Canada Olympic Park - Calgary - Hiking Alberta

 

Canada Olympic Park is an easily accessible historic and recreation site in Calgary, Alberta.

 

 

Prior to the mid 1980s, the site was a modest ski hill called, 'Paskapoo'.  That all changed when Calgary was selected to host the 1988 Winter Olympic Games which would be partially established along the TransCanada Highway at what would become Canada Olympic Park sprawled along Paskapoo Ridge. 

This walking tour of the Canada Olympic Park Complex attempts to provide a perspective for the complexity and contribution of this once world-class athletic facility.

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Map of Calgary Olympic Park Features

 

The car is parked in the massive parking area at the front of the Frank King Olympic Visitor Centre at the bottom of Paskapoo Ridge.  Inside there is a large equipment rental and maintenance operation, the Slopestyle Retail Shop and a large cafeteria.

The east end hosts the main entrance and houses the Calgary Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum.  The Olympic Flame Cauldron, extinguished at the end of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, is adjacent to the Museum near Flag Court.

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Entrance to the Frank King Pavilion at Calgary Olympic Park

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The 1988 Mural beside the Main Entrance to Calgary Olympic Park

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Olympic Flame Cauldron

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada One of several ski lift terminals

 

West of the Frank King Olympic Visitor Centre is the base of the Bobsleigh and Luge Track with the finish line near the Bob Niven Training Centre.

Canada Olympic Park is a sophisticated training facility for world-class athletes as well as an impressive, recreational complex.  

The road beside the Bobsled Run, to the top of Paskapoo Ridge, twists and turns its way up the hill much the same way the Bobsleigh and Luge Track curls its way down.  There are way houses along the road that mark start points on the course for bobsled and luge events by team count and gender. 

On the trek up, the road passes an interesting mini-golf course and the large Calgary Gymnastics Centre.  The ski jumps are across the top of the ridge at the east end of Calgary Olympic Park.

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Snow making cannon with ski jumps at hilltop

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Ski Jumps

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Plaque at the base of the 90 meter ski jump tower

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada An interesting view from the base of the 90 meter ski jump tower

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada A view from hilltop over Bowness community in NE Calgary

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada A view from hilltop to the Calgary Olympic Complex below

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada A view from the business end of the 50 meter ski jump

 

Back across the top of the hill towards the west end passes the Naturbahn Teahouse which hosts Sunday brunch in the off-season. 

Nearby is the upper terminus of the Bobsleigh and Luge Track as well as magnificent views of the Bow River Valley, the bottom of Canada Olympic Park and new construction of a huge Athletic and Ice Complex west and adjacent to the core site. 

In the huge construction area, there is a very large red structure at an angle uneven to the ground.  Another day will be set aside to inquire about this curious structure.

In a subsequent visit after construction is completed the curious building is the new and very impressive home of the Olympic Sports Hall of Fame.

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The plaque at the base of the Olympic Bobsled and Luge Track

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The base and end of the Bobsled and Luge track looking uphill

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The uppermost terminal of the Bobsled and Luge track

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada New construction at the base as seen from hilltop over the Bobsled track

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Naturbahn Teahouse - Sunday brunch served in the off-season

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada The Ice House

 

There are no established hiking trails within Canada Olympic Park but there are several mountain biking trails and instructional courses for all ages.  There are many hiking trails on Paskapoo Slopes adjacent to the east border of Canada Olympic Park with wonderful views over the Bow Valley and the city of Calgary. 

Paskapoo Ridge is an ancient rift used by Native Indians as a buffalo hunting grounds similar to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near Fort McLeod in Southern Alberta.

There is an active movement to preserve the four kilometer long Paskapoo Ridge as a protected natural area.  There are a number of archaeological digs on the ridge and the area has significant historical value.

Perhaps more than enough development has already consumed this special ridge and its natural ambiance seems valuable as a visible landmark within an urban area.

A couple of days later, a nice sunset is forming over Canada Olympic Park which results in the photo that may provide better layout perspective.

 

Calgary Olympic Park - Calgary, Alberta, Canada View of a sunset on Canada Olympic Park

 

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