There are many great bike paths in Calgary. From Fish Creek in the south to Nose Hill in the north, there are amazing places to take your bike. With over 1,000 kilometres of maintained pathways, Calgary is way more bikeable than I once believed. So whether you’re looking to get some speed and distance, or going for a leisurely ride with your family, there’s a path in the city for you.
Get on the Bike Paths in Calgary
In all the current uncertainty, hopping on the bike paths in Calgary has been very helpful to manage day-to-day. Also, the occasional ice cream doesn’t hurt.
It was a different kind of spring in Alberta—in all of Canada, for that matter. Summer has followed suit as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. In many places, we’re wearing masks, staying physically distant, and washing our hands like mad. But even when Canada’s public health measures were in full force to flatten the curve, we’re still able to leave the house and spend time outside. That’s something to be thankful for, right?
Here are the Calgary bike paths that I’ve been enjoying these past few months:
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Situated in the south of Calgary, Fish Creek Park boasts more than 80 kilometres of interconnected pathways—about 30 kilometres paved and dirt trails for the rest. In addition to great trails, you’ll find all kinds of wildlife in the park, like pelicans, owls, coyotes, deer, and more.
A Calgary gem for cyclists, Fish Creek is highly maintained with trail maps posted in multiple locations. As one of the largest urban parks in Canada, Fish Creek easily makes my list.
This park is conveniently close to my house, at about 8 kilometres to the entrance near the McKenzie Meadows Golf Club. These pathways connect to the Bow River Pathway and the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway, making it a great place to begin or end a ride.
Bow River Pathway
Do you jump at the chance to spend time by the water? I sure do! So cycling next to the Bow River is almost as good as it gets. This year I decided to ride 85 kilometres from Copperfield to Bowness and back along the Bow River Pathway. The path connects with RiverWalk in downtown East Village (great place for coffee or lunch). At this point, you could continue along RiverWalk to Eau Claire Market or to Prince’s Island Park. But I crossed over the bridge to continue on the Bow River toward Bowness Park.
Ultimately, if you want a longer ride with beautiful views along the river, then the Bow River Pathway is the place for you. This is one of my all-time favourites in Calgary.
Nose Hill Park
Another of Canada’s larger urban parks, Nose Hill has over 11 square kilometres right in the middle of Calgary. The city has maintained beautiful green spaces (…yes, they’re Calgary brown in the shoulder seasons!). Living in the southeast of the city, I really don’t travel to the northwest very often. But if you’re in this neck of the woods, why not see what Nose Hill has to offer?
There are some flat paved areas for street cycling, but it isn’t the best place to gain distance. On the other hand, if you want some fun ups and downs, bring your mountain bike to Nose Hill for both cityscape and Rocky Mountains views.
Glenmore Reservoir & Weaselhead Flats
The fantastic 16 kilometre loop around Glenmore Reservoir is popular for a reason! On the one hand, the area can become quite congested with cyclists and pedestrians. But if you come at the right time (weekday, for example), this is a very pleasant ride and you may even forget you’re in the city.
The pathway stretches around the Glenmore Reservoir and into Weaselhead Flats Natural Area. Weaselhead is maintained by the City of Calgary and nicely forested with fun ups and downs. And I’ve even come across deer and other small wildlife here.
The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway surrounds Calgary and connects other bike paths like spokes on a wheel. This loop around the city is about 140 kilometres, networking with 1,000 kilometres of Calgary’s impressive pathway system. From my home in Copperfield, I often jump on the Greenway to head north alongside Stoney Trail. Have you been to Ralph Klein Park? Visit the Parks Foundation website more information.
I’ve explored sections in the northeast near Abbeydale and the southeast near Copperfield. One of these days, I may attempt the 140 kilometres…. maybe!
There are some really great spots to cycle in Calgary! Do you have a favourite place to ride? Are you from a different city or town with exceptional bike paths? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.
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