Take a journey through the rolling hills of the city of Cochrane and explore the hidden gems of its nature trails. Picture yourself as a pioneer, discovering the historic Cochrane Ranche or winding your way along the riverfront. Stroll through the tranquil Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park and Big Hill Springs, or let the peacefulness of the Bighill Creek Trail envelop you. How about a leisurely walk around the Mitford Park Loop? Grab your athletic shoes—the best trails in Cochrane await.
Bighill Creek Trail
Take a peaceful stroll along Bighill Creek and enjoy the forests, clearings, and a chance of spotting moose. This five-kilometre out-and-back trail is considered easy and usually takes about an hour and a half to complete. It's perfect for a long, relaxing walk or jog.
Popular for birding and hiking, the trail is maintained with care by the Big Hill Creek Conservation Society. It's perfect for a family outing, and your four-legged friends are welcome too. You can combine this with the Cochrane Ranch House Trail for a longer adventure on Cochrane's trails.
Be aware of the occasional uneven terrain with tree roots and overgrowth. Consider bringing bear spray, as there have been a few sightings in the area.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Experience Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park and its 25+ kilometres of walking and cycling trails near Cochrane for an unforgettable adventure. From the Calgary skyline to the Rocky Mountains, these pathways offer breathtaking vistas and informative signs to give you insights into the park's rich history and its diverse flora and fauna. This grassland is home to an active cattle ranch, so don't be surprised if you run across some cowboys at work.
Trails range from easy walks to moderately challenging hikes, so there's something for every skill level. Make sure you give yourself enough time and dress according to the weather and trail conditions. Don't forget to bring plenty of water regardless!
Riverfront Park Trail
Embark on a tranquil journey along the Bow River as you hike the Riverfront Park Trail in Cochrane. This 4.7-kilometre pathway is the perfect way to relax and take in the beauty of the area. Begin your journey from the Riverfront Park trailhead, which hugs the Bow River and guides you over the Big Hill Creek. Along the way, you'll have the chance to approach the riverbank, where you can skip stones, dip your toes in the water, or simply savour the soothing sounds of the flowing river.
The variety of amenities is one of the reasons Riverfront Park is considered one of the best parks in Cochrane. In addition to being a beautiful place to walk, you can go fishing, launch a kayak, or visit the dog park to let your pup run around off-leash. There's also a wooden playground and a disc golf course for added recreational enjoyment.
Conveniently, there's a trailhead situated at the intersection of Cowboy Trail and Griffin Road West, with restroom facilities available. While your designated turnaround point is River Ave, you can extend your route for a longer adventure. So grab your hat and sunscreen and head out to Riverfront Park Trail for a day of fun and relaxation!
Historic Cochrane Ranche
At the Historic Cochrane Ranche, you can explore 136 acres of interactive trails, historic buildings, and a massive tree that's more than 300 years old. Start your journey at the trailhead and take a brief hike to the Grandfather Tree, an ancient white spruce that has stood for centuries. As you meander through the lush forest, you'll be surrounded by vibrant flowers and babbling creeks.
If you follow the loop route, you'll have the chance to see the "Man of Vision" statue, which offers a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains and the town below. You can also visit the small Cochrane Historical Museum and the rebuilt corral. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful escape, the Historic Cochrane Ranche is sure to offer something to delight everyone.
Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
Discover the natural beauty of Big Hill Springs Provincial Park and its stunning trails, perfect for a peaceful outdoor escape. Located less than 20 kilometres from Cochrane, this 1.5-kilometre loop trail is moderately challenging and typically takes around half an hour to complete.
It's a great spot for birdwatching, hiking, and snowshoeing, and you can expect to see other outdoor enthusiasts along the way. The trail remains accessible year-round and offers something special in every season, though the autumn months offer the most vibrant colours. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash.
The trail has a wide, solid clay path, and miniature waterfalls and a meandering creek, which adds a touch of whimsy. The park is family-friendly, although the staircase leading to the falls might not be suitable for all hikers. If you're looking for a peaceful escape in nature, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is the perfect spot.
Mitford Park Loop
Explore the two-kilometre Mitford Park Loop and enjoy a 35-minute journey along the Bow River. This easy loop trail is perfect for running and walking and is rarely too crowded. The path is surrounded by beautiful views of the Bow River, making it a great spot for a relaxing stroll.
The trail is well-maintained and offers an enjoyable experience for all levels of hikers. You'll find plenty of trees and wildlife along the way, adding to the peaceful atmosphere of the trail. The trail is also relatively flat, making it suitable for runners and walkers alike.
The unique natural beauty of the Bow River makes this trail an unforgettable experience. With its scenic views and peaceful atmosphere, the Mitford Park Loop is an excellent choice to unwind and take in the beauty of nature.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Cochrane
Exploring Cochrane's trails is a great way to get out and appreciate nature's beauty. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging adventure, Cochrane's trails offer something for everyone. From the historic ranch to the stunning views of Big Hill Springs, you'll be sure to find something that speaks to you. With the picturesque scenery, breathtaking views, and endless trails, it's easy to see why Cochrane is an outdoor lover's best friend.