Nature Park is beside Bow River under the Stoney Trail bridge in southeast Calgary.
Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook Nature Park is an inner-city, engineered, wetland park in south Calgary directly west, beside and below the community of Cranston adjacent to the Bow River. It is one of many ideal and convenient Calgary locations for communing with nature.
Today my daughter, granddaughter and grandson join forces to enjoy a short, flat, sunny, winter hike around the ponds and beside the Bow River.
Although we will not be fishing today, the Bow River is a popular location for the sport and signs are posted to discourage the spread of rock snot algae.
To the east the community of Cranston perches on top of a ridge where viewpoints offer magnificent vistas of the city and Rocky Mountains to the west.
Ponds, created to hold storm water from adjacent communities and transportation routes, allow collected water to settle, filter and cleanse naturally before entering the Bow River. Today the engineered ponds are frozen over. Along the trail, kiosks offer benches for rest and shelter from the sun. Interpretive signs educate visitors about plants, birds and animals commonly seen in the park. This is a popular place for birdwatchers as a combination of still and flowing water support large and varied bird populations.
A massive boulder bridge between ponds bypasses a simple dam which controls water flow and level in the person-made ponds.
At the south end of the Nature Park there are excellent locations to spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic above the shore of the Bow River. Today, geese rest on a shoreline ice shelf.
South along the Bow River, large numbers of ducks have gathered on the opposite shore.
On the return to the small parking area just south of Hwy 22 there are beautiful views of the Bow River and grassland ridges provide wonderful opportunities to explore.
Rotary Nature Park is a beautiful inner city oasis which is accessed just north of the intersection at Hwy 22x into Cranston. The access is on the McKenzie side of the intersection and the road descends past the McKenzie Meadows Golf Course.
Parking is under the bridge to the left. Before getting into the car, a short walk north, under the bridge, along the shore of the Bow River will see if pelicans have returned to their nesting areas. It is likely a bit too early but they will return in the spring.
Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook Nature Park is a beautiful place to enjoy in any season.