The Best Kept Secrets of Calgary’s Parks

Calgary is full of beautiful parks and pathways, and you’d be hard pressed to find a seasoned Calgarian who isn’t aware of the top five favourites: Fish Creek, Nose Hill, Glenmore Reservoir, Confederation, and Bowness. But  with a city as vast as Calgary—and over 10,000 hectares of parkland and natural areas—it’s easy to miss all the hidden gems nestled between our urban and suburban communities. If parks and pathways are an important aspect of your home-buying decision, you absolutely need to keep reading!

Partnering with Kelsey Woods of Parks of Calgary, (All photo credit to Kelsey Woods below) we’re sharing her favourite hidden gem parks in each quadrant, so you can explore more of where you live (or hope to live one day).

If you're thinking about buying a home in Calgary and want to purchase close to one of the many incredible outdoor spaces this city has to offer, reach out and book a coffee with our team, we can provide comprehensive community information that'll help you determine which area is best suited to you and your families needs! 

Calgary Northwest Parks:

Bowmont Park

“Bowmont Park has a beautiful view of Calgary’s northwest and the mountains. As you explore this hilltop park, you can also look down the cliffs onto Dale Hodges Park and the Bow River. This large natural environment is complete with paths, benches, a waterfall, and an off-leash dog park. It also has great trails for walking, running and biking, especially if you’re looking for dirt trails and some hills to climb.”Bowmont Park

Size: 164 hectares

Fun fact:

  • Bowmont Park contains an unusual geological formation called “tufa” near a three-metre-high waterfall.

Where to go:

  • 85 St NW (or further down the road for the off-leash dog park)

  • Along Silver Crest Dr NW (at the top of the ravine) 

Edgemont Ravine

Surrounded by suburban communities, Edgemont is bursting with beautiful pathways and small, diverse wetlands home to plenty of birds and wildlife for you to check out. Head here any evening to enjoy peace and quiet as you explore nature in the middle of the city.”

Size: 35.5 hectares

Fun fact:

  • Because of the steepness of the ravines in this community, early settlers worked in surrounding areas, leaving the ravines untouched.

Where to go:

  • 9401 Edgebrook Blvd NW

Calgary Northeast Parks:

tom baker park calgary

Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park

“This park boasts gorgeous views of downtown Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. And for all you dog lovers, lots of pups run off leash here. There is a neat interpretive exhibit at the top that describes the park’s history and wildlife, and looks absolutely beautiful in sunset photos.”

Size: 18 hectares

Fun fact:

  • The park was named after a sign that stood on the hill for many years advertising for Tom Campbell’s Hats.

Where to go:

  • 25 St Georges Dr NE

  • Corner of Child Ave and Hill Road NE (for the off-leash dog park)

west nose creek

West Nose Creek Park/Confluence Park

“This park is great for running, cycling and walking the dog. It has an off-leash park nearby, too, so whichever your pup prefers. It’s also home to Split Rock, a glacial erratic that is a popular but less well-known spot in Calgary for people to take photos.”

Size: 73 hectares

Fun fact:

  • West Nose Creek Park/Confluence Park is home to both historic stone quarry (which once was used to build many of Calgary’s historic buildings) and “split rock,” a popular glacial erratic that was once part of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park.

Where to go:

  • 300 Beddington Blvd NE

Calgary Southwest Parks:

weasel head flats calgary

Weaselhead Flats

“Just off the Glenmore Reservoir, Weaselhead Flats is a protected area in Calgary that’s full of wildlife, birds, and an iconic wooden bridge that you may recognize as it’s well photographed. This area is a true urban oasis, as no bikes or dogs are allowed in the park to protect the environment and the wildlife.”

Size: 237 hectares

Fun facts:

  • Weaselhead Flats is the only delta in the city, which is a landform that’s created by the Elbow River slowly flowing into the Glenmore Reservoir and home to a unique variety of plants and animals.

  • This park is also home to one of the largest strands of continuous forest in the city.

Where to go:

  • 37 St SW and 66 Ave SW

  • 6615 37 St SW (parking lot)

Griffith Woods Calgary

Griffith Woods

“It feels like you’re in the mountains here! Running water, tall pine trees, trails running every which way, stepping stones, multiple bridges — there are plenty of hidden gems to find here.”

Size: 93 hectares

Fun fact:

  • This park was named after Wilbur Griffith, after his wife donated a portion of their estate to the City of Calgary as a nature preserve.

Where to go:

  • 160 Discovery Ridge Blvd SW (but there are many entrances to the Park along the south side of Discovery Ridge Blvd SW)

Britannia Slopes/Riverdale Park/Sandy Beach

“This is such a cool spot, complete with views of downtown Calgary and down along the river valley. Here you’ll find staircases, places to play in the water, an off-leash dog park, and tons of hidden spots to explore. It’s the most beach-y feel I’ve found in Calgary, especially on a hot day.”
Britannia Slopes

Size: 33 hectares (Sandy Beach)

Fun fact:

  • This land, which was donated by Eric Harvie in 1956, was meant to be a natural park with no garden beds, manicured lawns or billboards. The City of Calgary has kept its promise.

Where to go:

  • 4616 Britannia Dr SW (Britannia Slopes)

  • 1334 Riverdale Ave SW (Riverdale Dog Park, which is also the parking lot for Sandy Beach off-leash river access)

  • 4500 14a St SW (Sandy Beach)

Calgary Southeast Parks:

calgary parks

Ralph Klein Park

“This is the second of three parks in the city that do not allow dogs, as it’s a protected area (in addition to Weaselhead Flats and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary). This park has wide open man-made wetlands, a natural playground, and an education centre that often hosts field trips.”

Size: 30.35 hectares

Fun facts:

  • Ralph Klein Park, named after Calgary’s former Mayor and Alberta’s former Premier Ralph Klein, is the first park to be named for a mayor during his lifetime.

  • This park is also the fourth pilot city-led Community Orchard Research Project, growing a variety of pears and apples on its land.

Where to go:

  • 12350 84 St SE

carburn park calgary

Carburn Park

“There is a large water feature in this park that allows for sports year-round (paddle boarding and kayaking in the summer; skating in the winter). There are tons of wildlife here that you may be able to see depending when you visit: beavers, deer, birds, owls, etc. And it’s right near Sue Higgins Park, which is a popular off-leash area for dogs if you have a pup who wants to run around.”

Size: 135 hectares

Fun fact:

  • Carburn Park used to be owned by Senator Patrick Burns and was the right-of-way for a railway line between Calgary and Montana.

Where to go:

  • 67 Riverview Dr SE

Sound off in the comments below, which park in Calgary is your favorite and let us know why! 

Posted by Cody Tritter on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.