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Best Parks in Calgary: Your Calgary Parks & Recreation Guide

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, August 31st, 2023 at 9:52am.

Best Parks in Calgary, AB

Calgary is filled with green spaces within communities that serve as oases where you can share a picnic in the park, have quality outdoor time at a splash park, and partake in non-competitive group sports games. When you need a break from the city, heading to one of Calgary's great parks is a way to get some fresh air without venturing too far. Take a drive from your Calgary condominium to a local park to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and revel in the greenery and fresh air of nature.

Nose Hill Park

Nose Hill Park, also called Nose Hill Natural Environment Park, is located west of the Calgary International Airport and Northwest from the Calgary Zoo. It was created at the start of the 80s and spans a stunning 11 kilometres through the Alberta province.

There are a variety of activities available at Nose Hill Park such as walking & running, bike riding, hiking, wildlife observation, botanical education, picnicking, and archaeological exploration.

Adults and children of all ages can enjoy the natural wonders tucked away at Nose Hill Park. Those who are interested in archaeological specimens like stone circles or tipi rings and sacred ceremonial and burial sites will particularly enjoy exploring the east side of Nose Hill Park. Those who live in one of the 12 residential areas surrounding the park can experience nature in the city just steps outside their front door.

Nose Hill Park Additional Information

  • Address: 6465 14 St NW, Calgary, AB T3K 2P6
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Hiking trail, off-leash areas for dogs, wildlife observation opportunities, native Rough Fescue grasslands, botanical specimens, such as Trembling Aspen trees, public washrooms

Prairie Winds Park

Enjoy a Day at Prairie Winds Park

Nestled in the Northeast community of Castleridge, Prairie Winds Park hosts basketball courts, cricket pitch, fitness equipment and a favourite among kids for splash parks in the summer and toboggan hills in the winter. But we love the the picnic-ing aspect of special shelters and tandoori ovens best about Prairie Winds.

Prairie Winds Park Additional Information

  • Address: 223 Castleridge Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3J 1P6
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Two outdoor skating rinks, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, wading pool and spray park, playscape, trails, picnic shelter

Bowness Park

Tucked under the Bow River and just Southwest of Bowmont Park, Bowness Park was built by Canadian land developer John Hextall prior to World War I.

Bowness Park has a number of fantastic amenities for visitors to explore. For those who enjoy Calgary's outdoor activities, walking & cycling paths are waiting to be explored. Children's playgrounds make an entertaining afternoon for any young visitors, with BBQ grills & fire pits ready for picnicking afterwards. A wading pool and lagoon help visitors cool off, while a boat house and access to Bow River can get people out and enjoying Calgary's water activities. Take the Bowness Train to visit the skate shop & tea house, and explore every inch this park has to offer.

In the summer, try your hand at paddle boating, canoeing, or kayaking, or in the winter, take a trip out to the park to go ice skating or cross-country skiing. No matter what time of year you explore Bowness Park, this location is sure to have something to do.

Bowness Park is a great place for those who want to spend a day relaxing in nature. Children especially enjoy the train rides operated by the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, and there are few things more fun for kids and teens in the winter than ice skating on a frozen lagoon with a cup of hot cocoa.

Bowness Park Additional Information

  • Address: 8900 48 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2B2
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Walking and cycling paths, areas for picnicking, including BBQ grills and fire pits, children's playground, lagoon, wading pool, access to Bow River, boat house, skate shop, train rides, tea house, washrooms, inclement weather shelters

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Enjoy a Day at Fish Creek Provincial Park

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our famous Calgary landmark that is Fish Creek Provincial Park. It’s full of trails and pathways perfect for hikes, a run or a leisurely Sunday stroll. It’s also a great place for some bird watching as well. Fish Creek Provincial Park is located Northwest of Bow River. It is part of Bow Valley Ranch and is a popular venue for activities, events, and educational programs.

Fish Creek boasts many unique features such as the Sikome Aquatic Facility, the Bow Valley Ranch visitor centre, the McKenzie Meadows Golf Course, and a Boat Launch area that can be used from April to October. Visitors to the park have opportunities to go walking & biking along the park's many hiking trails, enjoy a meal at one of their many picnic tables & fire pits, practice their golfing, cool off in the lake during summer with boating, fishing, & swimming opportunities, or participate in winter activities such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Note that winter activities like ice skating and tobogganing are not recommended at Fish Creek Provincial Park due to potential natural hazards that cannot be adequately mitigated.

Children and adults who are most interested in boating and fishing activities will particularly enjoy what Fish Creek Provincial Park has to offer. Adults who enjoy bird watching will appreciate over 200 bird species that inhabit the area, including great blue herons along the water. Occasionally, bald eagles can be spotted.

Fish Creek Provincial Park Additional Information

  • Hours: 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Amenities: Walking and biking pathways, picnic tables, parking lots, fire pits, public washrooms, boating & swimming opportunities, Sikome Aquatif Facility, McKenzie Meadows Golf Course

Prince's Island Park

Prince's Island Park is located just Northwest of Chinatown and downtown Calgary. The park splits Bow River, which flows on either side of the park and around it. As one of the largest parks in Calgary, it is often used for city functions like the Calgary Folk Festival, Canada Day, and other exciting events. Prince's Island Park was developed in the 1950s by Chevron, Calgary Parks, and the Parks Foundation.

Those interested in visiting Prince's Island Park should keep an eye on the park's schedule for upcoming events. When no events are scheduled, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the park, like walking around beautifully cultivated flower gardens or letting kids have fun on the playground. Located on the east side of the park, the Chevron Learning Pathway is among the most notable park activities, dedicated to teaching visitors about the neighbouring wetlands and the wildlife within it.

Prince's Island Park is an excellent getaway for everyone. Some events, however, may be more child or adult-friendly, depending on the event.

Prince's Island Park Additional Information

  • Address: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5N4
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Walking and cycling paths, hiking trails, shaded and unshaded picnic areas, children's playground, floral gardens, on-leash dog park, the Chevron Learning Pathway, River Café, outdoor skating and cross-country skiing, washrooms and water fountains

Riley Park

Enjoy a Day at Riley Park

Not only is Riley Park the perfect location just a short walk to dining and shopping in Kensington, but it’s great for people of all ages. It features a large playground, wading pool, and a beautiful rock garden. You can also catch a game of cricket with the Calgary Cricket League.

Riley Park Additional Information

  • Address: 800 12 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 0S2
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Amenities: Cricket pitch, Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Gardens, wading pool, picnic tables, playground

North Glenmore Park

North Glenmore Park is located Southwest of the Lakeview Golf Course and North of the Elbow River and Glenmore Reservoir. While it is smaller than other parks in Calgary, North Glenmore Park is home to numerous native wildlife and is a great place to relax and get away from busy city life.

North Glenmore Park has many features, including BBQ grills and fire pits to enjoy a picnic at, Calgary walking & biking trails, and playgrounds. Tennis courts and dog parks provide places for man and dog to run freely. There are more than enough activities to fill one's schedule at North Glenmore Park, no matter who you are.

Anyone who wants to take a break from the city and get a breath of fresh air should visit North Glenmore Park. Want to go out on the water? Kayaking, canoeing, sailboating, and paddleboating are all allowed. Do you like to enjoy wildlife? Outdoor education opportunities are available, with wildlife observation & bird watching being commonplace. Skating, rollerblading, & skateboarding are all allowed, as well, for those who want to shake things up from the traditional walking & biking.

Stunning during the winter, snow lovers should take advantage of the park in the colder months. Many autumn enthusiasts love relaxing on one of the park's many benches for a stunning view of fall foliage.

North Glenmore Park Additional Information

  • Address: 7305 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB T3E 5N5
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Calgary Canoe and Rowing Clubhouse, North Glenmore Docks, shaded and unshaded picnic areas, BBQ grills & fire pits, walking/biking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, leashed dog park, natural wildlife habitats, seasonal washrooms, multiple parking areas

Sue Higgins Park

Enjoy a Day at Sue Higgins Park

This green space oasis is just for the doggos! Sue Higgins Park has the largest off-leash area in Calgary. It’s also great to take in some public art. Spend an afternoon walking along the riverbank and taking in nature at its best.

Sue Higgins Park Additional Information

  • Address: Southland Drive SE &, Deerfoot Trail, Calgary, AB T2J 1S1
  • Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Amenities: Fenced off-leash dog area, trails, picnic tables, public art, next to the Bow River

Visit These Parks in Calgary Today

If you're looking for things to do in Calgary, these parks are always a sure bet. Whether you're content to relax on a park bench and watch the wildlife around you or want to engage in more exciting activities like boating and swimming, you'll find it at one of Calgary's parks. Each of these popular Calgary attractions has something unique to offer in both summer and winter seasons, from paddleboating in beautiful lagoons when it's warm to snowshoeing and ice skating when the cold air takes over.

If you're looking for the perfect Calgary home, contact Justin Havre with eXp Realty and Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to get in touch with a local Calgary real estate agent and discover your new dream home today.

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