One of the things we Edmontonians love to brag about is the impressive amount of parkland we have in the River Valley and through the various ravines. It is pretty great: we have more green space than Central Park! And the sunny autumn we are lucky enough to be in the midst of is the perfect time to do some exploring for yourself!
We often start at Whitemud Park (near Snow Valley.) It is a popular spot and parking is limited, so you may do best to park in the lot at Snow Valley. Don’t park on the road leading down into the valley, parking enforcement visits with their ticket machines regularly!
It is an easy walk on well marked trails. You could conceivably even bring a stroller, although there are some stairs, so you might be better off with a baby carrier. Bicycles aren’t allowed in this portion of the ravine, so I didn’t feel too apprehensive letting my kids run up ahead a bit, but we did discover not everyone is good at obeying posted signs, which is obnoxious. I hope my passive aggressive apology to those cyclists sounded as insincere as it was meant!
The Whitemud Park trails meander through some heavily forested areas, which is excellent for forgetting you are still in the city and cross the creek at different places. Spotting the beaver dams was a bit of a thrill for my thoroughly urban kids! We also adapted the idea for a rainbow walk, amusing ourselves trying to find all the colours of the rainbow hidden in the valley. I won’t lie, some of them were a stretch!
We’ve gone back a few times as I have been on a bit of a wholesome family kick. We haven’t been in the winter, but the trails are accessible year round, with the caveat that the paths can be icy and slippery, so go with caution.
For more information, visit the City of Edmonton website: edmonton.ca
This post was updated on 1/13/21.