Canadian Park Hound

Outdoor Trips & Tips With The Novice Bushwacker

Nose Hill Park, Calgary AB, August 2012

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Calgary’s northwest end is home to one of the largest municipal parks in North America: Nose Hill Park. With just over 11 sq. km, you’ll find well maintained trails and many footpaths that you can follow for hours. Within, you can find over 300 km of trails to follow. The park is open to hikers and cyclists and there is a large “off leash” area for dogs to enjoy.

Nose Hill is an interesting feature on the outskirts of Calgary as it gives you the opportunity to take in a panoramic view of the city of Calgary to the south, the flatness of the beginning of the prairies to the east and the magnificent Rockies to the west. Essentially, it’s a foot hill that lies before the mountains, but in an otherwise flat area, it gives you the opportunity to climb a few hundred feet and get a bit of a bird’s eye view, if you don’t have the time/chance to get yourself into the mountains. It’s a perfect spot for day hikes tailored to whatever length you wish.

For my first trip in the park, I hiked a counter-clockwise loop around the bulk of the circumference. The distance was just under 9.5 km and it took about 2 hours. I started out at the parking lot by 14th & Berkley Gate and crossed over to the west side, and then headed due south with a view of the Rockies to my right.

The main trail is paved and wide enough for hikers, cyclists, joggers, dog owners to move in both directions, with plenty of informal footpaths and bike trails for you to explore throughout. The peak itself is a large flat plateau of grassland. Beautiful.

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When you reach the south end of the peak, you’ll get a great view of downtown Calgary.Image

Turning back north, along the eastern edge of the park, you can opt for the footpaths that take you through more hills, or stay on the easier main trail. I took the footpaths and stayed on the edge of the park, enjoying the view on my way back to the car.

I love it when a city or town has a park within its limits that have hikes that can offer, a) privacy and, b) a multi-hour hike. My basic criteria for a good hike is one where I need my hydration pack and a snack. Nose Hill fits the bill. If you’re ever in Calgary, I would highly recommend taking a few hours out of your day to visit this fantastic municipal park.

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Written by canadianparkhound

August 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

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