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Carburn Park

Carburn Park is a large natural area park nestled along the Bow River featuring three man-made ponds, a regional pathway, and numerous wildlife, waterfowl and wildflowers to experience. The park reflects the preservation of wildlife habitat and ecosystem for all Calgarians to enjoy.

Note: the pathway from Carburn Park north to Glenmore Trail is closed due to river bank erosion undermining the pathway. Until repairs can be completed, please detour through the community. See closure/detour map.

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Lagoon at Carburn Park

Location: 67 Riverview Dr. S.E. 

Area: 135 hectares

Park hours: 5 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Book this park 
  

Map of Carburn Park 


Park features

Fishing in Carburn Park
  • Two man-made ponds
  • Fishing
  • Outdoor ice skating (seasonal) 
  • Canoes, dinghies, and paddle boats allowed - no motorized boats
  • Washrooms - open year round (7 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
  • Walking trails
  • Tables and benches
  • Birdwatching
  • Dogs permitted, on-leash only 
  • Fire pits (firewood not provided)
  • NO swimming

About the park

Carburn Park lies along the eastern shore of the Bow River and was mined for gravel in the early 1980s. The park is accessible through the community of Riverbend.

Carburn Park Improvements

Structures

  • Six wheelchair accessible picnic tables were installed west of the parking lot and regional pathway.
  • The rain garden installation in the parking lot will be complete in the spring of 2015 with the planting of shrubs, wild flowers and grasses.
  • Bare soil areas will be seeded in spring 2015.

Restoration

Ongoing restoration activities in the park include:

  • Weed control
  • Wire wrapping of select trees to prevent beaver damage
  • Trail rehabilitation
  • Native species seeding (grasses and wildflowers)

Experience nature in the city

Bird in Carburn Park

Enjoy the largest ponds in the Parks system. Although ponds by definition are usually constructed bodies of water, they compliment the park's natural surroundings. Take a stroll down one stretch of narrow nature trail and enjoy a large pond on one side and the fast flowing waters of the river on the other, providing a pleasant contrast between natural and constructed environments.

Plant life

Carburn Park offers a good example of a riverine deciduous forest and a significant shrubland community. The park's significant deciduous forest contains Balsam Poplar trees and many shrubs including American Silverberry, Saskatoon, Choke Cherry and Canada Buffaloberry.

Among the trees and shrubs in the riverine forest, there are many wildflowers, including Mealy Primrose and Heal-all.

Wildlife

Carburn park is a great place to watch and compare the birds and other wildlife in two very different aquatic habitats. The ponds contain fish which attract a number of species of fish-eating birds including Belted Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons. In the main river channel, diving ducks such as Common Goldeneye and Buffleheads are often sighted.

History

Pathway in Carburn Park
Carburn Park was once part of Senator Patrick Burns' vast prairie empire and at one time was the right-of-way for a railway line that was to have run between Calgary and Montana.

Carburn Park was created in the 1970's; the name comes from "Carburn Aggregates," the name of the company from whom much of the land was acquired and who constructed the ponds.

The upper part of the park is situated on the Porcupine Hills Formation bedrock, which is exposed along the escarpment, but most of the parkland is on deposited river gravel. Some of this gravel was mined and the remainder landscaped into its current form.

European uses of the land were restricted to ranching, gravel mining and a pipeline right-of-way which runs through the middle of the park.​