6 Secret Gardens and Parks in Calgary
With all the places to explore throughout the city, there must be a garden or park you haven't visited yet. Here are a few of our favourites in Calgary.
Carburn Park, located by Riverbend on the East Bank of the Bow River, offers stroller-friendly pathways that wind their way around several ponds beside the Bow River. It's the perfect spot to watch baby ducks and geese float by and there's a fun playground for the little ones to burn off their endless energy as well as a seasonal washroom.
Bowness Park has something for everyone all year long. A shallow lagoon beside the Bow River, this 100 year-old park has been offering activities that include canoe and pedal boat rentals, mini golf and train rides, bike and walking paths along gentle rolling hills, as well as a concession stand. There are three playgrounds and a splash park that the kids will find hard to leave. It's a great destination for any active family and there is always an opportunity to try something new while visiting.
Reader Rock Garden
The Reader Rock Garden is a small garden with a big history. If you need any inspiration for your own garden, you will see it here. There are rockeries, ponds, waterfalls and a bridge, and the flower beds are filled with every colour of the rainbow. Facilities include pathways (some suitable for a stroller), a seasonal café and washrooms. There are plenty of picnic spots to choose from, with sites offering fantastic views of the historical house from the rose garden to shady lawns by the ponds.
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Fish Creek Provincial Park in the SW offers almost 20 kilometres of paved, gravelled and single-track bike paths for different levels of users. The park is generally quiet, and you'll be amazed that you are still in the middle of the city. Get a map of the park's trails before you go and take plenty of mosquito spray.
Pearce Estate Park
Pearce Estate Park, near the community of Inglewood, is an oasis in the city. There is an interpretive wetland boardwalk and paved trails along the river make for easy strolling. You'll see daredevil canoeists tackle the whitewater and you can walk to the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery and the Bow Habitat Station. There's also a playground, picnic tables and river access for fishing.
Sandy Beach Park
For families who love to switch up activities when enjoying a day out, Sandy Beach Park is a great spot to get them all in. Go for a bike ride along any of the main paths and be sure to check out the suspension bridge. When you're done, settle down for lunch at one of the picnic locations. Sites include tables, outdoor grills (bring your own charcoal) and, in some cases, fire pits (although these are very popular so go early to secure one). Kids will love the shaded playground and the fact that there's lots of space to play Frisbee or just run around.