgary Shaw.

fish creek park

Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary Shaw 328, 22 Midlake Blvd SE Calgary, AB T2X 2X7 403-256-8969 | calgary.shaw@assembly.ab.ca

Stoney Trail

Legend pg 11

14 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Map - SE Calgary 17 Ave SE elliston park valleyview park



ot T rail


Tr ai

52 Street SE




Glenmore Trail

Stoney Trail

Mac L


Trai l

inglewood bird sanctuary

Glenmore Trail carburn park

Tra il

Anderson Road

Southeast Wetlands



ralph klein park

Southeast Wetlands

Drive Deerfoot Trail






d Trail

sue higgens park

fish creek provincial park

Southeast Wetlands

Jim Davidson Bark n’ Play Dog Park Rotary Nature Park

Transcanada Outdoor Fitness Park and Mahogany Wetlands

Stoney Trail

Legend pg 11

15 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society

AAgostkim In the Artisan Gardens

Artisan Gardens

The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society was founded in 1995 to preserve the Bow Valley Ranche as a historic landmark in Calgary. Established in 1873 and located in Fish Creek Provincial Park, the Bow Valley Ranche brings together recreational and entertainment areas, interpretive walks, and education stewardship opportunities for students, the community, and the general public. It seeks to honour our heritage and culture through art and education, which is vital to our community. The main feature of the site is the Ranche house, which was built in 1896 by William Roper Hull. The house has now been converted into a fine-dining restaurant called The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. Nearby are Annie’s Café,

Artisan Gardens The Artisan Gardens honours the First Nations people who, prior to 1890, inhabited the Fish Creek Valley. This unique, permanent art gallery in nature features 175 works of art by 72 Canadian artists, of which 6 are Indigenous people. The Artisan Gardens reflects three themes: First Nations, family, and the natural environment of Fish Creek Valley. Surrounding a 21-ft stainless steel teepee, the amphitheatre-like seating features 12 benches with three-sided arrowhead monolith ends. Each bench showcases pieces of original art that use mediums such as oils, acrylics, stone, copper, metals, and glass mosaic.

Native Species Garden, Artisan Gardens, Branded Patio, and the recently unveiled Poet Tree Legacy Garden. Sponsorship opportunities are available in each of the gardens with legacy markers of original art, stones, and garden benches. Visitors are encouraged to add their story to Alberta’s history by supporting these initiatives. The gardens reflect the Society’s vision to share the rich history of the Fish Creek Valley through art, culture, and education. The serene interpretive spaces feature quiet pathways, wooden benches, an intimate period gazebo, a mini amphitheatre, historical gas lampposts, sandstone boulders, an original lodgegpole pine teepee, bronze sculptures, art sculptures, and native plants, shrubs and trees.

Branded Patio This patio showcases all of the brands of Senator Patrick Burns’ empire and 87 mosaic stepping stones in a wagon-wheel design which is reflective of a long-gone era. Individually designed by people just like you, each mosaic provides an opportunity for you and your children - the Ranche hands of the future! - to create special memories and a unique family legacy. Poet Tree Legacy Garden Unveiled in 2018, The Poet Tree Legacy Garden is a new area in the native gardens that features a 20-ft hand carved

16 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Sponsorship Opportunities “Poet Tree”. This unique structure features an open book at the top with spines of books working their way towards a small book exchange library located at its base. The Poet Tree offers students an opportunity for book exchanges and showcases poems written by Alberta students. Additionally, there are 20 handcrafted wooden benches arranged around it creating space for seating. The vision of the Poet Tree Legacy Garden is for it to be used as a teaching facility where literacy, creative writing, and academic programs can take place. A wonderful outdoor classroom, perfect for gatherings, lectures, readings, and interactive educational collaboration in literary arts. It’s a place to write your story!

grade 4, 5 and 7 students. These are presented by our History Wrangler, Rob Lennard, in French, English and Spanish at the beautiful Artisan Gardens. Annual celebrations include Winter-Fete held in January.

Sponsorship Opportunities Visitors to The Bow Valley Ranche are encouraged to be a part of these diverse, meaningful legacy opportunities. By creating a lasting and personal legacy, your gift ensures that Alberta’s history, culture, and the arts are honoured and represented in a distinctive and significant way. All our valued sponsors will receive a charitable tax receipt and recognition that reflects their level of contribution. There are various levels, including Poet Tree Legacy Garden benches available for dedication starting at $3500. We are grateful for any and all donations. Please visit our web site, bowvalleyranche.com to learn more about sponsorship.

Volunteers Make it Happen The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society is volunteer based. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Bow Valley Ranche, please visit bowvalleyranche.com/volunteer

The Bow Valley Ranche Learning Centre In the fall of 2015, after celebrating the 20th Anniversary of The Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society, we opened our Learning Centre by presenting 12 historical curriculums for

Art education is a main focus of our Restoration Society. In addition to featuring original art by local artists through the “ArtWORKS at BVR” program, and photography displays in Annie’s Café, co-curators, Doug Levitt and Annette Resler, coordinate on-site and collaborative art workshops with other historic venues, developing an environment for artists to create original art en plein air (“in the open air”).

Funds raised through donations and sponsorships go directly into our programs. We are proud to be partner with Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink, at the Shaw Charity Classic Golf Tournament, August 29 - September 2, 2018, at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club. To donate please visit shawcharityclassic.com/donate/rancheatfishcreek. By: Larry Wasyliw

To learn more about our programs visit us at bowvalleyranche.com

Branded Patio Stone

17 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

A Foodie’s Guide to Fish Creek Park

Duck Rougie, Photo Courtesy of Salt Food Photography

With its rolling landscapes and babbling brooks, Fish Creek Provincial Park is immersed in natural beauty, but the discerning foodie knows to come for a special treat at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant and Annie’s Café.

The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant The legendary Bow Valley Ranche was built in 1896, and was a sophisticated hub for the founding members of Calgary. 12 decades later, it houses one of the city’s premier restaurants. Offering only the finest fare, the menu is built on the tenet of local sourcing, and the artistry of Chef Jenny Kang. Dinner The summer menu boasts Wagyu striploin (considered some of the world’s best beef) beer-fed which makes it extraordinarily tender. Supplied by Brant Lake farm, the steak is paired with cippolini, asparagus, and king oyster mushroom, with a duck fat potato fondant and truffle demi-glace. For the perceptive palate preferring a poultry plate, the Rougie Confit Duck Leg is a beautiful dish of swiss chard, Romanesco broccoli, gratin dauphinoise, with double-smoked bacon and cherry duck jus. Bouvry Farm Elk Tartare is the perfect appetizer. Flawlessly prepared with truffle powder and parmesan, it pairs very well with horseradish cream and a cured yolk. Game meat has many health benefits; packed with nutrients and flavour.

Annie’s Cafe, Photo Courtesy of Bookstrucker Photography

Brunch A time-honoured family tradition at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, bringing folks around a weekend table. Brilliant for sharing, the Ploughman’s Platter is a long-time staple on the menu, featuring marinated vegetables, cured and dried meats, homemade pâté, chutneys, cheeses, and artisan breads. In addition to classics, like the phenomenal Sparks Farms Eggs Benedict—available in smoked salmon, or mushroom and kale—the menu offers unique dishes like the Birch & Cider Glazed Chicken Waffle BLT, a delicious Belgian waffle with chicken, bacon, crunchy butter leaf and cranberry aioli. Annie’s Café This quaint farmhouse was moved to its current spot in 1905 and housed the ranch foremen and their families, including Billy Bannister and his wife, Annie. Today, Annie’s Café serves luscious hard ice cream, along with soups, sandwiches, and pastries, specially crafted at Cravings Market Restaurant. More than just a source for special cones and picnic snacks, Annie’s Café holds a special place in the hearts of Calgarians. Patrons anxiously await the annual opening in spring, and line up around the corner throughout the summer. Nostalgia and tradition bring guests to enjoy the benches on the shady porch. By: Kasia Gorski

18 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience The Ranche Restaurant

19 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Macleod Trail

Dri ve

Anderson Road S.E.

Fish Creek Provincial Park Map Calgary Transit

Woodlands A

130 Avenue S.W.


Canyon Meadows

Macleod Trail



Woodpath Road S.W.

Elbow Drive





James McKevitt Road S.W.

ail od Tr

Environmental Learning Centre




7 A






Reservable Group Day Use 3 Areas


Shaw’s Meadow

Marshall Springs



Fish Creek Boulevard. S.W.

Shawnee Slopes


Shawnee Gate. S.W.


A Glennfield Group Day Use (reservations Fi A sh C accepted)

James McKevitt Rd. S.W. Midnapore

Macleod Trail

Bannister Road. S.E.

k ree






9.2 12.8 9.4 10.6 13.7

14.2 11.8




7.4 11.0 7.6

8.8 11.9

12.4 10.0






7.1 10.2













































Bow Valley Ranch

10.3 9.0




Hull's Wood

11.3 10.0 8.8




Sikome Lake

11.7 10.4 9.2





McKenzie Meadows

15.3 14.0 12.8 11.0 9.3





11.9 10.6 9.4






13.1 11.8 10.6 8.8







Mallard Point

16.2 14.9 13.7 11.9 10.2 5.9






Rotary Nature Park

16.7 15.4 14.2 12.4 10.7 6.4







Lafarge Meadows

14.3 13.0 11.8 10.0 8.3










3.7 3.7




Paved Pathway



20 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests


Sikome Lake

Granular Pathway Preservation Zone (Do not enter)


Park Boundary Swimming Restaurant Seasonal Concession Day Use/Picnic Area Sheltered Picnic Area

Scale: 1:44,000 0

Hul Wo


Sun Valley Blvd.



ad Me

15.4 13.0

Votier's Flats




Pa re

















16.7 14.3

9.0 10.0 10.4 14.0 10.6 11.8 14.9

Marshall Springs

















Ke Mc


6.0 10.3 11.3 11.7 15.3 11.9 13.1 16.2









s ow




Wo o



wV alle







Vo ti






gs rin



Ter r



bo Be

ann Sh


Bebo Grove


Bow Valley Ranch 11

10 A

Shannon Terrace

Lake Bonaventure


Shawnee Slopes

6 5


Bannister Road S.E.

Shannon Terrace LRT


Bebo Grove


Deer Ridge

9 Votier’s Flats

i Tra

Shaw's Meadow

Mallard Point

Canyon Meado ws D rive

24th Street S.W.

Shawne e Gate S .W.

Evergreen Street S.W.

Lake Bonaventure


Anderson Ro







37th Street S.W.

Lake Bonavista

Anderson Road S.W.


Votier's Flats A

Bow River Pathway

Bow Bottom Trail S.E.

Elbo w

Canyon Meadows

LRT Station

Lake Chaparral

Fish Creek Provincial Park Map Anderson Road S.E.

City of Calgary Canyon Meadows

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Macleod Trail


Bow Bottom Trail S.E.




Mallard Queensland Point


Poplar Island

Deer Ridge

8 w Bo




dows Canyon Mea



Lake Bonaventure




s w

il Tra . S.E

nee S.W.

Bow River Pathway

Lake Bonavista

Glennfield Group Day Use (reservations accepted)


Parkland Deer Run


Fish Creek

Bannister Road. S.E.

Bow Valley Ranch

14 Midnapore


10 11

Bridge Number



Steep Hill

12 13

Hull’s Wood

McKenzie Meadows Golf Course


Trail Access Trans Canada Trail Sun Valley Boulevard



Washrooms Seasonal Playground Residential Community

Rotary Nature Park

2 Lake Chaparral

Boat Launch Calgary Transit

194 Avenue S.E.

21 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Lafarge Meadows



10 Km

Fish Creek Single Track Trail Map

Elbow Woodpath Road S.W.

24th Street S.W.

Evergreen Street S.W. 37th Street S.W.

James M

Pathways and Trails • Stay on designated trails. Check Park map and signage for approved trails. Failure to do so could result in a conviction, pursuant to Section 27(2) of the Provincial Parks Act (General Regulations).

• Some areas have been closed to encourage natural vegetation and reclamation of impacted areas. All reclaimed areas are designated by these signs:

• Follow the directions of posted notices or signs. • The single track trail system is connected with existing paved and granular pathways. Single track trails are designated by this sign: FREE 9









This trail is closed to allow restoration and regeneration of vegetation. For more information phone 403-297-5293


E NC s CEls FREE RIE yRTraIEboilN l y Trelai IEN pfu CE w ER XPheECXoThwPbeEoCoXP Trailsl 2 H boy 1Cow ages lpfu 2018





Find out more about Alberta’s western heritage by picking up a free copy of Experience the Cowboy Trails or download it online at ExperienceTravelGuides.com

p P12 He g ges BuyinPa ful Bo Motap Beer12 Help ing Craft Boot Buy Pages Map rts r


Fo Old Craft Bee rks Boot Buying e Pa Old Forts h Beer Ranc Craft ks OH tle Par Cas dule Old Forts he ch o Sc OH Ran Parks Castle le Schedu Rodeo OH Ranch





FREE FREE 201 The Cowboy 8/2019 Trails20 FREE The 18/2 Cow boy Tr 019 The12 aiful ls CoHelp FREE w b oy Map Page sTra 12 He ils Boot Buying lpfu Map l Page Craft Beer 12 s Hel Boo MtaBuying Old Forts p P pful a Castle Parks Craft Bee ges Bo r




Rodeo Schedu ts

g Rodeo Schedu tle Par aft le ks Be er OH RanOld Fo Rodeo Castl ch rts Schedue Pa le rks OH Ranc Rode h o


er Co



r Con



Reader Conte


Old Forot Bu OH Ranch ts yin Cas Cr

22 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Reader ConteSchedu sts le Reade

r Con



er Co



Fish Creek Single Track Trail Map Elbow Drive

Macleod Trail

green et S.W. Shawnee Gate S.W.

Bannister Road S.E.

James Mckevitt Road S.W.

Macleod Trail


Park Facilities and Information Park washroom facilities are located near staging areas; consult detailed Park maps for facility locations. For Park info phone 403-297-5293 or visit fish-creek.org

Trail Etiquette

Safety on Single Track Trails

• Be courteous - a cyclist climbing a steep grade will appreciate your stepping aside.

• Single track trails are maintained at a lesser standard than paved or granular trails, and are not graded for difficulty levels; use at your own risk.

• Avoid trail use when it is soft and muddy to help prevent trail widening and the creation of short cuts. • Do not alter the trail in any way. No building jumps or obstacles.

• All riders should wear a helmet. Helmets are mandatory for those under 18 years of age. • Be aware that Park maintenance and emergency vehicles may be on Park pathways.

EMERGENCY telephone 9-1-1 EMERGENCY Locator numbers are located throughout the Park. Quote this number to emergency staff so they can easily locate you in the Park.

Trail Care Program: If you or your group would like to participate in a Trail Care day, please contact the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society, visit friendsoffishcreek.org or phone 403-238-3841. 23 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Biking in Fish Creek

Photo Courtesy of

Andrew Penner

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Penner

After dipsy-doodling along the edge of Fish Creek for a couple of kilometers, we grunt up a steep hill and, just as promised, my riding partner stops at the top, gets off his bike, takes out his phone, and starts snapping photos like it’s going out of style. “I love this spot,” he says, as I struggle to catch my breath, the golden, late-day light washing over the aspens. “It’s like you’re a hundred miles from the city and yet we’re ten minutes from home.” I gaze up at the mountains, the rolling foothills, the baby-blue sky, and can’t help but agree. His statement sums up what I love the most about Fish Creek Provincial Park. Unfortunately, being busy with work, kids, the yard, and so on, I don’t get out to the mountains enough. Perhaps you can relate. Life just gets in the way, doesn’t it? However, like many people, I can often sneak away for an hour, or two. And when that opportunity presents itself, I typically hop on my bike and hit the trails in Fish Creek Provincial Park.

“For Calgary cyclists, it doesn’t get better than Fish Creek Provincial Park,” says Erik Larson, Owner of Pure Cycle, a full-service bike shop located steps from the park in Canyon Meadows. “For years, Fish Creek has been a popular biking destination and continues to be a favourite with cyclists. With recent trail improvements, a number of new trails added to an already solid network, a brand new mountain bike skills park, and a great away-from-it-all atmosphere, you just can’t beat it. There are numerous communities that are located right next to the park and access is so easy. In my opinion, Fish Creek Provincial Park is one of Calgary’s best attributes.” Another awesome thing about it, from a biking perspective, is the variety. There are plenty of relatively flat paved trails that will appeal to people seeking a leisurely spin. The new Fish Creek Mountain Bike Skills Park near Sikome Lake, built in conjunction with the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance, which

24 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Biking in Fish Creek includes pump tracks, jump trails, berms, and other features, is super-fun for BMX riders and mountain bikers who like testing their skills on a variety of man-made features. And, of course, the many single-track trails (see pg 22), most of which are located west of Macleod Trail in some of the most remote areas of the park, are the place to go if you want some adventurous, cross-country riding. Indeed, hopping on a bike and going for a spin can take on many different forms. Not everyone likes to put on pads, get airborne, and ride on the redline. Likewise, not everyone likes to smell the roses and take a gingerly spin that barely gets the heart pumping. Regardless of what you’re looking for, and who you’re riding with, you’ll find it in Fish Creek. For me, and countless others, it’s not just about the exciting trails, the beauty of the park, and the outdoor recreation. It’s also a way to get somewhere! Cycling into the park to reach the beach at Sikome Lake (it’s the place to be in summer), Annie’s Cafe (to meet a friend or relax after a ride), or the Bow Valley Ranche (popular with photographers) is just an easy, affordable, and healthy way to get you from A to B.

Rick Fraser MLA Calgary-South East Suite 202, Building D, 5126 126 Avenue SE Calgary, Alberta T2Z 0H2

P: (403) 215-8930 | Calgary.southeast@assembly.ab.ca

And, of course, utilizing the network of trails in the park to access local businesses - or hundreds of other destinations in numerous communities near the park! - only makes sense. Personally, I’ve been able to bike to my barber, mechanic, music teacher, dentist, doctor, not to mention many friends and other businesses, via the trails in Fish Creek Provincial Park. So, if you’ve been itching to incorporate bike travel into your daily routine, make no excuse, it can be done! However, while riding my bicycle from A to B as a mode of transportation is often ideal, for me, and countless others, the adrenaline rush and the amazing workout of a cross-country ride on sweet single-track is what it’s all about. Fortunately, thanks to a couple hundred kilometers of single-track trails many with spine-tingling views to greet you when you make it to the top! - when I have a couple of hours to kill, I know a place just ten minutes away that feels like it’s a hundred miles from the city. By: Andrew Penner 25 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com


Experience Sikome Lake

Photo Courtesy of Alberta Parks

Ask any Calgarian, we don’t get a ton of super-hot weather. However, when the temperature does soar in summer, the place to be is at a lake. For thousands of Calgarians, especially those living in the southeast quadrant of the city, the go-to lake is Sikome. And, given the fact that Alberta Parks is in the midst of a redevelopment plan to upgrade this already outstanding facility, that’s not about to change anytime soon. The Sikome Aquatic Facility provides outdoor recreational opportunities for Calgarians. In the summer of 2017 about 100,000 people visited the facility, which is located in Fish Creek Provincial Park. Not surprisingly, given its popularity

Sikome Lake Fees

Day Season Pass Pass


$10 $100

Persons with disabilities

$2 $25

Adult (18-64)

$5 $50

Senior (65+)

$4 $40

Child (6-17)

$3 $30

Child (0-5)

Free Free

(2 adults and children at the same residence) (aides enter for free)

Season’s passes can be purchased in advance at albertaparks.ca/sikome.

and its age, Alberta Parks, in conjunction with the public, have decided to enhance and modernize the facility. A three-phase plan, scheduled for completion in 2018, is well underway. “Phase 1 of this redevelopment is now finished and included a 30-day public consultation,” says Tim Chamberlain with Alberta Parks. “In 2017 we replaced the sand and introduced commercial food trucks. Other improvements have included a renovated shower building, upgrades to water treatment, new tent structures, and upgrades to paving stones.” Alberta Parks plans to complete the final two phases of the planning and public participation process in 2018. This will include an open house and another public consultation to gather additional feedback that will be applied to the final plan for the modernization of the facility. With numerous amenities in place – including swimming areas, change rooms, gas-powered BBQs, concession stands, and playground areas, the future of the Sikome Lake Aquatic Facility has a firm foundation. Thousands of Calgarians will continue to flock to the facility to enjoy those attributes. And regardless of how, exactly, those final two phases play out, without a doubt, on those precious few hot days, Sikome Lake will continue to be the place you want to be. By: Andrew Penner

26 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Fish Creek Provincial Park Memorial Forest Program As you walk and ride through the park, you may notice areas set aside for this program and wonder what it’s all about. The Memorial Forest program began in 1996 as joint venture between Fish Creek Provincial Park and McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes. It provides families with a meaningful way to deal with the loss of a loved one. A tree planted will remain a living memorial to which family and friends can return every year. Over the years, this program has expanded to other areas of the city and more than 50,000 trees have been planted to date. McInnis & Holloway is responsible for the maintenance of the forest. Throughout the spring and summer they apply 30,000 litres of water each day to ensure the health and longevity of the trees. For more information on the Memorial Forest Program visit mhfh.com.

Experience the Rotary Nature Park The Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook developed and maintains a very special 40 acre (16 hectare) place in the southeast corner of Fish Creek Provincial Park. This unique project is described as a Nature Park because the land was used for years as a gravel pit prior to being reclaimed to its original natural state. The park now contains engineered wetlands, ponds, and a trail system to allow visitors to enjoy a variety of wildflowers and native plant species. The wetlands attract waterfowl and upland birds, making this park the perfect sanctuary for bird watching. To enhance your enjoyment of the park 5 gazebo shelters and several park benches were constructed. The Park is located adjacent to the Bow River and south of Hwy 22X. A trail in Cranston enables you to walk down to the park. Cyclists can ride south from Sikome Lake to the east side of the river. This Nature Park is also easily accessed via McKenzie Meadows Dr to a paved parking lot. Visit rotarychinook.org. 27 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience More Fun

Nothing spoils a hike, or worse yet, a once-in-a-lifetime backpacking trip like pain. The two most likely problem areas are your feet and your back. So, when you are out on the trails, the most important gear you have are your footwear and pack.

biomechanical functioning of your spine which is essential prior to conditioning for a more vigorous endeavor. Seeking advice from a qualified professional such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist can save you a lot of grief.

In last year’s issue, you’ll find all you need to know about foot care. Download it at: dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/842448/18

To strengthen an injured or chronically weak back for hiking, the best form of training is the activity itself. However, start off easy and slowly increase the intensity. Thicker and stronger connective tissues in your spine such as discs, ligaments and your tendons take many months to strengthen, even though supportive muscles grow more quickly.

So how can we ensure we don’t have back pain on the trail? Even with a strong healthy back, choosing the right backpack is paramount. Be sure to be properly fitted by an expert. When loading your pack, place the heaviest items closest to your back and centered. Now add items out from this point from heaviest to lightest. Remember to readjust your straps during your hike. While training, create better habits when lifting your backpack on and off. Taking it off, allows your spine to decompress while giving you a chance to hydrate and fuel properly. Schedule frequent rest breaks. Strengthening your body is essential, but when injured, you first need specific rehabilitative therapy. This will improve the

Start off walking on flat paths. Short, leisurely walks are easy to fit into one’s day. Choose routes that loop past your home or where you have parked your vehicle. In this way, if your back fails, you don’t have far to go. Slowly increase the distance and change the terrain. Lastly, add a weighted pack. Start with a light weight and slowly increase it over a period of months. For most, this routine will be enough to strengthen your back to enjoy a pain-free day hike. However, there’s a big difference between training for a day hike and a week-long excursion

28 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Strengthen your Body with extensive elevation change. That’s a performance task for which you should first complete many easier trips. Start with training hikes that last for 1-4 hours. Gradually add more weight and increase the elevation change on your hike. Most people know that they need strength. We understand that cardiovascular exercise is essential for our heart and lungs. But fewer folks realize just how important stretching is. Think of it as the third building block of your exercise program. Backpacking uses your entire body, so you must stretch your back and hips daily. This will stop your spinal and hip muscles from turning into a chunk of grisly steak during a hike. If you have back pain during your adventure, limit the burden placed on your spine. Use poles! They’re not just for downhill skiers. Poles allow you to transfer some of the weight to your upper body. Poles also allow the body to be more stable. This allows the little muscles around your spine and hips to work less, especially on steep terrain.

Also, use what is termed a “lock step” or “rest step” technique. This allows you to transferring the load of your pack and body through your skeletal system rather then through the muscles without fatiguing. You do this by stacking the bones in your back, hips and knees. Simply straighten your weight bearing knee, being careful not to hyperextend it, and stand tall with a brief pause at the top of the motion, or “rest step”. Now take a short step with the opposite leg and straighten it out, standing tall with a pause. This creates a mechanical movement like a robot, however the discs in your lower back will thank you. After a long day of hiking, we mold ourselves like Jell-O into the shape of our car seats as we drive home. Placing an ice pack at the base of your spine before you drive will result in less stiffness when you pry yourself out of your seat. Rolling up a towel and placing it in the small of your back can also help. Start stretching and strengthening your body now and lets all have fun out on the trails in Calgary and Kananaskis! Photos and Story By: Dr. Don Findlay

29 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Map - NW Calgary

rail ey T





rai yT






Tr a l

Baker Park




Tr a




Tr ai









Tra i




twelve mile coulee



ll D


nose hill park





baker park




bowmont park




16 Ave NW canada olympic park

Tourmaline Outdoor Fitness Park in Point McKay

16 Ave NE

free fare zone




Legend pg 11

30 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

od cLe Ma

Progress Energy Memorial Garden

Tra il

17 Ave SW

Crowchild Trail

69 Street SW

Sarcee Trail

Stoney Trail

edworthy park

Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Map - NE Calgary Stoney Trail

nose creek park

Cityscape Interpretive Wetland

Saddlebrook Playpark









Tr ail

Country Hills Boulevard

Tra i


Taradale Dog Park

prairie winds park



36 Street NE

Arc Resources Interpretive Wetland

16 Ave NW

16 Ave NE big marlborough park





bottomlands park

Memorial Drive

free fare zone

CN Rail Playpark

Calgary Zoo 17 Ave SW

Stoney Trail

Centre Street N

rotary challenger park

pearce estate park

17 Ave SE

valleyview park

Ma cL


Tra il

inglewood bird sanctuary

52 Street SE

elliston park

Legend pg 11

31 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Edworthy Park “Edworthy Park –– Yours to Enjoy and Preserve Forever” was written on a sign posted near the entrance of Shaganappi Ranch when it was acquired in 1962 by the City of Calgary. From the beginning, the City’s Parks Department had realized that, although relatively small, Edworthy Park truly is a gem with a great diversity of natural habitats and rich history. Edworthy Park spans part of the Shaganappi escarpment. An historic name dating back at least to the 1870s, Shaganappi is a Cree word meaning “rawhide” or “rawhide thong”. What has been called Shaganappi Point to the east dates back much further and was known to the Blackfoot as a named, prominent landmark on their ancestral lands located between the sacred glacial erratic on Paskapoo Slopes and the sacred confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers.

Thomas Edworthy, Courtesy of the Glenbow Musum (na-1494-26)

A surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Charles Aeneas Shaw described the area when he was there in the early 1880s: “The only other difficult place [for locating the railway] was Shaganappi Point, about 5 miles West [of the then town] of Calgary, a perpendicular bluff some 300 ft high, between the foot of which and the river there was only a narrow margin. The Indians for generations used this cliff as a pound, driving buffalo over it, killing hundreds of them at a time…; there was a large pile of bones the full length of the cliff.” Quarry Road Trail At the east end of the area, Quarry Road Trail switchbacks as it traverses the Shaganappi escarpment. It was almost certainly a trail that led many Blackfoot to a winter camp, an area of plentiful firewood and food where a ford crossed the river. As you walk down the trail, you will see evidence of the oldest sandstone quarry in Calgary. It was owned by the Government of Canada from 1882. Where most of this sandstone was used remains a great mystery but some was supplied to government buildings in Regina, including the original post office, and jail, but not the Saskatchewan Legislature. It was built later on from Manitoba limestone. The trail connects to the paved Bow River regional pathway which goes west to Lawrey Gardens.

32 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

One of Calgary’s Oldest and Finest Edworthy Park –– Shaganappi Ranch, Bow Bank Quarries About a mile to the west lies Edworthy Park which is accessed from the west end of Spruce Drive where, just past Woodcliff United Church, it turns right (north) onto Edworthy Road and goes down a coulee to reach the Bow River. It is named after Tom Edworthy who arrived in Canada at age 16 from England. After farming for some years in Ontario, he came west to the Calgary area in 1883 just months before the arrival of the railway. Inspired by the success of John Lawrey’s market garden to the east, Edworthy located his Shaganappi Ranch homestead on the alluvial plain about mile upstream from Lawrey. In addition to ranching and growing vegetables, Edworthy operated four sandstone quarries under the name Bow Bank Sandstone Quarries. In 1904, in a twist of fate, after he nursed Art Livingston back to health from typhoid, Tom Edworthy himself then succumbed to the disease. Down the coulee on Edworthy Road, the prominent sandstone outcroppings of the main Bow Bank quarry may still be seen on the west side. Edworthy’s sandstone was widely used. Brickburn A pedestrian trail leads west from the parking lot to an area where John “Gravity” Watson owned a quarry. Sandstone from that quarry was used to build Historic City Hall. Watson also owned a brick-making operation. He sold the property in 1905 to Edward Henry Crandell who renamed the brick plant “Brickburn”. Often marked “Calgary” for Crandell’s company Calgary Pressed Brick and Sandstone, the bricks were used in many buildings in Calgary and elsewhere.

Sandstone Outcropping of the Bow Bank Quarry

Soon, the park ends and becomes private property. To return to the parking lot double back. Alternatively, turn south at the interpretive sign onto Pond Lookout Trail. This is a walking trail which leads to a vantage point with views of Shaganappi Ranch House (not open to the public) and the river valley before continuing downhill to the parking lot. Today, the historic Shaganappi Ranch, Edworthy Park, is a designated Municipal Heritage Resource. A City Bylaw requires that nothing be taken from the Park but must be left for other visitors to enjoy. All photos and text ©Edworthy Park Heritage Society 33 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Brickburn brick salvaged when Paget Hall was demolished

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park It’s 6:30 am - fifteen minutes, or so, before sunrise - I grab my pack and hit the trail that descends into the heart of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. To my left a dazzling sky explodes with orange-red hues. Beneath the striking color the downtown skyscrapers of Calgary make an impressionable silhouette. Ten minutes later I find myself on top of Yodel Trail and admire the panoramic scene. To the west chiseled tips of the Rockies are washed in early-morning light. Below me a train thunders through the morning mist and disappears into the valley fog. Deer scamper through a fescue-covered gully and gather on the crest of a hill. They stop and I manage to shutter a few images before they, too, disappear into the fog. Officially opened to the public on Aug 9th, 2011, the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a 1300 ha jewel that many outdoor enthusiasts have been, and will be, enjoying for years to come. The park is located 34 km northwest of downtown Calgary and just 4 km from Cochrane. Sold to the Government of Alberta in 2006 by the Harvie Family for roughly half of what it was worth to developers, the park encompasses a pristine swath of rolling, glacier-carved grassland along the Bow River Valley. It’s classic Alberta ranchland, bursting with beauty, abundant with wildlife, and rich with history. Discovering this place is bound to bring many surprises to firsttime visitors. For starters, native peoples once corralled bison in these coulees and established tipi camps near the river. There are a number of visible remnants, including tipi rings, cairns, and arrowheads, that have been discovered in the park. Thanks to the many initiatives of the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation, archaeology – as well as many other educational and cultural programs - play a key role here. The park is home to the once flourishing village of Glenbow. Established in the early 1900s, all that remains of the ghost

town is the old, dilapidated store. Although you can’t go inside it, its prominent position beside the railway tracks certainly adds to the charm of the park. The park also includes other ruins, mainly remnants of mansions and ranch buildings built by wealthy Americans who settled here and started the nearby rock quarry. Interestingly, many buildings in both Calgary and Edmonton, including the Alberta Legislature, were built with sandstone from the Glenbow Quarry. When the quarry closed in 1912 the town of Glenbow soon died. One of Alberta’s most notable philanthropists, Eric Harvie (he founded the Glenbow Museum, among many other notable contributions) purchased the land in 1933 and it has remained in the family ever since. However, in 2006, following in the footsteps of their generous grandfather, the family decided to sell the land to the Alberta Government to ensure it would be protected and enjoyed by future Albertans. Unquestionably, enjoying the park is easy. The natural beauty, especially in the early or late-day hours when low-angled light illuminates the grasses and provides definition to the heaving hillsides, will be etched on your mind for a long time. From the many high points and lookouts on the trails, the vistas are absolutely stunning and nature photographers will have a hay day - as I did on the morning I visited! There are 25 km of recreational pathways in the park (both paved and shale) that cyclists and those on foot can enjoy. In the future, the Glenbow Trail, which will be part of the Trans Canada Trail, will link Calgary with Cochrane, offering outdoor enthusiasts a wonderfully scenic tour through the Bow Valley corridor. Portions of this pathway have already been completed (from the park to Cochrane) and the remaining section connecting to Calgary (through Haskayne Park) is in the planning stages.

34 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

The 2.3 km circuit known as the Yodel Loop is one of the most stunning trails in the park. It quickly ascends to the ridge and definitely has “wow” factor. The exposed nature of the trail (approx half the trail traverses the top of the bluff while the other half meanders through a pretty aspen grove) make for a memorable little journey. To top it off, the interpretive trail also incorporates a number of interesting and informative signs that provide insight into the park’s history and biodiversity.

As I head back up the hill to the quaint ridge-top visitor info centre, I turned for one last look at the beautiful Alberta foothills scene before me. Try as I might, I just couldn’t resist snapping a few more photos. Something tells me, in the years to come, I will not be the only person to get “trigger happy” in these parts. I am wholly convinced that this park is a very special place. Photos and Story By: Andrew Penner

35 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Cochrane


Cochrane Ranche Historic Site, Cochrane

Start your adventure at


403.932.6355 | 1.866.860.8846 10 Westside Drive | ramada.com

403.932.5588 | 1.877.932.5588 5 Westside Drive | daysinn.ca

36 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

403.932.1410 | 1.877.932.1410 11 Westside Drive | super8.com

Experience Cochrane

great reasons to visit Cochrane 7. Service with a smile

1. Sweet people, sweeter service

Cochrane Dodge Lost Sock Laundromat Luna Express Pure Luxe Massage

Deja Brew Espresso & Wine Bar The Gentry Espresso Bar & Wine Bar Fallentimber Meadery Krang Spirits Horse Creek Heritage Candy & Gifts Menchies And of course, MacKay’s famous ice cream celebrating 70 years.

8. A place to rest your boots

4. Authentic dining experiences

2. Adventure around every corner

Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation Boundary Ranch Bragg Creek Trails Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Calaway Park Capture the Flag Outdoor Paintball & Airsoft Cochrane Lanes Glenbow Ranch Gypsy Caravan Adventure Hostels Hunter Valley Adventures Inside Out Experiences Rocky Mountain House Historic Site Saddle Peaks Trail Rides The Links of GlenEagles Three Beasts Indoor Playground Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

3. Our western culture and arts community

Cochrane & District Ag Society Cochrane Historical Museum Cochrane Lions Rodeo Just Imajan Art Gallery & Studio Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack

Canadian Brewhouse Cochrane Legion #15 Fantaci Sushi & Grill Fence & Post Half Hitch Brewery Killarney’s Cochrane Mehtab East Indian Cuisine My Greek Plate Original Joe’s Portofino’s Italian Ristorante Schooners on First The Boot

Back to Nature Retreat Bow RiversEdge Campground Hereabouts B & B Rockyview Hotel SpringHill RV Park

9. A breath of fresh air

Spend the day hiking, biking, running or fishing and you’ll soon see why Cochrane is a great place for recreation and hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

5. Unique shops

Home Treasures Global Pet Foods Heavenly Outhouse/Poor David’s Kitchen Boutique The Paisley Boutique The Rustic Olive Bar Spirit of Oneness/Earth Rocks!! Vintage Verandah

6. We love the nightlife Texas Gate Bar & Grill The Venue Bar & Grill

10. We’re 20 minutes

from everything, literally.

Only 20 minutes from Calgary on Highway 1A, find Cochrane along the banks of the beautiful Bow River with spectacular views of the rolling foothills and majestic Rocky Mountains.


p at

Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation Studio West Bronze Foundry & Gallery Tony’s Western Wear

Start your road tri


37 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience the Cochrane Ranche

Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek

“A place where culture, nature, and history play” Dipping and diving along the quiet, spring-fed creek, the

to the Historic Cochrane Ranche Site. Located in the heart of

ride along the Cochrane Ranche Trail is just my speed. No

Cochrane, just a ten minute walk from the historic downtown

gut-busting uphill sections. No death-defying descents. The

area, the Historic Cochrane Ranche Site is a beautiful place

5.9 km trail is flowy, fun, and epitomizes what a green (with

to relax, explore, and immerse yourself in the western themes

some shades of “blue”) mountain bike trail should be all

and natural beauty of this character-filled town. Their tagline,

about. Indeed, the under-the-radar multi-use trail – just like

“A place where culture, nature, and history play,” is definitely

the Historic Cochrane Ranche Site itself – is a gem that more

an appropriate summation of what this park is all about.

people need to discover. You can also think of the Cochrane Ranch Site as a very large Unquestionably, riding (or walking) the beautiful creek-side

community park (in a gorgeous natural setting) that’s steeped

trails is just one of the items on the “to do list” during a visit

in western culture and First Nation’s history. In addition it has

38 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience the Cochrane Ranche numerous recreational opportunities, including, of course,

will definitely provide an enjoyable experience and additional

family-friendly mountain biking trails. A few of the additional

context to the ranching roots of the region.

attractions in the park include: a quaint museum located in a historic 109-year-old building, a Farmer’s Market (quite

Not surprisingly, the central theme of the site – the area’s rich

popular every Saturday from Jun-Sept), a reconstructed corral,

ranching history – is an integral part of the experience at the

an interpretive trail that highlights the natural and the human

Historic Cochrane Ranche Site. In 1881 Senator Mathew

history of the site, picnic sites with fire pits, an outdoor stage

Cochrane was granted the first of the huge western grazing

for concerts and community events, the famous “Men of

leases doled out by the Federal Government. This site became

Vision” statue, archaeological remains, and panoramic vistas

the first large-scale ranching operation in Alberta.

of the aspen-coated foothills and soaring Rocky Mountains. Regardless of your interests, you’ll find something that is truly

Situated at the base of The Big Hill with a spring-fed creek,

“your speed” in the 136-acre park.

easy access to the Bow River, regular warm Chinook winds to melt the snowpack, and plenty of grassland ideal for grazing,

The site is also home to the Cochrane RancheHouse. It is

the site was as good as it gets for ranching. And, yet, it didn’t

owned and operated by the Town of Cochrane, the Cochrane

take long before the ranch fell on hard times. An extremely

RancheHouse is, first and foremost, a meeting place. Home to

harsh winter and some questionable management decisions

a library, theatre, spacious banquet rooms, an exquisite west-

led to major stock losses and, after a couple of years, the ranch

ern-themed tile mural, the Town of Cochrane Administrative

was actually moved to the Fort McLeod area. However, even

Offices, and a wonderful collection of ranching artifacts, the

though that early ranch struggled, history was made and the

Cochrane RancheHouse is a state-of-the-art facility perched

door was opened to a vibrant ranching community that’s still

on the bluff overlooking the park. A visit to the RancheHouse

the heartbeat of the town today.

Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek

39 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience the Cochrane Ranche

Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek

Speaking of “heartbeats,” on my recent spring visit it didn’t take long before my little ticker was going a mile a minute on the Cochrane Ranche Trail. And just ten minutes into my bike ride I was totally convinced this trail is a keeper. Crossing bridges, spinning through meadows, descending rocky ridges, and curling along the creek bed, it was arguably one of the most enjoyable rides I’ve ever done. I couldn’t resist climbing up the hill for one last look at the scene and the “Men of Vision” statue, after winding my way back to the parking lot after the invigorating ride. And, just like the beautiful bronze cowboy on the hill (perhaps the most recognizable landmark in Cochrane), I too looked west, over the cattle-flecked foothills, to the rising Rockies not far in the distance, and realized this place celebrates something truly special. And I left knowing I would return many more times in the future. By: Andrew Penner

40 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Cochrane See cochrane-tourism.ca for up to date event listings January Kimmett Cup

February Clubhouse Art Walk (Monthly event)

March Cochrane Winterfest Hunter/Jumper Show Spring Farmers Markets begin

April Foothills Art Club Show and Sale, Cochrane Brewfest

May Cochrane and District Trade Show The Cochrane Art Club Show and Sale Celebration of Music Spring Concert

June Open Doors Cochrane Extreme Cowboy Show

July Canada Day Community Festival Foothills Bucking Horse Futurity Celebrate Parks Day Dressage Show

August Shooting for A Cause 2018 Cochrane Fair Cochrane Classic Bull Riding Calgary Police Rodeo Western Dressage Show

September Cochrane Rodeo Labor Day Parade Prairie Girls Vintage Market Cochrane Outhouse Races Bud Brewster Tournament in support of STARS at Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course.

October Foothills Art Club Fall Sale Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation Annual Dinner & Auction

• Beautiful riverside location • 144 sites (50 & 30 amp) • Next to Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre & new pool facility • Close to all amenities & shopping • Easy access via Hwy 22 to Griffin Rd • Power, water & sewer on every site • Laundry & firewood • Central washroom & showers • Basic Wi-Fi included • Year round camping/winter storage • Highly rated Good Sam Park

The Premier Year Round Campground on the Cowboy Trail 403.932.4675 I Toll Free: 877.932.4675 900 Griffin Road East, Cochrane, AB


November Cochrane Light Up Winter Wonderland Sleigh Rides at Historic Cochrane Ranche

December Christmas Farmers Market

Spring Hill RV Park

Cochrane Street Market June 21, July 19, August 16, September 13, 2018: 1st Street West, 5:00 – 9:00 pm. The Cochrane Farmers’ Market in partnership with the Historic Downtown Cochrane businesses invite you to experience a unique shopping experience in our Historic Downtown. Enjoy market vendors, artisans, food trucks, music, buskers and late night shopping at local businesses.

41 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Fully serviced RV park. All amenities on site including gas station, propane, convenience store, fast food, liquor store, laundry, power/water/sewer to each site, dump station, pull thru sites, showers and laundromat. Located 7 km north of Cochrane on the corner of Hwy 22 and Hwy 567. Reservations recommended.

Ph: (403) 932-2010 info@springhillrvpark.com www.springhillrvpark.com

Experience Cochrane Imagine walking down a path past a strand of multi-coloured poplars in the fall as the leaves feather to the ground, backdropped against the pure blue, big Alberta sky. One cannot help but become fully immersed in nature, and that is what Cochrane’s Riverfront Park encompasses, nature.

treat. Head west on the paved path and experience the snowcapped mountain view when you rise out of the valley. The stunning vista will literally take your breath away, or the loss of breath may be due to the long hill that climbs out of the valley and into Mitford Park.

The park reflects the lovely natural setting that surrounds it, with natural amenities provided in the children’s playground. Beautiful wooden slides and climbing apparatus will keep the children busy for hours while parents interact with their kids or visit the area and have a picnic.

Or head east and soak up the stunning flora. Hike along the river winding paths that are walled with Wolf Willow, Wild Gooseberry, Canadian Buffalo-Berry and several other shrub species that populate the southern Alberta river valleys.

One of the featured attractions in the park is that it borders the beautiful Bow River. There is a boat launch and many people spend an afternoon rafting or boating down the Bow River, or casting a line into the liquid jewel that has become worldrenowned for trout fishing. Cap the day with a barbeque in one of the half-dozen firepits provided.

The paved path heading east leads visitors to a frisbee golf course. This popular game that can be played year-round. If frisbee golf isn’t your thing, keep following the path east until you encounter a forested area that is reminiscent of a Brothers Grimm story. One must then make a decision, take the path north into the overhanging trees, or continue east along the river to the nearby off-leash dog park and a world beyond.

If people don’t want to get their feet wet, there are plenty of paths, close to 60 km throughout Cochrane for the landlubbers either on foot or on wheels. Regardless of which direction one takes, or which path they choose, people are in for a visual

Riverfront Park is ideally located next to Hwy 22, on the south side of the bridge and is easily accessed from Griffin Road with plenty of parking. By: Patrick Price

Deer crossing the bridge at Riverfront Park

Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek

Big Hill Creek

42 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Cochrane Key to Park Names 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

33 22 23




Samuel Spicer Park Henry Whitfield Park Whittle Park Crawford Park Clarence Copithorne Park Rotary Park Mitford Park Matt Krol Park Millennium Park William Camden Park Kerfoot Park Centre Island Park Dewey Blaine Park Carolina Crescent Quigley Park Wearmouth Park Fenton Park Centennial Park Terry Fox Park C.W. Fisher Park

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Murphy Brothers Sunset Park Sunset Circle East McDougal West McDougal West Hall West Terrace West Terrace PG Meadow Place Bow Meadow Court Riverview West PG Glenhill PG View Park Glenbow Drive Riviera Park Riversong Fireside Heritage Park West McKay

Number in Red = Playground Equipment in Park

20 25

2 40




















32 8




14 13 15
















17 34






26 3




















330 metres


Updated By: stefan.price@cochrane.ca Name: PlaygroundParks_8.5x11 Original Scale: 1:34,000 Current as of: 2018-02-20 Folder: I:\Maps\ParkTrails\2018\


Picnic Tables Trails Trans Canada Trail Dog Off-Leash Parks




38 TCH 8 km 1

Courtesy of Cochrane Tourism

43 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com


Birding Adventures on the Bow Valley Trail

Horned Grebe

Cedar Waxwing

Great Grey Owl


The Bow Valley Trail (aka Hwy 1A), is an alternate route to

the ideal bird watching spots. What will you see? Sandpipers,

the mountains from Calgary…just like the slower pace of life

Blue Heron, Swans (in the spring and fall) and more than a

in Cochrane, the slower speed limit on the Bow Valley Trail

dozen varieties of ducks! Detour route – North on Lochend

allows you to enjoy the glorious views along the way. From

Road, turn west on Glendale Road. On Glendale (aka RR 34),

flowing fields bordering the river, to the panoramic views of

keep your eyes peeled - Bald Eagles and Hawks are often in

the mountains, all a great backdrop for bird watching!! There

this area. This will take you through some beautiful country

is such a variety of birds less than an hour in any direction from

side on curvy back roads, following it back to the Hwy 1A.

Cochrane, I wanted to share some of these amazing places that

Detour 2

I call “My Backyard”.

Is Glenbow Ranch, located south off Hwy 1A on Glenbow In my many bird photography adventures, I have found some

Road. If you are up for a birding hike, this is an amazing spot.

wonderful detours exploring the back roads. You can do them

With over 120 birds listed on their Wildlife Checklist. High-

all in one day or spend hours in each area. Here are my Top 5

lights are the Mountain Bluebirds, 10 sparrow species and

Detours to venture off the Bow Valley Trail.

so many raptors with Osprey, Bald Eagles and Great Horned Owls nesting near the river.

Detour 1 Just 8 minutes from the city limits, turning north onto Lochend

Detour 3

Road. This entire road is a birding paradise with ponds being

Into the Town of Cochrane, the place that started me down

44 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Birding Adventures on the Bow Valley Trail my birding journey. With 34 parks and 60 km of walking trails

and remarkable to see with views of the mountains emerging

(see map on pg 43), you can spend days in the serenity of the

on the top of back road adventures. A spectacular place to visit!

valley. Visit William and Kate, the annual nesting Osprey pair, at their home located on the wooden perch in the middle of

Detour 4

the Cochrane Toyota lot. If you plan to visit our Osprey family,

A short jaunt to get off and back on the 1A. Head north on

watch the ponds on Hwy 22 just before James Walker Trail. It

Grand Valley Road, then west on Wild Cat Hills Road. Turn

is home to nesting Coots, Horned Grebes and Blue Herons

south on RR 54 to Hwy 40 (Forestry Trunk Road), back to the

passing through. Travel down to Riviera pond, I had to share

1A. Watch for Ruffed Grouse and Wild Pheasants along the

this location as it is not even on the Cochrane Map it is so new.

way and always keep an eye out for the Great Grey Owls!!

Here you’ll find American Goldfinch, Northern Flickers, baby ducks and geese hatched on Riviera Pond in the spring and

Detour 5

baby House Wrens and Sandpipers along the Bow River.

The final detour for today is just west of Grand Valley Road. Turning south onto RR 51, bluebirds, robins and tree swallows

My favorite place to bird watch year-round is northwest of

will put a smile on your face. The family conversation of the

Cochrane. On Horse Creek Road you will find flocks of snow

tree swallows and the territory wars between the swallows and

bunting in the winter; Wilson Snipes, Red-winged Blackbirds,

the bluebirds makes for an entertaining adventure. As always

Cedar Waxwings and Eastern Kingbirds along your travels in

in this area, hawks are always overhead!!

the spring; flocks of sparrows in the summer and many hawks learning to fly in the fall!! Grand Valley Road is home to the

Explore away, take your time, grab your camera or binoculars,

raptors and an owl lovers paradise – eagles, hawks, kestrels,

please respect the wildlife and be amazed at the “Nature in

short eared and great grey owls. The valley is also home to

my Backyard”!! Read more birding and wildlife adventures, at

Meadowlarks, Ruffed Grouse and Bobolinks just to name a


few. You can be here for days. There’s always something new

Osprey Family

45 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Story and Photos by Jo-Anne Oucharek


Photo Courtesy of Megan Green

Share your Photos of a Calgary or Kananaskis Experience to Win Stoney Nakoda Resort 1 1-Night 2 Rafting Passes at Inside Out Experience 2 $500 Gift Certificate to Black Diamond Gallery

Photo Courtesy of Tony LePrieur

Photo Courtesy of Lynne Stephens

Photo Courtesy of Moe Haimour

To enter visit: ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contests Contest Closes February 28, 2019. Full details on above website. 46 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Photo Courtesy of Mark Burden

Kananaskis Country is 40 years old this year! The mountains here formed 200 million years ago as tectonic plates forced layers of rock upward. The rock seen is mainly limestone created by layers of fossilized sea creatures that lived in an inland sea that once covered southern Alberta. For more, see our sister publication, Experience the Dinosaur Trails. The name Kananaskis was chosen 160 years ago by Captain John Palliser on his expedition. It comes from the Cree word ‘Kin-e-a-kis’, the name of a warrior who survived an axe blow to the head. Human use of this area goes back over 8000 years, and the Stoney-Nakoda, Siksika, Blood, and Kootenai First Nations all have deep connection to this land. Kananaskis Country was first identified as a very special place worthy of being preserved, more than a century ago. In 1902, parts of Kananaskis Country were included in the Rocky Mountain National Park (which is now Banff National Park), but they were removed in 1911 and eventually turned over to the Alberta Government in 1930. Bow Valley and Bragg Creek Provincial Parks were created in 1959 and 1960, respectively and remain very popular places to visit in Kananaskis Country. In 1972, the Alberta Wilderness

Association proposed a wilderness area in the Elbow, Sheep, and Kananaskis Valleys. That same year, the Environment Conservation Authority identified a need to protect watersheds and provide tourism and recreation opportunities. Forty years ago, on September 22nd, 1978, Premier Peter Lougheed officially dedicated Kananaskis Country and the Kananaskis Provincial Park (now Peter Lougheed Provincial Park), as a place where visitors could enjoy outdoor recreation. Located only a half hour west of Calgary, this vast area has been a cherished location for Albertans to get away from city life. Here, on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, we enjoy numerous outdoor activities with friends and family, year-round. And since the `88 Olympics, people from around the world come to enjoy K-Country as a place to renew one’s spirit and reconnect with wilderness. Celebrate Kananaskis Country’s 40th birthday by exploring the area’s spectacular landscape. The friendly staff in our Info Centres can provide you with current information about trails, activities, and special events. Please minimize your impact and have a safe and enjoyable visit!

47 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

48 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests Millarville


Campground Directory pg 50

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

Experience Kananaskis Country

Golf Course Heliport Hiking Trail Interpretive Trail Motel/Hotel Mountain Biking Trail Off-Highway Vehicle Zone Parking Parks & Protected Areas Office Public Telephone Restaurant Snow Vehicle Store Universal Accessibility Visitor Information Centre

Gravel Road

Improved Gravel Road


Boat Launch

Camping (Group)

Camping (Tent Only)

Camping (Vehicle Access)

Canoe Launch

Cross-Country Ski Area

Day Use Area

Downhill Ski Area

Dumping Station

Equestrian Facility


Gas Station

Paved Road



Experience Kananaskis Country

49 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Campground Directory Bow River 12 Three Sisters Lac Des Arcs 5,6 Bow Valley 5,6,9,17 Willow Rock 5,9,12,16 Sundance Lodge Mt. Kidd R.V. Park 1,5,6,19 Eau Claire 5,12 Sibbald Lake 5,7 Dawson Equestrian Canyon 5,7 Elkwood 5,6,7,9,17 Boulton Creek 6,7,9,16,17 Lower Lake 5,13 Mt. Sarrail 12 Interlakes Spray Lakes West 7,12 Beaver Flats Gooseberry 5 Little Elbow 6 Little Elbow Equest. 4,6 McLean Creek 5,6,9,18 Paddy’s Flat 5 Mesa Butte Equest. 4 North Fork Fisher Creek Bluerock Bluerock Equest. 4 Sandy McNabb 5,18 Sandy McNabb Equest. 4,18 Cataract Creek Etherington Creek 6 Etherington Creek Equest. 4 Green Ford Indian Graves Regular 5,10,11,14 Indian Graves Equestrian 3,5,10,11,14 Strawberry Regular & Equestrian 4 Burnt Timber 7 Fallen Timber South 7 North Ghost 7 Waiparous Creek 7 Ghost Reservoir 2 Red Deer River North 7 Red Deer River South 7 James-Wilson 7,15, Fallen Timber North 7 Cartier Creek 7, Spring Hill RV Park, Cochrane springhillrvpark.com | 403-932-2010 Open Year Round | 121 Sites | Fees: $42 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Disabled Access, Firepits. Located 7km north of Cochrane. See page 49 for more information Bow Rivers Edge Campground, Cochrane campground@didsbury.ca | 403-932-4675 Open Apr. 1 - Nov. 1 | 144 Sites | Fees: $45-$50 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Disabled Access, Firepits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Apr. 29 | Sept. 25 Apr. 8 | Nov. 20 Apr. 29 | Sept. 5 Apr. 29 | Oct. 10 Apr. 1 | Oct. 25 May 20 | Sept. 18 Year round June 3 | Sept. 5 Apr. 29 | Oct. 10 Year round June 17 | Sept. 5 May 13 | Oct. 10 May 13 | Oct. 10 May 18 | Sept. 18 June 24 | Sept. 5 May 18 | Oct. 10 May 18 | Sept. 18 May 15 | Sept. 9 Apr 29 | Oct. 11 May 15 | Sep. 19 May 15 | Sep. 19 Year round May 9 | Sept. 19 May 15 | Sept. 12 May 15 | Sept. 12 Year round May 15 | Sept. 19 May 15 | Sept. 19 Apr. 29 | Oct. 11 Apr. 29 | Oct. 11 May 18 | Sept. 5 May 18 | Sept. 25 May 18 | Sept. 25 May 18 | Sept. 5 May 19 | Sept. 5 May 19 | Sept. 5 Sept. 5 | Nov. 30 May 1 | Sept. 9 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Oct. 15 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Sept. 16

$26 39 $26 36 $26 28 $26/$39 173 $26/$33 158 $31.50 30 $32.50/41/43/48 229 $26 51 $26 134 $26 10 $26 50 $26/$39 130 $26/$39 118 $26 104 $26 44 tent $26 48 $26 50 $26 55 $26 85 $26 94 $32 46 $26/$33 170 $26 98 $32 15 $26 34 $26 30 $26 66 $32 17 $33 112 $39 20 $26 102 $26 61 $32 10 $26 13 $26 32 $26 6 $26/$32 18 $308 30 $308 55 $308 169 $308 53 $26 80 $308 14 $308 50 $308 17 $308 34 $20 12


131 34 35 88 69 35 96 112 20

Coyote Creek Golf & RV Resort, Sundre coyotecreekresort.ca | 1-855-638-2450 Open Year Round | 40 Sites | Fees: $45 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Disabled Access, Firepits. You get the best of both worlds here at Coyote Creek, play golf all day and stay at your very own recreational property at night enjoying a campfire and the peace and tranquility of the resort. Adanac Adventures, Crowsnest Pass adanacadventures.com | 403-399-2331 Open Year Round | 10 Sites | Fees: $25 Ammenities: Firepits

Discount of 10% to all senior citizens (65 years and older). Discount of $2.00 to Alberta seniors. Plus $6.00 per corral (will accommodate 2 horses). Price includes fee for two horses, each additional horse $6.00. Playground available. Reservations taken with $12.00 reservation fee (includes GST). Opening dates subject to snow levels. Price includes firewood.

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Coin operated showers available. Firewood for sale off service vehicle. Off season reservations may be considered. Food lockers available for cyclists. Walk-in tenting sites closed. Reservation fees is $ 5. Cancellation policy: no refunds but reschedule to another date without additional costs, provided notification received for weekends before Friday noon.

50 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

• • • •

• (28) • (156) • (30) • (229) • (130) • (118) • (41) • (24) • (170) • (29) • (32) • (6) • (35) • (90) • (25) • (20) • (17)

403-673-2163 403-673-2163 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-673-2163 403-591-7122 403-591-7700 403-591-7226 403-673-2163 403-673-2163 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-995-5554 403-995-5554 403-591-7226 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-851-0766 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198

Clearwater Trading, Caroline clearwatertrading.ca | 403-722-2378 Open Year Round | 47 Sites | Fees: $25-$35 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Firepits. Proud to offer you a separate, private venue for all your events’ needs. Call us today! Check us out on Facebook @ clearwatertradingevents Rosebud Valley Campground, Didsbury campground@didsbury.ca | 403-335-8578 Open Apr. 15 - Oct. 15 | 33 Sites | Fees: $26-$30 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump Firepits 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Reservation ONLY. Power is 15 amp only. Discount for 2nd unit in a power and water site is $4/day. Discount for 2nd unit in a power site is $2/day. All reservation changes are subject to a non-refundable change fee of $5.

All open dates and prices subject to change

Experience the Ghost Area Burnt Timber


Fallen Timber South


Waiparous Valley Viewpoint Ghost Airstrip

Waiparous Creek

North Ghost Waiparous Creek


Ghost River

South Ghost

40 Gate

Lake Minnewanka Ghost River

Ghost Lake Ghost Lake

Bow River

Barrier Lake

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

EMERGENCY If you require Fire, Ambulance, Police, or Mountain Rescue assistance, call 9-1-1. Tell the operator you have an emergency in Kananaskis Country.

Spray Lakes

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

| ExperienceTravelGuides.com 51 |51 ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience the Bow Valley

Photo Courtesy of AB Parks Ambassador Amanda McNally/ Alberta Parks

Heading west into the Bow Valley, trees blanket the land, foothills give way to mountains, and a river runs through it. Named by the Peigan, for bow-making reeds that grow along its banks, the Bow River brings life to the valley and an array of recreational opportunities. Great hiking, rafting, golfing, cave exploring (aka spelunking), camping, and more await - just one hour from Calgary. Here are seven fun things to do in Bow Valley and Bow Valley Wildlands Provincial Parks.

1. Hike Mount Yamnuska It’s distinctive cliff face on the eastern edge of the Rockies is a beacon for adventurers. Known as “Yam”, or Iyamnathka (“flat faced mountain”) in Stoney, it is a popular hiking and rock climbing destination with several trails and over 100 climbing routes. While the mountain’s short approach and long hiking season play a large part in its popularity, you can’t deny the fun factor of Yam’s varied terrain. The scramble to the summit boasts scree, slab, chains along a ledge, and an epic scree run. Plus, there are the bragging rights of summiting both a well recognizable and seemingly insurmountable peak.

How do you get up the mountain? The typical hiking route is counter clockwise around the back (north) side. At the signed junction, one kilometre from the trailhead, just turn right to stay on the hiking and scrambling trail. From here, you can choose your own adventure depending on how much time and scrambling experience you have: Raven’s End is a scenic lookout at the northeast shoulder that is hikeable year-round. 7 km round trip, 460 m elevation gain. Upper Viewpoint offers the classic postcard view at a dizzying break in the cliffs, 125 metres above the mountain base. There is a short section of hands-on scrambling to get here. From the cliff base, follow the painted blue trail markers to stay on track. 8 km round trip, 650 metres elevation gain. Yamnuska Summit (elevation: 2,240 metres) is an exciting scramble with its notorious rock ledge and scree ski. Above treeline, follow the blue trail markers painted on the rock. For your safety, only attempt the summit in good conditions if you

52 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience the Bow Valley have scrambling experience and proper footwear. An alternate poor weather/conditions ascent - that skips the airy ledge and pitchier terrain - is via the climbing trail and west shoulder of Yamnuska. Mount Yamnuska is typically snow-free from June until October. Put it on your summer bucketlist! The crux is a narrow 30 metre ledge along an exposed cliff edge, followed by extremely steep terrain with loose rock. While a chain has been bolted to the rock wall along the ledge, the rock is slippery when wet, and a fall here could be fatal. After taking a selfie at the summit, descend to the west shoulder, traverse halfway across the front face, and enjoy a fun 500 metre scree ski which is touted as one of the best in the Rockies! Hiking Boots, rock helmet, and trekking poles recommended. 11 km round trip, 900 metres elevation gain.

The Heart Creek Bunker is comprised of manmade caverns you can explore on your own. Rumored to have been built for government officials during the Cold War, it was actually constructed to store sensitive documents, then never used. Find the trailhead at the west end of Heart Creek parking lot, cross two gullies, take your first left, and second left to reach the bunker in the side of Mount McGillivray. Don’t forget a flashlight! 3.8 km return, 94 m elevation gain.

6. Fishing Grotto Pond, Mount Lorette Ponds, and Sibbald Meadows Pond are great places to learn to fish as they are stocked with rainbow trout a few times a year. Note that an Alberta Fishing License is required for adults 16 - 64 years old and catch limits as per Alberta Fishing Regulations are in effect.

2. Whitewater Rafting

7. Camping

Discover the thrill on an Inside Out Experience whitewater rafting tour! Get your feet wet on the Kananaskis River’s class 1-3 rapids, or try Horseshoe Canyon’s Class 4 rapids which are known as some of biggest in province. Swim in the glacial waters or cliff jump - if you dare!

Bow Valley and Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Parks are home to five campgrounds, two backcountry campgrounds, and four group camping areas. Light sleepers may notice some road noise, on the plus side, you have cell phone reception and are a short drive from Canmore or Banff. By: Karen Ung

3. Go for a Picnic Enjoy bird watching, geocaching, and the gorgeous views of Mt Yamnuska from Middle Lake Day Use Area. The 2.5 km interpretive trail around the lake is great for young children.

Experience the Thrill!

Mount Lorette Ponds is a picnic area with firepits; a paved, wheelchair accessible trail (approx 1 km loop); and fishing. Or picnic at Grotto Mountain Day Use area before hiking Grotto Canyon or fishing at Grotto Pond.

4. Golfing Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course is a scenic 18-hole public golf course at the foot of Mount Yamnuska. Known as “the affordable mountain course”, it is also a great place to view wildlife! Conveniently located 45 minutes from Calgary and 15 minutes from Canmore.

5. Explore a Cave For an unforgettable experience, descend into Rat’s Nest Cave with Canmore Cave Tours. Explore the subterranean world and ancient stalactites and stalagmites, challenge yourself with a rappel into a deep cavern, or squeeze through the “Laundry Chute.” It’s the most fun you can have with coveralls on!

403.949.3305 www.insideoutexperience.com info@insideoutexperience.com

.. More time on the Water Guides .. Interpretive Warm Changerooms Prime Base Location

53 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Photo by Darren Colton of Sunchaser’s Photography

Experience Bow Valley Provincial Park Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park

Bow Valley Bike Path (paved) Montane Trail


Flowing Water Trail


l Ca

Hotel & Casino



Willow Rock

Moraine Bow Valley Trail Middle Lake

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50


Grouse Camp

Many Springs Trail


Rafter Six Ranch Resort

Chilver Lake




Rocky Mtn. YMCA Camp Chief Hector Stoney Trail Canoe Meadows

Quaite Valley


Kananaskis Visitor Information Centre

Heart Creek

Heart Creek Trail

Prairie View Trail

Quaite Valley Trail

to Banff & Canmore

Widow Maker

Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park

Kananaskis River

Barrier Dam

Jewell Pass Trail

(seasonal closure)

Sibbald Area Barrier Lake

MOUNT BALDY 2, 192 m

y a McNall


O'Shaughnessy Falls

40 Porcupine ss y Pa


Stoney Trail

EMERGENCY If you require Fire, Ambulance, Police, or Mountain Rescue assistance, call 9-1-1. Tell the operator you have an emergency in Kananaskis Country.

Sibbald Creek Trail

Colonel's Cabin/ U of C Field Station

or Amand

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

68 Groups

(Seasonal Closure)

assad arks Amb sy of AB P


Stony Creek

Barrier Lake

Jewell Bay Equestrian

Photo Co


Jamboree Centre

Bow Valley Provincial Park

Bow River


Owl Camp

Middle Lake Trail


Lac des Arcs




Bow River Trai l Elk Flats

to Highway 1A

Kananaskis Guest Ranch

Wasootch Creek Mt. Lorette Ponds

54 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests


Experience Spray Valley Provincial Park Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park


Deadman's Flats

Grassi Lakes Goat Creek



Ha Ling Peak 2680 m

Lac des Arcs


Park Quaite Valley

742 Goat Pond

The Three Sisters 2941 m

Jewell Bay Equestrian

Bow Valley Wildland Provincial

Driftwood Spray Lakes West

Mount Lorette 2469 m

Mount Allan 2789 m



Evan-Thomas Provincial Recreation Area

Nakiska Sundance Lodges


Spray Lakes

Kananaskis Village

y ra

Mount Buller 2805 m

Canyon Dam

Buller Creek Trail

Ribbon Lake

742 Buller Mountain

Mount Engadine 2970 m

Mount Galatea 3185 m

Kananaskis Golf Course Mount Kidd 2,958 m

Ribbon Falls

Mt. Kidd RV Park

Galatea Creek

Galatea Creek

Lillian Lake Eau Claire



oad ay R /Spr

Mt. Birdwood 3097 m

n orrie th-D

Mt. Engadine Lodge

Guinn Pass

Spray Valley


Mount Shark Mt. Shark 2786 m

Ribbon Creek Trail Mount Bogart






Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

The Fortress 3000 m

Fortress Mountain

Fortress Junction


Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

55 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

Experience Kananaskis Valley

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

EMERGENCY If you require Fire, Ambulance, Police, or Mountain Rescue assistance, call 9-1-1. Tell the operator you have an emergency in Kananaskis Country.

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

56 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Kananaskis Village The Kananaskis Valley has it all! Have a real western experience at Boundary Ranch, treat the kids to a heli tour, or spend a night at Sundance Lodges in a real tipi, or enjoy one of the fine resorts in the region. Did you know that the Mt Kidd RV Park is open year round? Raft the Kananaskis River, bike the many paved and back country trails. Take a day hike to a waterfall or backpack into spectacular wilderness. Golfers will be pleased to learn that the Kananaskis Country Golf Course reopened this spring. See pg 58 to learn more or check out Golfing in Kananaskis dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/671104/70 Guide books, coffee, snacks, gifts and public washrooms can be found at Kananaskis Village retailers. Need gear? Stop at Kananaskis Outfitters for all your clothing and rental needs.

Boat Launch

Skogan Pass Trail

Camping (Tent Only)

Stoney Trail

High Level Trail

Camping (Vehicle Access)

Downhill Ski Area

Ruthie’s Trail

Group Camping Equestrian Facility

Centennial Ridge Trail Coal Mine Trail

Gas Station Interpretive Trail

Store Amphitheatre Canoe Launch

Troll Falls Trail

Stoney Ribbon Creek



Hidden Trail


Golf Course

Visitor Information Centre

Sundance Lodges

Nakiska Troll Falls

(Closure Period)


Group Camping (Tent Only)

Mt. Lorette Ponds

Ka nan

Day Use Area


as kis

Sunburst Trail

Riv er

Come back in the winter for snowshoeing, cross-country, and downhill skiing at Nakiska. For free trail maps of the area visit ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Library

Ribbon Creek Trail R


Link Trail

Terrace Trail

Hay Meadow Trail

Kovach Pond

(Trail Damaged Closed)

re on C i bb

Beaver Ponds

Kovach Trail

Kananaskis Village

Kananaskis Emergency Services Centre Bill Milne Paved Trail

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

57 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience the Kananaskis Trail

Highway through K- Country

The Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40), is one of the most scenic drives in the world and it slices through the heart of Kananaskis Country. Skirting gorgeous lakes and rivers, rising through high mountain passes, and meandering along the base of snow-smeared, soaring mountains, it serves up scintillating views throughout. While motorists who drive the 104 km long highway – from its junction at the Trans Canada Highway to the heights of the Highwood Pass and beyond – don’t actually have to get out of the comfort of their vehicle to appreciate the beauty, there are, not surprisingly, some awesome “off road” adventures along the way. In the spring of 2013, Kananaskis, commonly referred to as “K Country,” was one of the hardest hit areas during Alberta’s devastating floods. Thanks to fast-melting snowpack and a massive storm, which dumped over 200 millimeters of rain in the region, many small creeks and tributaries became raging rivers. In terms of the devastation, one of the hardest hit areas was the Kananaskis Country Golf Course. But, thankfully, it has made an amazing comeback. And, without a doubt, it’s one of the top attractions along the Kananaskis Trail. Located just a few minutes south of the village of Kananaskis, the Kananaskis Country Golf Course boasts two of the world’s

most picturesque mountain golf courses. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., both the Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd courses were obliterated during the flood. Thirty-three of the 36 holes were destroyed. However, after five long years, the wait is over. The restoration of these amazing mountain golf courses is now complete. Headed by Canmore architect Gary Browning, both of the courses reopened 2018 and divots are once again be flying on these legendary courses. “It’s been an unforgettable journey for us,” says GM Darren Robinson. “From those early days when the devastation was so complete, to the uncertainty of what the future would be, to the years of reconstruction, and, finally, to where we are today, with these stunning golf courses so impeccably restored, it’s all surreal. The anticipation for the 2018 golf season was off the charts.” Having played the Mount Lorette course last fall in a media preview event, I can confidently state that people will be “wowed” by the “new” Kananaskis golf experience. Thanks to an extensive $38 million renovation, a “wow” factor is par for the course at neighbouring Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. An Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott, there are many highlights of this dazzling new mountain-surrounded retreat. In fact, people who have not visited this property for a

58 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience the Kananaskis Trail

The par-5 9th on the “new” K-Country Golf Course

few years will barely recognize it! It has truly become a worldclass hotel. With 247 renovated guest rooms and suites, five restaurants, and a world-class Nordic Spa, which includes five outdoor pools, six steam and sauna cabins, exfoliation room, salt-water float pool, and eight massage treatment rooms, guests will be pleasantly surprised with the amenities, modernization, and overall experience at this resort. Located in the Kananaskis Village, the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge is ideally situated for guests to immerse themselves in the outdoor recreation options here. Some of the most popular activities (for day-trippers and overnight guests alike) include horseback riding, hiking, biking, SUPing, and canoeing. If you need equipment or would like to embark on a fully-guided adventure, Kananaskis Outfitters is the place to go.

Bikers along the Bill Milne trail near Kananaskis Village

Naturally, with an abundance of wilderness to explore along the Kananaskis Valley Trail, the majority of visitors choose to embark on their own self-guided excursions into this gorgeous, unspoiled terrain. Many of the most picturesque spots along the highway – including Mt. Lorette Ponds, Wedge Pond, Galatea Lakes, and Elbow Lake, to name a few - have small parking lots where you can get out, take photos, and enjoy a half, full, or multi-day hike into the Canadian Rockies.

Regardless of which activities you choose along the Kananaskis Trail, the experience – and the drive! - is going to be beautiful.

A family-run business opened in 2008, the friendly staff at Kananaskis Outfitters are experts when it comes to guiding intrepid explorers on some of the most exciting adventures available in Alberta. A few of their most popular excursions include guided hikes at Highwood Pass, canoeing on beautiful Barrier Lake, and horseback riding at the legendary Boundary Ranch, another nearby attraction that boasts western cookouts and memorable horseback riding adventures in K-Country. 59 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Photos and Story By: Andrew Penner

Experience Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Located between the Highwood Area and Spray Valley, this park straddles Hwys 40 and 742 and boasts some of the finest camping and wilderness hiking experiences in the Rockies. Hundreds of kilometres of hiking, interpretive, and mountain biking trails, as well as paved bike trails await your summer

exploration. In the winter, you can rediscover many of these same trails on snow shoes or on cross-country skis. May we suggest Chester Lake, Rawson Lake, Elbow Lake, and Ptarmigan? Before you go, check out these Four Easy Hikes at dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/124265/32

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

60 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Highwood and Cataract Area Located 35 km west of Longview on Hwy 541, it stretches from the boundary of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park to the southern border of Kananaskis Country. Landscapes range from stark high alpine to lush forests and rich grazing lands. Interesting features include the Plateau Mountain Ecological Reserve and the Highwood Road Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary.

Marvel at the golden larch meadows in autumn and come winter, explore by snowmobile on designated trails. Enjoy the great fishing and camping experiences during summer. There are numerous hiking trails. May we suggest Picklejar Lakes, Grass Pass, Cataract Falls, and Cat Creek Interpretive Trail? To learn more: dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/307806/52

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

EMERGENCY If you require Fire, Ambulance, Police, or Mountain Rescue assistance, call 9-1-1. Tell the operator you have an emergency in Kananaskis Country.

61 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Sheep River Provincial Park Located on Hwy 546, 23 km west of Turner Valley, it offers campgrounds for visitors who arrive by vehicle as well as those discovering the area on horseback. “The Sheep� is surrounded by Bluerock Wildland Provincial Park. Here experience vast evergreen forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, rolling foothills, and true wilderness solitude. Come explore on foot, horseback, or mountain bike. The Sandy McNabb Interpretive Trail as a great place to start. This pleasant 1.7 km walk, loops through forest and meadows. Benches at several viewpoints offer scenic panoramas of the Sheep River Valley. Return this winter to enjoy 37 km of groomed cross-country ski trails. Ice skating is also available at the Sandy McNabb Campground and the Sheep River Ranger Station is open yearround. For detailed trail maps, go to: dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/695976

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

62 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience the Elbow Valley Located 32 km southwest of Bragg Creek, Forget-me-not Pond is a very popular family picnic area and destination for avid bicycle riders. Stretch your legs and enjoy a very easy stroll around this small emerald gem. Looking for something more adventurous? Try Fullerton Loop, Powderface Ridge, Moose Mountain, or Prairie Creek.

The Elbow Valley offers a variety of picnic sites, campgrounds, and trails, just 30 minutes from Calgary. The variety of trails in this area range from a pleasant hour’s walk, to a trail ride on horseback or an overnight backpack trip that takes you into Sheep River, Sibbald, or Kananaskis Valley. From the picturesque hamlet of Bragg Creek, most will travel west along Hwy 66, on a stairway into the Rocky Mountains. Passing first through grasslands, then aspen parkland and subalpine forest, the road ultimately leads you to views of the majestic high alpine. The wildlife here reflects the terrain’s diversity, from the prairies’ Richardson’s ground squirrel to the grizzly bear and bighorn sheep found at higher elevations.

Another popular area, also used year-round is simply called West Bragg Creek. Instead of taking Hwy 66 however, take Township Road 232 west from the hamlet. For a detailed trail map of Elbow Valley, go to: dig.cmipublishing.ca/i/695976 The McLean Creek Off-Highway Vehicle Zone has trails and campground facilities designed especially for those wishing to explore on trail motorbikes, quads, snowmobiles and 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Be sure to visit Elbow Falls. The paved trail offers spectacular views and interpretive signs explain the formation of the falls.

(Bragg Creek Area new trails not shown)




w Tr ail

Hog's Back Trail







Mesa Butte


Gorge Creek Trail ALLSMOKE Volcano MTN. Ridge

to Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond, Calgary

Winter Gate

North Fork


9999 Trail Ware Creek

Ware Trail Creek Death Valley Link Creek Trail


to Turner Valley

Sandy McNabb




Elbow Pa ss

Curley Sands Trail

Creek Trail

Bluerock Trail Wildland Provincial Sheep River Park Gorge Provincial Park


Visit the Information Centres for updates, maps may not reflect current changes

Fisher Creek


n. Mt

il Tra

Winter Gate


Fo rth No Trail



Little E lbo


d oa kR


ee Cr



E Big

McLean Creek OHV Public Land Use Zone

Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park


w lbo

McLean Creek


Forgetmenot Pond




Winter Gate Groups

Paddy's Flat



[Restricted Dates]

McLean Pond

Riverview Trail



Big Elbow

Allen Bill

River Cove


ce fa er ail wd Tr Po dge Ri

Mount Romulus

Cobble Flats


Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park


Elbow Sulphur Beaver River Springs Launch Lodge Trail



Winter Gate

Winter Gate

o Elb

Little Elbow




Round Gate

Beaver Flats


Nihahi Creek Trail Nihahi Ridge Trail MOUNT FULLERTON [Restricted Dates]

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park



Fullerton Loop Trail


Tr ail Trail Link Prairie Creek Prairie Trail



Elbow Valley Information Centre

Station Flats

eek Powderie Cr face Elbow Prair

to TransCanada (#1) Highway

Township Road #232

Diamond T Loop


Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park

Moose Mountain

Ings’ Mine

Cree Ford il Tra

[Restricted Dates]




Powderface Trail (road) CLOSED, Flood Damaged

Ford Creek Trail


o w Trail


Elbow Sheep Wildland Provincial Park



Sibbald Area

Volcano Ridge

If you require Fire, Ambulance, Police, or Mountain Rescue assistance, call 9-1-1. Tell the operator MOUNT you have an emergency BRYANT in Kananaskis Country. MOUNT McDOUGALL

Bragg Creek Provincial Park

West Bragg Creek

To m


Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

63 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Bragg Creek

t Pond


Biking along Hwy 66

Your base camp for adventure; at the confluence with the Elbow River, where foothills meet mountains. Whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or weekend getaway, Bragg Creek offers outdoor adventures for every season. Discover Bragg Creek’s hidden gems and best festivals here.

Spring: Road Biking and Taste of Bragg Creek The Elbow Valley unfurls with new sights around every turn as we head south on Hwy 66. I feel a rush of anticipation knowing the best is yet to come. Today, we’ll ditch the car at Elbow Falls and bike to Forget-me-not Pond. This unique opportunity to ride the highway without cars (or snow) is only available for a few weeks each year. As we leave the winter gate and hikers behind, we ride in the middle of the lane - because we can - and revel in the solitude. It’s easy going to Beaver Flat Campground (2 km), followed by a steep climb to Rainy Summit. We take in the mountains and open road - and a few much needed gulps of water - before whipping downhill to Cobble Flats, and the pond. Deer emerge from the trees to graze while raptors ride the thermals off Forget-me-not Ridge. It’s a pleasant change from summer when the banks are lined with picnickers. We silently savour the moment before heading back to reality.

Elbow Falls to Forget-me-not Pond via Hwy 66: 10 km one way. Go: late Apr-May 14, or early Dec, conditions permitting. The winter gate on Hwy 66 is closed from Dec 1-May 14.

Summer: Camping at Little Elbow The first warm weekend we’re at Little Elbow Campground. From our walk-in tent site, we can hike Nihahi Creek, the Nihahi Ridge, or Little Elbow Interpretive Trail; mountain bike Elbow Loop; and picnic at Forget-me-not Pond. While Nihahi (“rocky” in the Stoney) Ridge looks imposing, the shoulder of the ridge is attainable provided you don’t mind some elevation gain. 3 km one way, 390 m elevation gain. We hike until the ridge gets sketchy, then play along the river.

Fall: Sunrise Hill and Scarecrows As I scan my trusty topographic map, I’m intrigued by an unnamed peak near Powderface Ridge. It looks promising at 2,100 m, so we scout it out. Within an hour, we have a bird’s eye view of the Elbow Valley that rivals Powderface Ridge but requires less effort (and time). A sign at the summit reveals its name: Sunrise Hill. It’s the best short hike we’d never heard of! To get there, park at the junction of Hwy 66 and Powderface Trail, in the pullout on the north side of the road. Head up the grassy hill on the same side of the road and follow the forested

64 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

Experience Bragg Creek Events In Bragg Creek

3 40



30 0



Wintergreen Golf Resort


28 0





10 0


SW 240

12 0



0 160

1 80

22 0

July 1 Canada Day Celebrations

Legend pg 49 Campground Directory pg 50

Wintergreen Woods Estate



0 32

20 0


July 21 & 22 Bragg Creek Days & Ride for Sight


ad Brack en Ro


Rodeo Grounds


Burney Road

East Park Place

22 ad

Ro Boyce Ranch

Gooseberry Campground

Leisure Lake



Station Flats

Allen Bill Pond

Bar Kay Cee

McLean Creek Recreation Area

To Hwy 2 South Calgary Priddis


River Cove Campground

April 12, 2019 Taste of Bragg Creek

To Hwy 1 Cochrane Calgary Banff Canmore

. e Ave Whit all Dr.



The Highlands

November 17 & 18 Artisans Christmas Sale


Burnside Drive

Centre Ave.

rive River

Bragg Creek Provincial Park

October 5 - November 4 Scarecrow Festival

December 1, 2 & 8, 9 Spirit of Christmas


September 22 & 23 Heritage Festival

Redwood Meadows Golf Club

Pine Ave. Spruce Av e.

Centre Ave.

Elk Valley Dr.

August 25 Moose Mountain Trail Races

West Bragg Creek

a Tind

Town Site of Redwood Meadows


nsid Bur

July 27 - 29 Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow and Rodeo




Paddy’s Flats Aspen Creek

trail for about 2.5 km until you reach a junction marked by a large cairn. Go up the steep hill on your right for 300 m and enjoy the panoramic views. 5.7 km return, 504 m elevation gain. Go: Jun-Nov.



Winter Adventures in West Bragg Creek When it cools off, West Bragg Creek is the hot spot for outdoor adventures. With a 141 km network of well-signed and well-maintained trails, West Bragg is frequented by snowshoers, cross country skiers, fatbikers, hikers, and equestrians. It is one of the few places in Kananaskis that allows skate skiing and the only place that allows dogs on groomed trails. Go snowshoe the Snowy Owl Trail (6.6 km), fatbike Braggin’ Rights and Merlin View (14 km and a 363 m of elevation), or ski from West Bragg Creek to Allen Bill Day Use via Sundog Loop and Iron Springs/Elbow Loop (12.7 km loop, 129 m of elevation / 378 m total of elevation).


Whenever you visit there are adventures to be had! Photos and Story By: Karen Ung

See the program guide: ucalgary.ca/outdoorcentre

65 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com


66 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests


67 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com