Update – Summer 2023
Starting in fall 2023, undesignated trails in the park close to the boundary with Tsuut’ina Nation will be permanently closed and repaired. Fencing and signage will be set up at these locations as work is scheduled to begin. Remember to stick to designated trails, respect natural areas and be mindful of signage and fencing to avoid trespassing into Tsuut’ina lands.
About the park
Griffith Woods Park is a 93 hectare natural environment park that lies along the banks of the Elbow River in the southwest part of Calgary. There are many trails throughout this park, both paved and unpaved, to explore. All the trails at Griffith Woods Park are flat and easy to walk. The park environment is a great food source and habitat for animals of all kinds. While visiting the park, please be aware of your surroundings and take BearSmart precautions.
Griffith Woods Park lies along the banks of the Elbow River in the community of Discovery Ridge. The park was created in 2000 and named after Wilbur Griffith who, with his wife Betty, donated a portion of their estate to The City of Calgary to be set aside as a nature preserve.
Griffith Woods is habitat to a wide variety of flora and fauna including orchids, moose, deer, a variety of birds and its unique and sensitive natural spruce and balsam poplar forest. It is designated as a special protection natural environment park.
The spring and summer months see a lot of activity in Griffith Woods Park. The Parks & Pathways Bylaw contains regulations to help make City parks and pathways safe and enjoyable for everyone. Violations of these bylaws are subject to fines up to $1500.
NOTE: Fires are not permitted in Griffith Woods Park. If you find a fire pit, see any damage, or observe unsafe behaviour please contact 311.
- Paved pathways
- Gravel and dirt trails
- Soccer fields (located at 160 Discovery Ridge Blvd. S.W.)
- Basketball (located at 160 Discovery Ridge Blvd. S.W.)
- Playground (located at 160 Discovery Ridge Blvd. S.W.)
Griffith Woods has one of only two large stands of White Spruce in The City's park system. The moisture combined with protection in the valley from drying winds has allowed for the growth of a mature White Spruce forest. In some areas the forest is extremely dense resulting in very little undergrowth on the forest floor.
Because the Elbow River is a wild river and still experiences frequent flooding, there is a thick growth of Balsam Poplar which require flooding for regeneration.
Boardwalks cross the clear wetlands providing you with a great opportunity to see aquatic plants and invertebrates. The white spruce forest offers an ideal place to watch the birds and other wildlife that prefer the coniferous forest. It is one of the best places in the city to see species such as Northern Flickers, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Gray Jays that frequent this habitat.
The Elbow River, with its headwaters in Elbow Lake high up in Kananaskis Country, flows unimpeded down and through Griffith Woods. Seldom can one experience a "wild river" within a major city. Within this park, the river is relatively straight but it has abandoned ancient curves leaving "oxbow" wetlands.
These oxbows combined with the wetlands associated with spring-fed streams that flow into the park, result in a rich variety of aquatic ecosystems. The land has been ranched since the late 1800s and most recently was part of the Griffith Estate.
There are numerous community and public parks in Calgary to explore.
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