When it gets hot and sticky in the city, there are few things sweeter than finding a patch of grass under a shady tree and hiding from the world for a while. Calgary has some truly beautiful parks and green spaces where you can go and chill, or head for a run or outdoor yoga class if that’s what floats your boat.
There are in fact 8000 hectares of parklands in Calgary, so you won’t have to go far to find your special spot. Here’s a run down on some of the beautiful parks to seek out when you’re in Calgary, and what they offer visitors.
Prince’s Island Park is a gorgeous spot on the Bow River connected to the city by four bridges and just next to Eau Claire Market. There’s a large landscaped area that is perfect to head for a picnic or a game of frisbee, and many trails suitable for walking or biking around (you can rent bikes in the market).
At the east of the park are wetlands that you can explore, and you’ll see plenty of ducks and geese there. Prince’s Island Park is home for many of Calgary’s most popular festivals, including Calgary Folk Fest (held every July), and the annual Shakespeare in the Park performances that happen throughout the summer.
Bowness Park is a much loved local’s favourite place to go, and offers up BBQs and numerous picnic tables, as well as plenty of scenic landscaping to walk around. There’s also a lagoon, and you can rent paddle-boats there should you want to get out on the water. Visit the teahouse for light refreshments, and if you need to cool down enjoy the brand new splash park that’s opening this summer.
Note: Bowness Park fared very badly indeed in the Calgary floods, and was closed until recently. Some areas are still being redeveloped, but this has led to interesting new things to see and do in the park, so there’s a silver lining.
Carburn Park is the perfect spot for those who want to get away from everything and be at one with nature. Nestled along the Bow River, the park has two man-made ponds that attract blue herons and plenty of other birdlife. And, fishing is allowed so you can take your pole and enjoy. There are some nice trails to explore here too.
Nosehill Park is your completely natural alternative to landscaped city parks, and offers native grasslands and hiking trails that take you to amazing vantage points that offer great views out over the city. This is the perfect park when you’re looking to escape everything and enjoy some much needed alone time.
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