Calgary has hundreds of parks run by Calgary Parks & Recreation (268-1304). Here are the most popular ones on the South part of the city
(North side parks). Most of these parks are accessible by car or by bike path.
Bowness Park (NW, SW)
48 Ave @ 86 Street in Bowness
This park is best known as a starting point for Bow River rafters, as well as summer barbecues and baseball. It is also the best location spot for outdoor ice-skating with its frozen lagoon and winding creekbeds.
Prince's Island (SW, Downtown)
From the North: Memorial Dr @ 3 St NW
From the South: Anywhere beside Eau Claire
Walk, bike or blade along the Bow River, people-watch from a park bench, or join a game of frisbee. Princes Island is the finishing point for most Bow River rafters. This park on the edge of downtown is very popular at lunch. Refreshments can be had at Eau Claire Market.
Devonian Gardens (TD Square)
This 2.5 acre indoor park on the top floor of downtown's TD square. It has 20,000 plants, fountains, reflecting pools, waterfalls, bridges, and art gallery and a playground under its massive glass roof. At lunch time office workers enjoy their lunches in the humid atmosphere. In the winter, the reflecting pool is an outdoor skating rink.
Talisman Centre at Lindsay Park (SW)
Macleod Tr S (actually 1 St SE) just north of 22 Ave
This quiet treed park on the Elbow River bike path has jungle gyms the kids to play on. The park is close to downtown, and has bridges across the Elbow to 4th Street SW, and 18th Avenue. For those athletically inclined, head inside the white-roofed building for swimming and 20 other sports. Stanley Park (SW)
From the West: Lansdowne @ Elbow Dr, head northeast along the river
From the East: on 42 Ave SE west of Macleod Tr. S
The river-side park is close to downtown, nestled between Elbow Rive and Macleod Trail. Swim at the outdoor pool (open mid-June to Labour Day) or wade in the Elbow River. Suntan in the summer beside the tennis courts or beside the river. Youcan also play tennis or lawn bowling (Italian "bocce").
River Park/Sandy Beach (SW)
14A St @ 50 Ave SW, drive down the hill.
This park is popular for barbecues and kids playing on the swings beside the river. There is a gravelly beach (not sandy!) on the Elbow river. On the top of the bluff overlooking the river, you can play frisbee, touch football, or walk your dog while enjoying a great view of downtown, which is only five kilometres away.
Glenmore Park North (SW)
Crowchild Trail or 37 St SW south of Glenmore Trail
Glenmore Park has many scenic picnic spots, with beautiful views of the lake and up the Elbow River toward the Rockies. This park has a blue boat house, home to the Calgary Rowing Club and the Calgary Canoe Club. Glenmore's open fields make this Calgary's best spot for flying kites. NOTE: the reservoir provides the city's water supply, so you may not swim, or have pets off-leash.
Weaselhead Flats (SW)
Crowchild Trail S or 37 St SW south of Glenmore Trail
At the western end of Glenmore Park, the Elbow River drains into the Glenmore Reservoir. The bike path leads down into the Weaslehead Flats wilderness area, with beaver dams. Deer, moose and bear wander into Calgary along the Elbow River (keep your pets leashed).
Glenmore Park South (SW)
90 Ave, west of 24 Street
This park has a riding stable and the Glenmore Sailing Club, where you can learn to sail. From the bike path along the bluffs, you have a view of the reservoir and Calgary's skyline, about 10 kilometres away. NOTE: the reservoir provides the city's water supply, so you may not swim, or have pets off-leash.
Fish Creek Park (SW, SE)
From the North: Take Macleod Trail past Canyon Meadows, or Deerfoot Trail to Bow Bottom Trail SE
From the South: Macleod Trail, north of146 Ave, Sunvalley Blvd to Sikome Rd SE
Fish Creek is at the southern end of the city and stretches from the Bow River to the western city limits. This is the only provincial park inside a city limits in Canada, and is popular for picnics and barbecues, and hiking, biking, horseback riding. Sikome Lake a popular summer swimming hole is at the southeastern corner of the park (accessible from Bow Bottom Trail).
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (SE)
From Downtown: 9 Ave through Inglewood past Blackfoot Tr, to Sanctuary Rd
This is the best place in Calgary for birdwatching, nestled in a well-protected curve in the Bow. The sanctuary area has a variety of habitats attracting lots of different birds. Binoculars are helpful, but optional.
Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery (SE)
Blackfoot Tr and 17 Ave SE, north to 17A St SE
The hatchery is the source of trout caught in the world-famous Bow River trout fishing habitat downstream from Calgary. The habitat is improved by the river's aeration at the weir beside the hatchery. The weir also diverts water into the irrigation canal to Lake Chestermere. NOTE: the weir kills... stay clear!
St. George's Island (SE, NE)
From the North: Memorial Dr @12 Street NE (Zoo LRT & parking)
From the South: 9 Ave SE to 12 St, north across bridge from Inglewood
This park in the middle of the Bow River is popular for picnics and barbecues. Its a short walk from Inglewood and Bridgeland (with its LRT stop) and the east end of the island has a Zoo entrance. Great view of downtown and Fort Calgary.
Bow River Pathway
(Maps: SE, SW, Downtown, NE, SE)
This bike path is popular with cyclists, runners, and inline skaters. The pathway runs from beyond Bowness Park in the Northwest along the Bow River past Shouldice and Edworthy, to the center of town at Prince's Island, and then east to Fort Calgary (connecting to the Elbow River Pathway), past the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and then south to Fish Creek Park. This pathway is generally flat with minor hills.
Elbow River Pathway (SW)
This popular pathway goes around the Glenmore Reservoir, and then continues downstream to Fort Calgary, where it joins the Bow River Pathway. The path connects Glenmore Park, River Park, Stanley Park, and Lindsay Park, and then snakes behind the Stampede Grounds (this path section closed during Stampede Week). This pathway is well-treed but has some significant hills. From Sandy Beach to the Bow River the path is pretty.
Beaver Dam Flats & Carburn Park(SE)
Located along the east shoreline of the Bow River immediately north and south of Glenmore Trail East, and are accessible at 62 Avenue & 16 Street SE. These natural parks have backwater channels and wetlands, and diverse habitat types which and support a variety of wild birds, mammals, and plants. The park is connected to the city's Bow River Pathwya system.
Continue with North side parks...
Blue = Trans-Canada Route| Green = bicycle friendly scenic route | red = downtown detour from TCH | Purple = Future Ring Road