Reconnect with Nature by Visiting these Nine Parks in Calgary

Reconnect with Nature by Visiting these Nine Parks in Calgary

When it’s time to take a break from the city noise and crowd,  Calgary’s parks offer the best escape.

You wouldn’t think much of it once you find yourself in downtown Calgary. However, the city actually has 20,000 acres of pure parkland. Not to mention it has hundreds of trails for nature walks, biking, and hiking.

Most of the parks there are ideal for taking pets for a stroll, especially due to the many off-leash dog walking areas. But if Calgary gets too loud for you or if you’re not a fan of the nightlife, take a step back and explore the flora and fauna the city has to offer.

Take your pick from the following.

Fish Creek Provincial Park

It’s one of the largest in Canada and easily among the best parks in Calgary. If you want to get in touch with nature and your choice of activities, this is the place.

The park offers over 60 miles of biking and hiking trails. You can also encounter over 200 bird species in the park, including bald eagles, ducks, songbirds, and more. 

Looking for some adrenaline rush? Know that you also have access to boating, a golf course, and a man-made beach. There’s even a restaurant in the park for when you want to rest and grab a bite.

Fish Creek Provincial Park can keep you entertained and in touch with nature all day long, without having to forgo the necessary urban facilities and amenities. 

Nose Hill Park

Another one of the nice parks in Calgary is Nose Hill Park. In fact, it’s one of the best dog parks Calgary has to offer. It provides a vast off-leash area despite not being as large as others.

The park is also a gorgeous sight due to its abundance of Rough Fescue grassland. Common encounters include hawks, gophers, and even deer. 

If you reach the top of the hill, you can even get a clear view of the Canadian Rockies.

Confederation Park

This park definitely has it all. It’s a dramatic example of landscape design due to the rugged wilderness display. 

Encompassing mostly wetland areas, both native and exotic aquatic vegetation and wildlife thrive in the region.

Many view it as a natural playground. But the Confederation Park also boasts a multi-level fort, which the kids are going to adore, and a water pump. You can take in the scenery, explore nature, and do some fun activities with your young ones.

The park looks even more incredible if you visit during the winter. Over 500,000 lights brighten up the sky and you can spend most of the night here either celebrating or reconnecting with nature.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center

While not technically a park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center is a great way to interact with local wildlife and plant life. 

The facility is mostly undeveloped, letting you see animals, such as birds and beavers, and local vegetation undisturbed and in its natural state. You can even take nature walks and not worry about running into crowds of people on trails. 

Although it isn’t closed during the winter, know that there’s not much to see during the cold season.

Riley Park

Riley Park is one of the best parks in Calgary. It provides enough excitement and jaw-dropping views for nature lovers while still being close to urban amenities.

Its colorful gardens and oasis of greenery define the park. In the summer, water gathers in the pool, making it the perfect spot for kids who want to splash around.

Many open areas in the park also allow picnics and a variety of games and fun activities. It’s perfect both as a couple’s afternoon getaway and as a family destination away from the bustle of the city.

Sandy Beach Park

This is another one of the best off-leash dog parks in Calgary. Sandy Beach Park offers a combination of grasslands and marshes, including many walkable and biking trails and a series of scattered playgrounds.

Near the higher part of the park is where you can find a popular off-leash dog area. Although you can reconnect with nature and enjoy some quiet, it’s also possible to see amazing views of downtown Calgary.

Bowmont Natural Environment Park

Spanning 470 acres, Bowmont Park is a perfect cross between an urban and nature park. It has many hiking and biking trails. It also provides easy access to the river for fishing or swimming. Dog walkers prefer it because of the plethora of off-leash areas. 

One of its best features is access to Glacial Lake Calgary. This makes it one of the few parks in Calgary with a massive waterfront. 

If you don’t want to sit too close to the picnic sites or playgrounds, you’re free to take any number of nature trails to get away from the crowd and enjoy nature’s sounds.

Carburn Park

It’s not the biggest or the most impressive. However, Carburn Park still makes the list of the best parks in Calgary. 


If you want river access and prefer nature activities over nature walks, this is one of the best places for it. Fishing and bird watching are top draws for both tourists and locals.

The abundance of greenery and rich vegetation make for a remarkable outdoor experience. That said, note that Carburn Park may draw larger crowds compared to other alternatives on this list.

Griffith Woods Park

Griffith Woods Park is a great choice if you love lush forests and don’t want to leave the city limits. You can stroll by the river, explore dense forests, and escape the noise of the city.

Although set in an urban area, Griffith Woods Park offers a beautiful creek and clean, fresh air. It’s everything you might need for a relaxing nature walk or outdoor exercise. 

There’s More Wilderness Than You Think

By all accounts, Calgary is a bustling city in the province of Alberta. It’s vibrant and modern and houses an impressive amount of corporate offices. 

That said, its location east of the Canadian Rockies and the confluence of Elbow River with Bow River make it a picturesque city through and through. 

You can get the best of both worlds in Calgary – city activities and nature exploration. It’s no surprise that its parks are among the top attractions for tourists and spending time in any of them are among the preferred pastimes of the locals.

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Reconnect with Nature by Visiting these Nine Parks in Calgary