Strathcona Ravine is a quiet, inner-city, wilderness sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Strathcona Ravine is located between the communities of Strathcona and Christie Park in southwest Calgary above 17th Avenue west of Sarcee Trail.
The tiny park, of only 23 hectares, occupies a thin strand through a ravine which creates the opportunity for a hike on a combination of paved and gravel path. The choice is to park at roadside in the 800 block of Strathcona Drive across from the Olympic Heights Elementary School.
There is a dedicated bench at the obvious trail-head and paved path drops into the bottom of the ravine to intersect with a boardwalk. The trees have no leaves so communities are visible at the top of the ravine.
In summer months it is likely there would be little or no evidence of urban development. The decision is to initially hike the boardwalk out to the west entrance into the ravine.
The boardwalk keeps feet dry on wet ground. Channels at the side of the boardwalk direct water into wetland areas, There are still sections of snow and ice in more sheltered areas and dips where water accumulates. The very pleasant walk gradually gains elevation until arrival at Strathcona Blvd.
There is a large place of worship at the top. The occasional pathway off to the side provides convenient access to the communities along the top. The return to the bottom of Strathcona Ravine, via the same route on gravel and boardwalk trail, reveals a broad variety of forest and wetland terrain.
Birds are abundant. It is a pleasant, sheltered, outdoor, fresh air experience.
Back at the bottom of the ravine, paved path continues southeast through forest. Path junctions provide foot traffic and bicycle access from communities at the top of the ravine. It is a natural environment park with little in the way of amenities other than excellent trail and dense forest.
At the east end of the ravine, paved path wanders uphill into urban development but the path continues through the bottom of the ravine on gravel. There are several sections of ice in this early part of Spring, requiring careful footsteps and support from trail-side branches. This gravel section of trail ends at a culvert beneath 58th Street SW but a path to the left allows extraction to the top of the ravine.
Strathcona Ravine continues for a short distance on the other side but wet and muddy trail conditions convince me to leave this for another time.
Instead I shall return through the bottom of the ravine on trail previously traveled. There is one wide, major brick path from Christie Park which is quite impressive.
The small park will be substantially more private and serene when leaves are on the trees. The small park is open from 5 AM to 11 PM. The communities above and the ravine were named in honor of Lord Strathcona.
It is a very nice place to wile away a few hours of relaxation within, but away from, typical urban activity.
Photographs for this inner-city hike in Strathcona Ravine were captured on March 30, 2015.