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!

Douglas Fir Trail lookout in Calgary
  • Save
The Douglas Fir Trail Lookout.

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

  • Save
Douglas Fir is a short trail, but you’ll get a leg workout!

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

  • Save
Edworthy Park south parking lot.

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

  • Save
Take the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway at the south end of the parking lot.

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

Douglas Fir Trail trailhead
  • Save
Douglas Fir trailhead.
  • Save
The City of Calgary calls Douglas Fir a “difficult recreational trail.”

Hiking the Douglas Fir Trail

  • Save

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!)

  • Save
Nice trail for a dog walk (Bella thinks so, too!)
  • Save
Trail is highly maintained with boardwalks, railings, and stairs.
  • Save
Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.
  • Save
The long fight of stairs up to the lookout.
  • Save
They call this Dead Man’s Drop. I wonder why….
Douglas Fir Trail lookout in Calgary
  • Save
View from the lookout.
Douglas Fir trail stairs
  • Save
More up!
  • Save
“How many stairs did you say we were doing?” – Bella
  • Save
Watch your step!
Douglas fir trail last set of stairs
  • Save
The last stairway down toward the railway crossing.
  • Save
So much green!
  • Save
There’s a designated railway crossing.
  • Save
Cargo trains come through frequently.

Return on the Bow River Pathway

  • Save
Bow River Pathway shared with cyclists.

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.

  • Save
Bella enjoyed a cold drink from the river.
  • Save
Return on the Bow River Pathway or back on the Douglas Fir Trail.
  • Save
You’ll enjoy this Douglas fir forest!

Have you hiked the Douglas Fir? What Calgary trails do you enjoy? Leave a comment below!

Want to save this for later? Hover over the image to add to Pinterest!

  • Save
Douglas Fir Trail in Calgary’s Edworthy Park via @outandacross
  • Save

Leave a Reply