Self-guided walking tours
Explore Calgary’s diverse and amazing parks at your own time and own pace.
Our self-guided walking tours highlight stunning landscapes, rich history, diverse ecosystems and interesting wildlife. Choose from a range of walking tours across Calgary, with stops carefully selected by our environmental education staff to help you discover local sites on your own.
Bowmont Park is a large natural environment park that lies along the northern bank of the Bow River in the northwest part of Calgary. Bowmont contains grasslands, valleys fed with permanent sources of water and bushy off-shore islands. There is also a mature Balsam Poplar riverine forest. This type of forest was once very common along river banks across the North American prairies.
Elliston Park is located in the deep south east along 17 Avenue next to the East Calgary Landfill Site and contains a 20 hectare storm water retention pond. Elliston Park is the site of the annual Globalfest fireworks competition and home of the first BP BirthPlace Forest. This park features picnic tables & shelters, a rose garden, an interactive sundial, washrooms (seasonal), a water fountain (seasonal), an Off-leash area, a playground for children under 10 and playground equipment designed for 10-15 year olds.
Griffith Woods Park
Griffith Woods Park is a 93 hectare park located in the southwest Calgary along the banks of the Elbow River. It has been designated as a Special Protection Natural Environment Park. The park’s aesthetics are quite different from a lot of the City of Calgary parks, with a much more rugged, natural feel, and almost no manicured areas. All of the trails at Griffith Woods Park are flat and easy to walk. Please remember to keep your dog on-leash at all times in Griffith Woods Park as there is no off-leash area.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a historically significant and picturesque park that runs along the Bow River in the bustling southwest community of Inglewood. It is home to countless migratory birds and wildlife. This nature hub has been promoting the conservation for more than 80 years. Please note no dogs allowed.
Mohagany Wetlands is centered around a storm water pond in one of Calgary’s newest communities. In addition to some beautiful wetland sights, this storm water pond offers unique sighting opportunities for some of the amazing birds that call Calgary home. At different times of year you will find a large population of songbirds and water fowl, shoreline Great Blue Herons wade through shallow water and American Pelicans may be seen gliding across the pond.
MidSun to Sun Valley Blvd walkway
MidSun to Sun Valley Blvd walkway features different trees that you will come across on your journey. While Calgary is a city of the prairies, we have also built a rich environment of different trees. Along with these trees are many bird species that make our city home. As you walk along this pathway, stop to watch the birds as they fly from tree to tree, across backyards and over your heads. Enjoy this beautiful community park as it weaves along green spaces and showcases some of our city’s wildlife.
Taradale Wetland Park
This is a self-guided walk around one of the constructed storm water ponds in the community of Taradale in Northeast Calgary. The entire loop is just over 1 km in length, with several points to stop at along the way.
12-Mile Coulee is a classic prairie coulee. The grasslands and tree/shrub communities in prairie coulees are home to many species of animals including Richardson's Ground Squirrels (often incorrectly called gophers) and the mounds of Northern Pocket Gophers (which are true gophers). Watch also for deer, coyotes, porcupines and even the odd Red Fox. Many Archaeological artefacts were found in this area, including a 2000 year-old stone circle or tipi ring, indicating that Aboriginal peoples had been using this area for hunting and camping for at least 8000 years.
West Nose Creek Park
West Nose Creek Park is home to a riparian zone, which is the narrow green space along the edge of a water body. The diverse group of plants and animals found in this habitat are different from those a few metres away on either side. The creek meanders through multiple curves in the valley bottom. The slow and steady movement of the water produces a rich riparian zone. This park also has a considerable amount of native grassland, shrubland and a historic stone quarry. Further, the park contains "Split Rock", one of the best known glacial erratics in the city was once part of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park.
Ralph Klein Park
Ralph Klein Park was constructed to improve stormwater quality before it returns to the Bow River. The park was named for Ralph Klein who served as Calgary's 32nd Mayor and Alberta's 12th Premier. The LEED Platinum building on site features classrooms, interpretive displays, and meeting space that can be booked for special events. Outside you can explore the walking trails, public art displays, apple orchard, and natural playground. Please note no dogs allowed.