Homes for sale near Calgary’s top parks
Calgary has many great parks. And of those, Nose Hill Park and Fish Creek Park are two of the largest urban parks in Canada and North America! For obvious reasons, many Calgarians love to live near a park or greenspace. Hiking, biking, birding and tranquility nearby is great. And real estate closer to some parks is often valued higher because of location.
We have been able to bike, walk and discover most parks in Calgary, and every time we are amazed at the wildlife we see: bald eagles, ospreys diving for fish, owls, deer, marten, owls, but also ‘bear poop’.
Here is an overview of some of the larger parks and those Calgary communities surrounding these parks. Every park offers a link where you can find homes for sale closest to the park.
Fish Creek Park (SW and SE)
Probably the most impressive park in Calgary is Fish Creek Park. It is the second largest urban park in Canada, and even one of the largest in the whole of North America.
Fish Creek Park, which mainly curves through from east to west, touches many different communities: Sundance, Auburn Bay, Mckenzie Lake, Midnapore, Shawnee Slopes, Legacy, Lake Bonavista, Queensland, Deer Ridge, Deer Run, Douglasdale, Parkland, Canyon Meadows, Evergreen, Woodbine and Woodlands.
Besides the options for picnicking, biking, walking and hiking (yes, Fish Creek Park offers a few serious hikes), there is also Sikome Lake for a swim in the summer. The wildlife in Fish Creek Park is phenomenal, and don’t be surprised to see deer and beavers, and all kinds of birds, as well, so bring your favorite birding book!
Fish Creek Park has many entrances, so it is worthwhile to get a good map via Alberta Parks, as Fish Creek is officially a provincial park.
Griffith Woods (SW)
Closest to the mountains, along the Elbow River, with the Tsuu T’ina Reserve across from the Elbow River, is Griffith Woods Park. You’ll have to drive to Discovery Ridge to get to this park, which is actually a Special Protection Natural Environment.
This park offers trails for walking and biking, both paved and unpaved. The wildlife is unimaginable in Griffith Woods Park. And yes, real wildlife. This is the park where we noticed bear poop. And a few days later, it was announced on the news that wildlife officers were after a Grizzly Bear, which they successfully caught, just a few days after.
Glenmore Reservoir and Weaselhead (SW)
The communities closest to the Glenmore Reservoir are Lakeview, Eagle Ridge and Bayview. North Glenmore Park is on the north side of the reservoir and is adjacent to Lakeview and Eagle Ridge, while Bayview is on South Glenmore Park. A few steps further, but still very close to the reservoir, are the communities of Oakridge, Palliser, Pumphill, Bel-Aire, Mayfair and North Glenmore Park.
South Glenmore Park has picnic areas, tennis courts, a spray park for kids and of course biking and walking trails. The south end of Glenmore Reservoir includes Weaselhead Flat. A Natural Area with no amenities, but great walking and hiking trails. We have seen all kinds of wildlife in the Weaselhead, including beavers and coyotes.
Glenmore Reservoir holds Calgary’s drinking water and can’t be used for swimming. However, here are several clubs for sailing and canoeing. Heritage Park, Canada’s second largest living history museum, offers boat rides onto the Reservoir. Around the Reservoir are plenty of picnic sites, and you can walk and bike around the entire Reservoir. The path around Glenmore Reservoir is about 16 km’s.
Stanley Park (SW)
With 21 acres, Calgary’s Stanley Park is not Vancouver’s Stanley Park, which is 1000 acres. However, this park is in a beautiful setting for many high-end homes, many homes still with historic characteristics. The communities of Rideau, Roxboro, Park Hill, and a tip of Elboya touch Stanley Park.
It is a great park where you can easily go for a picnic, with or without a firepit, and here you can dip your toes in the Elbow River. There is an outdoor swimming pool in the summer, and a tobogganing hill for fun in the winter. This park is also home to the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club.
River Park and Sandy Beach Park (SW)
Following from Stanley Park, west and south, along the Elbow River takes you to River Park and Sandy Beach Park. To be close to these two parks, you will want to live in Altadore or Britannia, or at the south end of Elbow Park.
There are playgrounds, fire pits and beautiful pathways in these parks. Sandy Beach Park is a great spot to drop your little raft in the water for a nice float on the Elbow River. River Park has a large designated off-leash area for dogs.
Nose Hill Park (NW)
Nose Hill Park is the second largest park in Calgary and the third largest urban park in Canada. It is surrounded by numerous communities: MacEwan Glen, Huntington Hills, Beddington, Edgemont, Brentwood, Charleswood, Collingwood, North Haven and Upper North Haven.
In the 70’s, this park was planned to be developed, but, luckily, those plans didn’t go through. Now it is a park for everyone to enjoy while walking or biking. But don’t expect easy paved paths. You’ll have to go a bit rough at Nose Hill Park as very few paths are paved. This park contains mainly grasslands, yet, despite the vegetation, almost 200 wildlife species have been seen in Nose Hill Park.
Also, still today, the park shows several tipi rings, pointing to the importance of the history of the park.
Bowness Park (NW)
Bowness Park offers a few more things other than picnicking, biking and walking. It offers a fun lagoon, for boating or canoeing in the summer and skating in the winter. During the summer, there is also a swimming or wading pool, and a little train that takes the little ones on a trip through the park. It also has a great restaurant.
Bowness Park is largely bordered by the Bow River, adding a fantastic feel of nature to the park. If you walk underneath the Stoney Trail Bridge, you will be on some serious hiking trails that lead you right to the community of Valley Ridge. You’ll feel right in the mountains!
Edworthy Park (SW)
Closest to Edworthy Park are the communities of Wildwood, Spruce Cliff, and Shaganappi, through its golf course, as well as Point McKay and a tip of Parkdale on the north side of the Bow River. Biking, walking, picnic sites, playgrounds; it’s all here.
Edworthy Park includes the Douglas Fir Trail, which is an impressive trail, around 2.5 km’s long, offering great views over the valley and part of Calgary. Being surrounded by Douglas Fir trees, it makes you feel like you are right in the mountains.
Bowmont Park (NW)
Bowmont Park is officially named Bowmont Natural Environment Park and is bordered by Silver Springs. It is also very close to the community of Varsity via the Silver Springs Golf & Country Club. Bowmont was actually named by Bowness and Montgomery, although these two communities are south of the Bow River.
Bowmont Park offers picnic tables, hiking trails, fields for soccer and baseball, and even a small waterfall. This Waterfall Valley Trail is a great Sunday outing for the family.
Confederation Park (NW)
Confederation Park touches several communities such as Rosemont, Mount Pleasant and Capitol Hill. With 400 acres, this is an impressive park right in the middle of Calgary. It is very well maintained with nicely paved paths along ponds and is great for a walk or a bike ride.
The tobogganing hill is certainly worth checking out with your kids, or go crazy, and dare yourself a luge. Confederation Park has a few baseball diamonds and a tennis court, as well.
Prince’s Island Park (Downtown)
Located on an island in the middle of the Bow River in downtown Calgary is Prince’s Island Park. Here are nicely paved paths on which to walk and bike, but Prince’s Island Park is largely known for its events. The Calgary Folk Music Festival in July is one of the most popular of many. Several footbridges take you to the island, either via Eau Claire or Memorial Drive. The (in)famous Peace Bridge brings you from Memorial Drive to Eau Claire.
Prince’s Island Park is your park if you want to combine a walk or a bike ride with some food, fun and festivals. In the wintertime, glide around on its skating rink. Eau Claire is the community bordering this park, but it only offers condos and a few townhomes. On the north side of the park (Memorial Drive) are communities like Rosedale, Hillhurst and Crescent Heights. Real estate wise, those communities are also highly valued because of their proximity to downtown Calgary.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (SE)
Being a fan of birds ourselves, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is absolutely worth mentioning, even though it may not be called a park, but a sanctuary. Don’t visit this ‘park’ without your binoculars and your bird book!
Despite the noise of Deerfoot traffic and airplanes flying over, in this sanctuary, since 1929, over 270 different kinds of birds have been sighted. Because it is a sanctuary, you are not allowed to bike; nor are dogs allowed. There is also an interpretation center, and the City of Calgary offers educational events in this park for children and adults. The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is located in the community of Inglewood.
Pearce Estate Park (SE)
Pearce Estate Park is also located in Inglewood, just north of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. It is a smaller park and home to the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery. This park is also located along the Bow River and has picnic sites, a large playground, an interpretative trail and many pathways.
Because a large part of Pearce Estate Park is reconstructed wetland, it is home to lots of wildlife and birds. Harvey Passage is a unique facility in the Bow River, for kayakers and rafters, and is located in Peace Estate Park.
Riley Park (NW)
One of the smaller parks in Calgary is Riley Park. But it is worth mentioning because it is located in the popular community of Hillhurst, and it has a wading pool for the little ones. The lawns and flower beds are impressively maintained.
From here, you can walk to the shops on 10th Avenue NW and Kensington Road, and have a tea at The Naked Leaf. Riley Park is located just south of SAIT. The communities of Hillhurst and a tip of Sunnyside are closest to Riley Park.
Carburn Park (SE)
Carburn Park is adjacent to the community of Riverbend. This park has two man-made ponds, for fishing, which are fed by the Bow River. The ponds allow for a skating rink in the winter. Also, this park is a good spot to drop your canoe or floatie into the Bow River.
Carburn Park offers many nice walking trails, and you can spot Bald Eagles in this area, besides many other kinds of birds, including Blue Herons and Pelicans in the summer.
Beaverdam Flats (SE)
Along the east side of the Bow River, just north of Carburn Park, are the Beaverdam Flats, a natural environment park. It is ‘only’ 43 hectares, but is impressive because of its birds, including Bald Eagles sited along the river.
The community bordering the Beaverdam Flats is Ogden-Lynnwood. The ridge along the river gives unobstructed views of the mountains, Calgary’s downtown and the river valley.
Prairie Winds Park (NE)
Prairie Winds Park has something to offer the entire family: a great wading pool, a cricket pitch, basketball courts, soccer field, picnic areas, including one with tandoori oven. In the wintertime, this park has a tobogganing hill and provides winter skating. It is a fairly large (16 hectares) park and was redeveloped in 2017. The community located closest to Prairie Winds Park is Castleridge.
Big Marlborough Park (NE)
In the community named Marlborough Park, is a great sized park called Big Marlborough Park. This park offers many features such as biking, tennis, soccer and baseball fields. In the wintertime, Big Marlborough Park has a toboggan hill and a skating rink. There are several schools around this park and, for that reason, it is a bit busier.
Fun Fact 1: Calgary has 150 Happy places.
There are around 150 dog parks where dogs can run and play off-leash. We think that those off leash parks are literally the happiest places on earth! If you want to live near an off-leash dog area, let us know by email your dog parks of consideration, and we will make sure you receive emails with homes for sale near these off leash parks. Or go directly to the website of the City of Calgary for all the off-leash areas.
Fun Fact 2: Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.
The City of Calgary maintains more than 905 km of regional pathways and around 100 km of trails. That is a lot, even for a Dutchie! You can find a map of all the bike trails in Calgary on the website of the City of Calgary. It is also downloadable.
Fun Fact 3: Calgary has approximately 7 million trees.
Calgary has around 7 million trees, counted in both private and public lands, such as parks and green spaces. To find out how many trees are in your community, visit the tree schedule on the website of the City of Calgary. It also shows the number of trees per square kilometer per community. Garrison Green, Charleswood and Scarboro are a few of the most treed communities per square kilometer.