Nose Hill in Autumn - Calgary - Hiking Alberta

 

Nose Hill Natural Environment Park, in northwest Calgary, consumes more than 11 square kilometers (4¼ square miles).

 

Nose Hill Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The park's bland appearance from a distance is deceiving but solved quickly by hiking, running, strolling or cycling the labyrinth of trail exceeding 300 KM (188 miles).

This popular Calgary recreation area attracts large volumes of people but seldom seems crowded.  The grassy plains on its relatively flat top offer a substantially different environment than the slopes and coulees around the edges.

Nose Hill has rich and varied historical significance ranging from ceremonial and burial grounds in ancient times, to farm and ranch land, to industrial enterprise.

Some of Nose Hill was set aside as a park in 1980 and aspirations to consume portions of this special place with residential development were thwarted by citizens who understood the commercial vulgarity and historical compromise.  Paskapoo Slopes are less fortunate.

During this summer visit on Nose Hill, hiking began from the northwest Edgemont parking area.  Today, this early-Autumn bicycle tour begins on the east side, at the 14th Avenue parking area, for exploration and enjoyment of the northeast quadrant.

 

Nose Hill Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The hazy city skyline view from 14th Avenue parking on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Autumn colors are just getting established.

Among the wide range of plant species on the hill, some have shed their leaves while others transition to fall colors in response to  shortening and cooler days.  Hardier trees and shrubbery remain stubbornly green.

The wide variety of fescue and wildflowers create a complex mosaic of color and texture.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Autumn fescue and foliage at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Calgary city skyline past autumn transition at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The communications tower is a landmark on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Sandstone bluffs are a prominent feature on the east side of Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada A wide variety of plant life in transition from Summer to Autumn on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The terrain's elevation undulations are significant and the ride is a good workout.  Frequent placement of memorial benches at trail side provide the opportunity to remember prior visitors and are often placed in locations ideal for a few moments of retrospect and relaxation.

The complexity of the terrain is subtly realized within those important pauses.  The longer you look, the more you see.  The mesmerizing magnificence which triggers the state of release is in appreciation of the complex detail which eventually captures full attention.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Simple beauty created by a mosaic rock, fescue flowers, shrubbery and trees on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Memorial benches offer a place to sit and enjoy the view on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  A different person but a familiar name.

 

Nose_Hill_15

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view from my lunch location at the Robert Frost Memorial Bench at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view from my lunch location at the Robert Frost Memorial Bench at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view from my lunch location at the Robert Frost Memorial Bench at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The view from my lunch location at the Robert Frost Memorial Bench at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

In the northeast quadrant of Nose Hill there are many subsidiary trails across coulees to viewpoints north and east.   One of these lookouts provides a sweeping view past Calgary Airport to prairie farmland many kilometers beyond.

From here the cycle proceeds across the relatively flat grassland top of Nose Hill Park from east to west for a revisit of some of the trail experienced on the summer hike.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Navigating troughs to find sweeping views from border high points at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada A view over Calgary Airport from Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Long view west to hazy mountains in the distance from Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada A northwest view across Bowness to the mountains on the bicycle ride across Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The 20 KM (12½ mile) loop on the bicycle via main trails passes lofty views of Calgary Olympic Park, the University of Calgary campus and skyline views of downtown Calgary.

The colors of Calgary's Autumn are primarily shades of yellow, orange and brown with highlights of brighter colors.  The circle route bisects the east and west peripheries of  Nose Hill Park twice with an end near the communication tower.

The final descent off the hill returns to the car following a refreshing day in the sun surrounded by seasonal transition under clear blue sky.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The landmark communication tower has a new painting covering graffiti on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The descent from the old communication tower on Nose Hill is via an old road.  At one time it was a wide, paved road which may have serviced a long-abandoned industrial enterprise, or perhaps a road that shuttled families to picnic sites when automobiles were allowed on the hill.

Old and nearly decomposed pavement is punctured now by large trees and easy walking allows observation of plant beauty and diversity as the city's downtown skyline rises into view above the horizon.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Plants in seed at roadside o the descent off Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Plants in seed at roadside o the descent off Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Mature trees encroaching through old paved road on the descent on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Mature trees encroaching through old paved road on the descent on Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

After racking the bike on the back of my car, a stop in at the Calgary Winter Club investigates another portal to Nose Hill Park, complete  with a handy biffy and two trail options.  Washrooms are a rare commodity on Nose Hill so research and forward planning can make a significant difference.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The biffy near the Calgary Winter Club on 14th Street at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Trail entrance behind.

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada The other trail entrance near the Calgary Winter Club on 14th Street at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada View over U of C and COP to the mountains from near the Calgary Winter Club on 14th Street at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Long lens view past COP to the mountains from near the Calgary Winter Club on 14th Street at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada View to the Calgary city skyline from near the Calgary Winter Club on 14th Street at Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Nose Hill Park is an easily-accessible, recreational resource resident within urban turmoil.  There are leash and off-leash areas for responsible people with dogs to conveniently enjoy the outdoors.

There is wildlife on the hill which could be of concern to the welfare of small animals.  Nose Hill Park is a wonderful place to wile away a morning or afternoon.  Best photographic opportunities tend to occur early and late in the day when the sun is low in the sky.  A unique experience can occur in inclement weather.

Photographs for this post in Nose Hill Park in northwest Calgary, Alberta, Canada are captured on September 21, 2014.

 

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