A nailer board at the entrance to Rundle Park Playground says it all – “A slice of the Canadian Wilderness”.
Edmonton is known for its green spaces. The North Saskatchewan River Valley is the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America. With so much space, sometimes we forget about the hidden gems hiding in our own backyard!
That was the case for me with Rundle Park. I hadn’t been to Rundle in many years. I was pleasantly surprised by not only the great playgrounds, but the stunning beauty of the park itself.
There are two separate nature-inspired playground areas. We loved the cool climbers to get up to the leaf-canopied treehouse! The curly slide and bouncers were big hits too!
The second playground space is more extensive and more expansive. As we wandered the path toward it, we passed a natural seating area made of wood plank benches and boulders. There was also a unique music-themed area, with instruments set up on signs.
My girls gave the instruments little more than a passing glance – they were far more interested in their favourites – a rope-sided merry go round and saucer swings!
They spent a little time on the smaller climbing wall and slide before making their way to the finger road track. (I’ve made a mental note to pack some toy cars for our next visit!)
My space-crazed daughter loved the rotating planet panel. She spent a good deal of time carefully turning and studying each one. (A second panel features plant and animal life.)
There’s also a spectacular rock formation in a bed of wood chips – ideal for climbing!
OK – enough about the traditional playground. What really makes Rundle Park Playground so spectacular is everything that surrounds the equipment!
Set just off the water, the playground gave us prime viewing access to families of geese running swim practices with their goslings. Traditional-style pole fences just beg to be climbed, and the telescopes mounted on top offer the perfect incentive to get up high.
Two covered shelters, labelled Moose Country Ranger Stations, each house a wood stove. Fear not – they’re not operational – they’re simple excellent props to spark young imaginations! Up a hill sits a fire lookout, with yet another telescope, and signs along the trails warn you to beware of bears.
Pack a picnic lunch – you could easily spend a day in this pristine jewel of our river valley. There are plenty of parking stalls, ample picnic sites, and you are steps away from the ACT Recreation and Aquatic Centre which offers washrooms, a cafeteria and plenty of fun of its own. If playgrounds aren’t your thing, or aren’t your only thing, you can go for a hike or bike ride on miles of paved trails, play golf, disc golf, tennis, baseball, beach volleyball, soccer and more! You can even play mini-golf or rent a paddle boat! It’s also a spectacular park to visit in the winter with its great toboggan hill and skating iceway!