Edgemont Ravine in northwest Calgary provides an excellent inner-city hiking opportunity.
The City of Calgary maintains 35.5 hectare (87.7 acre) Edgemont Ravine in the northwest quadrant of the city. The extensive ravine complex is surrounded by the Edgemont community northwest of spectacular Nose Hill Park. Google Maps provide the access route. The experience is always special when the opportunity is taken on a bluebird day to make the rapid transition from urban sprawl into the peace and tranquility of inner-city parkland. There is a small parking area on the other side of Edgebrook Boulevard NW just west off Country Hills Blvd NW from the major intersection of Country Hills Boulevard with Shaganappi Trail in northwest Calgary.
After crossing the street, the initial vision is a pristine pond surrounded by a healthy circumference of bulrushes and/or cattails. Trail entry options are clearly visible paved bike path or a clearly trodden path over grassland to close proximity at the pond perimeter.
Paved path continues west past additional storm ponds embellished with robust surrounding growth.. The incline is mildly undulating with a consistent gradual ascent. Housing developments border both sides of the ravine. The legs are feeling the lack of winter use but local parks will restore the conditioning needed for more aggressive and near pending recreation in the mountains west of Calgary.
When the snow is completely gone, and the ground has dried out and firmed up, there are dirt trails in side ravines that would be interesting to explore. They would also reduce the feeling of urban infiltration. Leaves on the trees will also expand the outdoor experience.
Partway through the walk there is a major trail branch which departs in a southwesterly direction, crosses a formal bridge over the valley bottom creek and continues on a alternate route through Edgemont Ravine.
The undulating, paved pathway gains elevation gradually to terminate along along Country Hills Boulevard where The Hamptons occupy the opposite side of the street. The turnabout provides sweeping vista across Edgemont Ravine.
On the City of Calgary web page for Edgemont Ravine, park features which are listed which include a playground, fitness equipment, a gazebo, statues of giant bunnies plus facility for tennis and baseball. None of this appears on this short end to end hike so it is very likely the major 'Y' junction leads to another part of the park which hosts these facilities.
The remainder of the return hike, via the same route used for access, provides a unique perspective of the storm ponds surrounded by robust and fascinating marshland.
Back at the parking area, it would be remiss to avoid the section of rolling parkland to the east of Edgebrook Boulevard NW. The gentle downward slope descends into another major storm pond area designed to catch surplus rain runoff during the occasional significant rain events. There are a host of sports fields here which support local baseball and soccer teams. The entire complex is obviously a valuable community resource.
The large, metal, cylindrical tunnel, which on this day conceals a floor of slick, wet ice, provides passage beneath Shaganappi Trail to greenbelt supporting passage into additional communities and Nose Hill Park en route to an impressive and complex system of bike paths which encompass the entire city.