Confederation Park is a mature and popular oasis in northwest Calgary, Alberta.
Confederation Park is best accessed at 30th Avenue and 10th Street, NW. Somewhat obviously, the park was created in a coulee, formerly known as 'North Hill Coulee', as a project to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday. Limited parking is available, and clearly signed, on either side of 10th Street NW.
From east parking it is a pleasant walk east on paved trail through mature trees on manicured lawn. A creek occupies the center of the valley and there are two time capsules scheduled to be opened in 2017 ceremonies, 50 years following placement.
Bridges across the creek allow crossing from one side of the coulee to the other. There is still significant evidence of June, 2013 flood damage along the creek but the majority of cleaning has been completed. The park contains picnic areas and sport fields including baseball diamonds and tennis courts.
Pathway continues northeast across a residential street into a sport area and beyond into the very busy and expansive grounds of the well-appointed Queen's Park Village Cemetery. An hour is spent here visiting the various features of the impressive Village Cemetery. In spite of the crowds it is a peaceful place of reverence.
The return hike west into Confederation Park passes the City of Calgary Parks North Office building. This is a handy source of information when open.
Crossing the nearest bridge allows time closer to the creek on the south side of Confederation Park. There are relaxing moments framed by rock gardens, cascading water and the contours of foot bridges across the creek. Eventually pathway leads to a tunnel under 10th street for continuation through the coulee in a southwest direction.
On the west side of 10th Avenue the Rosemont Community Centre is prominent on the north side of the creek. The building brings back fond memories of meetings to plan hikes with the Rocky Mountain Ramblers in the late 1980's and early 1990's. It is only fitting to wander over for a photo of the well-maintained building.
Initially the park appearance is similar until a bridge allows crossing to a rock garden dedicated to Eric Musgreave who conceived and created Confederation Park.
Marshland and ponds in the park host a broad range of avian life and very colorful, early-spring plant life. Frequently placed park benches and picnic tables beckon to spend relaxing time along the wetland. Pathway continues on both sides of the creek with footbridges providing the opportunity to cross back and forth.
At the southwest end of the park a climb over a wooden fence is required at the creek outlet into a storm drainage where another metal, cylindrical tunnel passes under 14th Street to reveal the south entrance to the park from 24th Avenue at 14th Street near the Confederation Park Golf Course.
The turnabout here heads back through Confederation Park on the opposite side for new views of picnic areas and colorful, vibrant wetlands. There are several informative, interpretive plaques along the route.
Back at the Rosemont Community Centre, the tunnel under 10th Avenue arrives at an impressive exhibit surrounded by Canada's provincial flags to commemorate the Centennial celebration.
Confederation Park hosts a variety of attractions including paved pathways, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, rock gardens, playground areas, picnic areas, an impressive wetland and seasonal washrooms supplemented off season by porta-potties.
The grounds will likely be busy but Confederation Park is a grand place to enjoy the day. Bring a lunch and relax.
In the winter there may be groomed, cross country ski trails. Check for conditions.
There is a permanent orienteering track in the park to facilitate instruction for orienteering skills.
This impressive city park, like most, is open between 5AM and 11 PM year round. Highly recommended you get out there and warm up for hiking in the mountains. Fresh air is good air.
Photographs for this Confederation Park post were taken on March 29, 2015.