Grab your picnic blanket, frisbee, and a good book to explore the best parks in Calgary, with more than 8,000 hectares of parkland and natural areas in the city. Discover incredible green spaces with everything from tennis courts and soccer fields to concrete waves and cricket pitches to keep you active and enjoying these beautiful natural spaces. Explore the great outdoors with family and friends in the middle of the city at one of these local favourite Calgary parks.
10 Best Parks in Calgary
10 Best Parks in Calgary
Marking the centennial of Canadian Confederation in 1967, Confederation Park is considered a model in landscape design. Natural wetland areas, thriving with aquatic vegetation and exotic species, sits side-by-side a natural playground, designed to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. A tipped over Voyageur canoe is the centrepiece of the natural playground, along with a multi-level fort and water pump kids will love. Celebrate the holiday season in Confederation Park with the Lions Festival of Lights, a local tradition for over three decades that lights up the sky with over 500,000 lights.
Location: 905 30 Ave NW
Bordered by the beautiful Bow River and the community of Wildwood, Edworthy Park is home to hiking trails, playgrounds, and picnic sites. Explore the Douglas-fir Trail, a 2.5 kilometre gravel and dirt trail through a forest of Douglas-firs, with lookout points and views of the Bow River Valley. Historic Lawrey Gardens covers 169 hectares, including an off-leash area and a diverse collection of wildflowers and wildlife. Lookout for Rainbow and Brown Trout in the water. All this nature adventure is ready to explore in the middle of the city.
Location: 5050 Spruce Dr. SW
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Fish Creek Provincial Park is the second largest urban park in Canada, with more than 100 kilometres of hiking and biking trails. Birding enthusiasts can observe more than 200 bird species along with Great Blue Herons, ducks, geese, songbirds, and bald eagles that nest along the Bow River valley. The Provincial Park is so large it includes a boat launch, the McKenzie Meadows Golf Course, The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, and the Sikome Aquatic Facility for a family friendly day at the beach. All these activities make Fish Creek Provincial Park a local favourite for a day in the great outdoors.
Location: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE
Nose Hill Park
How do you think Nose Hill Park is an impressive feature of the north west skyline amongst the 12 communities that surround it. Hike the trails of Nose Hill Park’s 11 square kilometres, enjoy the off-leash area with your dog, and take in one of the most significant examples of Rough Fescue grassland ecosystems in the Canadian prairies. Deer can often be spotted roaming the area, along with gophers and hawks. You can even get Rocky Mountain views from the top of the hill.
Location: 5620 14 St. NW
Prairie Winds Park
Get into the action at Prairie Winds Park with basketball courts, cricket pitch, fitness stations, soccer field, and tennis courts. Kids will love the toboggan hill and skating rink in the winter and wading pool and spray park in the summer. Be adventurous on the Playscape with zipline, skate park, and concrete wave or watch the sunset on another great day with picnic areas, shelters, and special tandoori ovens. Prairie Winds Park even has beautiful views of Baitun Nur Mosque, the largest mosque in Canada.
Location: 223 Castleridge Blvd. NE
Prince’s Island Park
Named for Peter Anthony Prince, a lumberman who came to Calgary in 1886, Prince’s Island Park has become a popular downtown oasis. Host to festivals and events throughout the year including Canada Day celebrations, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival, Prince’s Island Park is always full of energy. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park, walk the pathways, or dine at the River Café, an award-winning restaurant nestled in the middle of the park.
Location: 4 St. and 1 Ave. SW
Make Riley Park your destination for a day outside with family and friends. A wading pool and playground make it the perfect spot for a family picnic. Explore the Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Gardens, named after one of the Big Four who founded the Calgary Stampede, with over 20,000 pieces of flagstone from the senator’s demolished mansion. Take in a game of cricket, home to the Calgary Cricket League, or take a short walk to the neighbourhood of Kensington to finish your day at the park with great local dining and shopping.
Location: 800 12 St NW
Plan your active day at Shouldice Park and enjoy easy access to picnic sites, firepits and barbeque stands, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and tennis courts. This active space includes a 15,000 square foot inclusive playground, a universally accessible playground for children of all abilities, along with pay-to-play batting cages and access to the Bow River. Ready for more sports and games? The Shouldice Aquatic Centre and Shouldice Arena are nearby for more fun activities.
Location: 4900 Monserrat Dr. NW
St. Patrick’s Island Park
One of Calgary’s newest parks, St. Patrick’s Island was redeveloped in 2015 with hiking and biking trails, a public plaza and amphitheatre, playground, and restored river channels. Take a walk to the top of The Rise, a grassy knoll used for community festivals and outdoor movies in the summer and tobogganing in the winter. Wade into the water of the Seasonal Breach or get downtown city views across the Bow River from the westernmost edge of the island. Ride your bike over the George C. King Bridge for a wonderful way to access the island from East Village and get a view of the Bloom sculpture, a series of city streetlights designed by artist Michel de Broin.
Location: 1300 Zoo Rd. NE
Sue Higgins Park
Ready to let the dogs run? Sue Higgins Park is home to the largest fenced off-leash area in Calgary along with public artwork Deux Chiens Assis, two bronze dog statues by artist Henri Jacquemart, crafted in the 1800s. Wander through 62 hectares of green space along the riverbanks and keep your eyes peeled for diving ducks, Canada Geese, gulls, red-winged blackbirds, woodpeckers, and warblers. Be sure to listen for the Boreal Chorus Frog, which sounds like someone running their finger along the teeth of a nylon comb.
Location: Southland Dr. & Deerfoot Trail SE