By Melissa Vroon
August 11th, 2011
The Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park officially opened its “doors” to the public on August 9th. I have been anticipating the opening of this park for a very long time. I first heard about its development over four years ago and I am thrilled the wait is finally over!
The park is located between Calgary’s city limits and Cochrane along the Bow River. The best way to find it is to set your GPS to Glenbow Road. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is at the bottom of the road south of Highway 1A (Crowchild Trail if you are coming from Calgary). If you don’t have a GPS, keep your eyes peeled for the “Cochrane 2kms” sign on the highway. Glenbow Road is immediately on your left once you see the sign.
I took my kids out for an initial exploratory walk today just to see how it looked. It is a massive park! There are over 25 kms of walking and cycling paths and we only managed about 3 of them.
I think the best way to cover a lot of ground is on a bicycle. There are two kinds of trails, the walking trails are made with gravel and you can do various smaller loops in the area. The bike trails are paved. If you are going to use a stroller, be sure to bring one that manoeuvres easily on gravel.
Once you arrive at the park be sure to stop by the Visitor’s Centre to see some cool artifacts found in the area. My son was thrilled by the arrowhead display.
The staff at the visitor centre suggested the best trails to visit, provided a map and upon our return, gave my kids some colouring pages of animals found in the wild.
You can find washrooms and picnic tables which are handy. If you are the adventurous type, the park will offer bicycle, photography, birdwatching and historical tours.