Bull Trail Park occupies west Oldman River Valley near High Level Bridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
There are many entry points into Bull Trail Park along the west side of the Oldman River Valley. One opportunity begins by hiking north from the dyke junction at the south end of Elizabeth Hall Wetlands past the popular par 3 Bridge Valley Golf Course.
The trail gains modest elevation on slightly rolling terrain which soon passes beneath the impressive High Level Bridge (Lethbridge Viaduct).
Continuing on gently rolling single track trail follows the curl of the west bank of the Oldman River with giant construction cranes visible in the distance above the prominent University of Lethbridge. Scenery and ambiance are stunning. Evidence of the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and Indian Battle Park are well camouflaged behind forest along the far-side, east bank of the Oldman River.
Hard pack trail beneath impressive banks reveal significant evidence of past coal mining activity. Brief stretches of trail are black over crushed coal with the occasional remnants of ancient slack heaps nearby.
The Galt Museum is clearly visible crowning the top of the Oldman River Valley east side.
This hike is through rich history and open ground soon transitions past a major drainage through lush and dense forest of mature trees. The variance in terrain adds significantly to the quality of this hiking experience.
North Bull Trail ramps out through grassland to meet Coal Banks Trail crossing the river over multi-lane Whoop Up Drive Bridge.
South Bull Trail continues south on the other side of the tunnel passing beneath Whoop Up Drive Bridge to create a continuing hike through Bull Trail Park South before turning right to ascend bluffs and meeting University Drive.
On this overcast day, the return hike is via the same route used for access. There are many options and side trails to extend and enhance the quality of the experience.
Light, intermittent drizzle accompanies the final couple of kilometers and actually enhances the experience as increased humidity enhances the intensity and presence of natural aroma from the surrounding, diverse variety of plant life.
The final short stretch past Elizabeth Hall Wetlands to parking is a fitting end to a spectacular day hiking experience.
This hiking tour through southeastern Alberta in the fall of 2017, which includes day hiking experiences in Brooks, Medicine Hat, Cypress Hills, Milk River and Lethbridge, is predominantly motivated by smokey conditions from massive forest fires in the mountains west of Calgary. On this fascinating tour there were huge opportunities to experience unique cultures and historical diversity, hiking on well-developed trail systems, often within river valleys, badlands or near lakes.
Photographs for this hike in Bull Trail Park along the Oldman River Valley near High Level Bridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada are taken on September 21, 2017.