Elliston Lake - Calgary - Hiking Alberta

 

Elliston Lake is an urban oasis in southwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

This day includes the drive from Bowness, in Northwest Calgary to Elliston Park in the southwest quadrant of the City of Calgary on this spectacular, bluebird, Spring day in March.

 

Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are paved parking areas on the east and west sides of the park.  The east parking area is adjacent to a well-appointed playground area and within a short stroll to one of the main entrances at the corner of 60th Street and 17th Avenue SW.

Beyond the entrance sign, an alcove inexplicably displays two sheltered benches with the symbol for radioactivity on the paved path travelling past them.  It takes only a moment to understand the symbol is intended to draw attention to the restored windmill soaring above nearby, interesting, interpretive plaques.  Capturing the power of the wind was an integral component of taming harsh prairie conditions in the West.  The plaques are informative and interesting.

 

The Windmill at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The Windmill at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Adjacent to the windmill is a large, sundial exhibit where a person can stand on the current month stone, with arms held high overhead, so their shadow will point to the current time of day.  Neat!  Great for the children.

 

The Sundial at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The paved path descends gently past and around a flower garden to an observation platform for the view over Elliston LakeElliston Lake is a storm pond which collects runoff from Calgary residential streets and the natural contours of the surrounding land.  The lakes depth can vary rapidly and the park is closed at times of significant runoff.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The hike around Elliston Lake will arbitrarily proceed in a clockwise direction.  Either direction is fine.  Paved path changes to gravel for the majority of the trek around the 20 hectares of storm pond.  Soon, there is arrival at the impressive BP Birthplace Forest where trail alternatives wander through the urban forest containing a diverse collection of tree species suitable for this unique location.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The winding, excellent-quality trail above Elliston Lake provides continually pleasing images of a relaxing place where alternating path options provide the choice of trail through forest or along the circumference of the pond. 

Small signs at the base of many trees may contain the names of people who planted the forest.  Some many stand as memorials of loved ones lost.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Although this little park borders the East Calgary Landfill Site, the only evidence of this location are high, fenced berms and some noticeable large truck traffic on 68th Street which take little away from the beauty of the experience.  A floating surface of fragile ice occupies the south end of the pond where the outlet of water passes beneath 68th Street, SW to a large marshland beyond.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The trail makes a tight turn around the south end of Elliston Lake to continue north along the west side of the storm pond.  The isolated blanket of ice creates a temporary and picturesque reflector of heat and sunlight.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Several seagulls are using the platform of ice to groom themselves in the warmth of the sun.  Edges of the icy surface reflect the light like diamonds for a sparkling display of rainbow colors.  Back at the north end of the lake, there are shelters, picnic tables and seasonal washrooms in the picnic and playground area adjacent to two very impressive, age-dependent playgrounds with features not commonly seen.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Elliston Park hosts a sufficiently broad selection of amenities to be attractive to a broad cross-section of people.  The small, 415 hectare area provides an excellent half day experience. 

Each year, Elliston Park hosts the Globalfest Fireworks competition.  Check the City of Calgary Parks website for Elliston Park links to other valuable information.

 

Elliston Lake at Elliston Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The Ellis Family made valuable contributions to the area of Conrich, Chestermere Lake and what is now East Calgary for more than five generations after relocating from Ontario in 1912, with nine children, to establish a homestead in the prairie foothills.  Elliston Park is named in honor of their significant contributions.

Photographs for this inner-city hike around Elliston Lake were taken on March 26, 2015, a pleasant Spring day in southwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Beautiful skies and amazing diamonds on the lake.

Thank you, Helen.  Good to hear from you.  The conversion has completed and there are, as expected, quite a few wrinkles to work out.  So I am glad you have access.  I still need to work out the (not verified) part.  No-one is verified apparently so please don't feel you are being singled out.

I walk in this park a lot with my dog, I live within walking distance. Your site has provided me with a wealth of information about hiking, and I really enjoy reading your reviews. I have lots of pictures of Elliston Park on my Flickr page feel free to take a look.

Thank you for your comment, Andrew.  We are blessed to have so many opportunities to adventure across a broad level of experiences within such a short distance.  I hope you are looking forward to achieving new trails this year as I am. There is something about the wilderness that becomes magic over time. I appreciate your feedback.

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