Sometimes you don’t have to go far to explore someplace new. We enjoyed a Sunday evening stroll on the Douglas Fir Trail in Edworthy Park. Calgary boasts many beautiful trails within the city limits, but this one feels like a genuine “hike” through the forest. Whether you’re walking the dog, enjoying family time, or out for some solo exercise, this trail has something for everyone!
Do you enjoy finding slices of nature within the city limits? Jen came across the Douglas Fir Trail online, so we decided to go explore Sunday evening. This was also our first visit to Edworthy Park in southwest Calgary. We’ve spent far more time in east Calgary, so now living in the west means new places to explore!
About Douglas Fir Trail
Location: Edworthy Park, Calgary
Distance: 6 km loop (or out and back)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate (due to stairs and unpredictable terrain)
Elevation: 100 metre gain
Time: Approx. 1.5 hours
Dog-friendly: Yes, but on leash.
Features: Douglas Fir is a very well-maintained trail in the southwest of Calgary. There are lots of stairs to climb, but the view from the lookout is worth the leg workout. This dirt trail with many Douglas firs is a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of city living.
How To Get There
The Douglas Fir Trail stretches 2.5 km one-way from Edworthy Park along the Bow. We started at the Edworthy Park south parking lot, but you could also enter from the east entrance.
Edworthy Park covers 169 hectares with multiple picnic sites and lots of grassy area. Here’s a map of the park. There’s a playground for children to enjoy, and washrooms are available. A truly beautiful place to relax or explore next to the Bow River.
Finding the Trailhead
You may not see signs for Douglas Fir Trail right away after arriving at Edworthy Park. But don’t worry, you’re in the right place. On a hot day, bring some water and sturdy footwear. You might also want bug spray for protect your arms and legs from mosquitoes and ticks. When you’re ready, head toward the south end of the parking lot and start walking down the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway. In a few minutes, you’ll reach the Douglas Fir trailhead.
Read more: 5 of the Best Bike Paths in Calgary, Alberta
Hiking the Douglas Fir Trail
Right away, you’ll start hiking on a nicely maintained dirt trail through the forest. While the trail conditions are good, there are numerous stairs, roots, and rocks along the path. If you have young children, you won’t want to bring a stroller here.
There are several flights of stairs leading up to Dead Man’s Drop, the lookout point with spectacular views of the Bow River and the cityscape. This trail wasn’t overly busy for a Sunday evening. Bicycles are not permitted on the trail.
Read more: 5 Easy Hikes for Rocky Mountain Rookies (Plus a Bonus!)
Return on the Bow River Pathway
Once you reach the railway crossing, you can either turn back for the stairs or return via the Bow River Pathway. We opted for the Bow River for a change in scenery. Bella also enjoyed a nice drink from the river.
The distance return on the Bow pathway is essentially the same, but much flatter and paved. This trail is shared with cyclists, so be courteous and stick to the right.
Have you hiked the Douglas Fir? What Calgary trails do you enjoy? Leave a comment below!
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