Whether you’re a visitor to Calgary or a longtime resident, there’s always beautiful scenery to explore on the city’s pathways. Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway network in North America with 1,000 km of regional pathways. There are also 96 km of hiking trails. Here are our favourite walks and hikes for all levels of adventure.
Best Walks & Hikes in Calgary
Best Walks & Hikes in Calgary
Easy Paved Walks
Calgary’s neighbourhoods, parks, and natural areas are all connected by an extensive network of paved pathways. These spots are the perfect option for either a relaxed walk or a brisk jaunt to take in some fresh air.
Chevron Learning Pathway at Prince’s Island Park
Prince’s Island Park is an urban oasis for locals and visitors alike with its picture-perfect location on the Bow River. The Chevron Learning Pathway, along the east end of the park, has interpretive signage explaining the inner workings of the wetlands, including its importance for wildlife, habitat, and water quality. If you need a snack break before or after your walk, the River Café is a top Calgary restaurant that prides itself on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
Distance: < 1 km loop (< 0.62 mi)
Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk
Calgary’s RiverWalk parallels the Bow River for 4 km through Downtown, connecting Chinatown in the west to Inglewood and Stampede Park in the east. Scenic viewpoints, art installations, and wide steps leading to the river make the RiverWalk a destination as much as a pathway. Dedicated pedestrian and cycle lanes also mean you can walk without worry and focus on the scenery.
Distance: Up to 4 km one way (2.5 mi)
Bowness - Baker Park Loop
Bowness Park, in Calgary’s northwest, is one of the city’s most popular parks. It features a shallow lagoon that visitors can paddle on in the summer and skate on in the winter, along with a tea house, and numerous walking pathways. Baker Park sits across the Bow River, which conveniently connects to Bowness via a 4 km loop, which takes less than an hour to complete.
Distance: 4 km loop (2.5 mi)
Glenmore Reservoir Loop
Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir is a hub of activity for boaters, cyclists, and walkers. The well-maintained pathway around the reservoir leads across bridges, through marshes, and past scenic viewpoints. The best thing about this trail is that you can start at one of multiple parking lots around the reservoir and make the full trek or turn around at any point.
Distance: Up to 14.5 km loop (9 mi)
Think you have to leave the city to experience nature? Think again. You can disconnect within city limits thanks to the many nature walks spread throughout Calgary.
Twelve Mile Coulee Self-Guided Walk
A coulee is simply a small valley and very common in the Alberta prairies. The Twelve Mile Coulee route takes you past 10 interpretive stops in the northwest community of Tuscany. Along the way you’ll experience native grasslands, aspen woodland, and shrub communities. The walk is paved but there are opportunities to head into the coulee for more adventure.
Distance: 1 km one way (0.62 mi)
Bebo Grove Loop at Fish Creek Park
Fish Creek Park is the only provincial park in the city and is the second largest urban park in Canada. It’s home to 80 km (about 49 mi) of mixed-use pathways across sprawling forest and grassland. One of the most scenic trails is the Bebo Grove Loop which starts at the west end of the park and follows Fish Creek as it flows east towards the Bow River.
Distance: 4.3km loop (2.7 mi)
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is paradise for birders and nature enthusiasts. This wildlife reserve has seen 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, and 347 species of plants since being established in 1929. The trails that wind through the grasslands, marshes, and forests of the sanctuary are open from dawn to dusk. The newly built Nature Centre provides bathrooms and plenty of educational opportunities for visitors.
Distance: 3.1km loop (1.9 mi)
Griffith Woods Park Outer Loop
Griffith Woods Park is a hidden gem along the Elbow River in the southwest community of Discovery Ridge. Its trails are flat and easy to walk, making it an accessible nature walk for everyone. The Outer Loop trail takes you through natural spruce and balsam poplar forest and offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
Distance: 6.1 km loop (3.8 mi)
If you want to enjoy nature but also crave a challenge, Calgary has some great urban hiking options. These hikes make you feel like you’ve left the city and stepped into the wild, but all are conveniently located within Calgary.
Baker Park – Bowmont Park - Dale Hodges Park Loop
Tour three parks via one trail with the the Baker Park – Bowmont Park – Dale Hodges Park Loop. The trail follows the Bow River as it winds through northwest Calgary. Parts are paved but there are plenty of rugged trails along the bluff just waiting to be explored. Dale Hodges Park at the south end of the trail is the site of a former gravel pit that has been turned into a beautiful wetlands area that doubles as storm water management.
Distance: 12.7 km loop (7.9 mi)
Douglas Fir Trail at Edworthy Park
For a heart-pounding adventure, try the Douglas Fir Trail starting at Edworthy Park. Aptly named after the many large Douglas fir trees that grow there, the trail leads through densely wooded slopes of the river valley with dramatic views of the Bow River and city skyline. While the trail is closed during the winter and early spring, it’s the perfect destination for the summer and fall months. The Douglas firs in the area can grow up to 2.1 m (7.5 ft) in diametre, and some of the evergreens are about 500 years old.
Distance: Up to 2.5km one-way (1.6 mi)
Nose Hill Loop via 14th Street
Nose Hill Park, known as Ootssapi’tomowa by the Blackfoot people, is massive spanning 11 sq km (about 7 sq mi). It’s thriving grassland eco-system means that you’ll get sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains, Bow River valley, and Calgary’s skyline depending on what section you’re hiking. There are six parking lots around the perimeter of the park, each with their own unique advantages. A great choice is the Nose Hill Loop via the 14th St. parking lot. This scenic trail offers incredible views of Downtown and will lead you past a culturally significant Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) stone landmark.
Distance: 7.4km loop (4.6 mi)