I like to be active, but to be honest, I’m a bit of a lazy hiker. I do best when someone treats me like a teenager.
“Okay, Charity, we’re going hiking so get in the car. Lunch is already packed and we’ll go out for supper when we’re done.”
I’m in. Doesn’t every mother feel like that sometimes? There are just so many moving parts to life.
But on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in September, the teenagers were busy, and I made a plan with my husband to head out for an urban hike, seeing a part of the city we had never been in. I’ve heard much about the Douglas Fir Trail in Edworthy Park. It’s a relatively short drive from my house and we’ve driven by multiple times, so it was time to go exploring.
We parked the car and found our way to the western entrance of Douglas Fir Trail. (I needed to pull up Google maps – does that say something about my hiking prowess?) It was gorgeous – both the day and the walk. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was surpassed. We were surprised at how “rugged” the trail was. We spent an hour or so walking through a beautiful fall forest, with one of the most easterly stands of Douglas Fir trees in Canada, giving the trail its name. Some of these trees are said to be around 500 years old.
The trail is not stroller-friendly, with many staircases up and down, narrow paths, and some mucky places where we had to pick our way through on rocks and logs. That’s not to say kids and families wouldn’t enjoy this hike, however. We saw several families with kids, some with backpacks for the littlest ones, and with rocks, sticks, and water, what’s not to like?!
We could always hear the noise of traffic but we enjoyed the feeling of being surrounded by the forest, even while we saw glimpses of the city from time to time. We walked back along the Bow River Pathway (um, fewer stairs) and wandered around Edworthy Park. Lots of green space, playgrounds, and river access make this park a fun destination.
I decided it was time to add more urban hikes to our family times. Then I remembered I have recalcitrant teenagers. I might have to pull out “better parenting through bribery” and the promise of treats when we’re done hiking.
It was a perfect afternoon mini-adventure: no driving commitment and still the beauty of being outside in nature. Don’t worry, though. We still rewarded ourselves with dinner out that night.
Edworthy Park – Douglas Fir Trail:
Where: 5050 Spruce Dr SW, Calgary, AB