One of the great things about Calgary is the abundance of hiking trails both in the city and a short drive away. There is no shortage of outdoor things to do in Calgary and the nearby Rocky Mountains in Banff and Canmore.
Whether you’re looking to do your hiking in Calgary or want to enjoy a lovely day trip from Calgary this article has all the information you need to hit the trails.
When you want to spend more time outdoors enjoying nature and getting a bit of exercise the walking trails around town are a great choice.
In this article you’ll find easy hikes in the city and lots of hikes within a 2-hour drive from Calgary. Explore the hiking trails of the Rocky Mountains in Banff, Canmore, and Bragg Creek.
At the end of this article I’m including the map of hikes around Calgary so you can plan an amazing day on the trails near Calgary.
Now let’s dive into 21 of the best easy hiking trails in Calgary Alberta.
Best Easy Hikes in Calgary
No matter where you are living in Calgary there is a hiking and biking trail nearby.
Nose Hill Park
The fourth largest urban park in Canada and Calgary’s largest municipal park, Nose Hill is in Northwest Calgary and it’s one of the best places to go hiking in Calgary.
I used to bring my German Shepherd to Nose Hill Park. She especially loved wintertime hikes and chasing snowballs. In summer she would carry rocks back to the house and find the perfect place to hide the rocks in a corner or under a chair. Is your dog a rock collector too?
There is an off leash area at Nose Hill Park so you can bring your dogs and let them run freely.
Nose Hill Park is huge so there are lots of pretty hikes to choose from and explore the park, especially in spring and summertime you will find bunches of wildflowers at Nose Hill.
Free parking after 6 pm, all day Sundays and holidays
When I lived in downtown Calgary, I would walk to Prince’s Island almost every week. Prince’s Island and nearby St Patrick’s Island are the gems of downtown Calgary.
Parks with water always get my attention.
Set alongside the Bow River, with large trees, and lots of geese and ducks, you feel the relaxing vibe of nature at Prince’s Island Park.
Prince’s Island is the most popular of Calgary hikes.
So you’ll have to share this relaxing vibe with dozens (hundreds?) of other people enjoying the trails at Prince’s Island. And a a gaggle of geese.
Enjoy some people watching while you are walking. Or put on your earbuds and listen to your fave tunes while you enjoy your urban hike in Cagary.
Did I mention there is an ice-cream kiosk at Prince’s Island Park?
North/South Glenmore Park
Free Parking at several lots in the park
North Glenmore Park is in Southwest Calgary but it’s on the north side of the Glenmore Reservoir, hence the name. And you guessed it, South Glenmore Park is on the south side of Glenmore Reservoir.
I visit North Glenmore Park often and hike around the reservoir. Most of the pathways at the park are paved but there are some dirt trails too.
I prefer the natural dirt trails. Head over to the Weaselhead Flats trail to the west of Glenmore park for cool views and birdwatching.
Watch out for cyclists at North Glenmore Park, and little kids, and older folks.
Besides hiking you can also go kayaking or canoeing at Glenmore Park. Visit the Glenmore Rowing Club to rent a boat and get on the water.
My sister and I saw a bald eagle when we went kayaking at Glenmore one summer.
In wintertime in Calgary, Glenmore Park is especially pretty after a good snowfall. Some people go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the park when there is enough snow.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know about Carburn Park until a few years ago. Carburn is in the Riverbend community in Southeast Calgary.
I signed up for a beginner’s kayaking class with UC Outdoor Centre (you should check it out) and our original location of Glenmore Reservoir was closed due to high water levels. We went to Carburn Park instead, and wow!
What a beautiful park with incredible hiking trails along the Bow River and in the woods. You are almost guaranteed to see deer if you hike at dusk. Also ducks, geese, and other birds make their home in Carburn Park.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Free Parking/Free Admittance
Another of the best hikes in Calgary is at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. It’s free to visit the park and visitor center.
The well-marked hiking trails at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary are an excellent place to explore nature, birdwatching, and hike by the water.
You can also take a tour of the historic Colonel Walker House on the grounds at Inglewood park.
I often see deer at Inglewood Sanctuary. And of course, lots of birds. Bring your binoculars so you can do some birding.
You can park at North Edworthy Park on the north side of the Bow River, or South Edworthy Park on the south side of the Bow.
Edworthy is a beautiful place to hike in Calgary any season of the year. Walking alongside the Bow River is relaxing for the mind.
Hungry after hiking? Angel’s Café near the north parking lot is a great place to grab lunch and refreshments before or after your hike.
There are a bunch of picnic spots near the south parking lot at Edworthy if you want to do a picnic lunch or dinner at the park. Or bring a blanket and picnic anywhere you like at Edworthy Park with beautiful views of the Bow River.
Another beautiful park along the Bow River in Northwest Calgary is Baker Park. Located along the north side of the Bow River, Baker Park is across the river from Bowness Park.
Fancy some disc golf? You can do that at Baker Park.
There is also an amphitheater at Baker Park for music and theatrical events during summer months.
Did you know Baker Park location used to be the Baker Centre Tuberculosis Institution?
The park is named for Dr. Albert Henry Baker, director of the tuberculosis sanatorium for 30 years, from 1920 – 1950.
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Did you know you can find the second largest urban park in Canada in Calgary?
Fish Creek Provincial Park is in Southeast Calgary and it’s an excellent place for hiking and cycling in Calgary.
Fish Creek is another great spot for birding in Calgary. And you’ll probably see some deer if you go hiking early in the morning or near sunset.
Pearce Estate Park
Pearce Estate Park is a big beautiful park along the Bow River in southeast Calgary with wetlands, picnic areas, playground, and lovely hiking trails through the forest and on the riverside.
The park is downriver from the Calgary Zoo and one of the main attractions at Pearce is the white-water kayak slalom course at Harvie Passage.
At Pearce Estate Park you can watch the kayakers from the Harvie Passage lookout and check out the awesome art sculpture by Lorna Jordan.
Tom Campbell’s Hill
Tom Campbell’s Hill Nature Park is a short easy hike in the Bridgeland neighborhood. Information panels on the hilltop tell the history of the area.
This nature park has outstanding skyline views of downtown from atop the hill so it’s a great place to watch the sunset in Calgary.
There’s also an off-leash dog park at Tom Campbell hill so it’s the perfect place to hike with your dog in Calgary.
Hiking Near Calgary
One great thing about being so close to the mountains is that there are lots of easy day hikes near Calgary.
And some of the best hiking trails near Calgary are in Kananaskis County (K-Country) including Bragg Creek and Canmore area.
If you drive a little further to Banff National Park you have a lot more options for day hiking from Calgary.
Alternatively, if you want a weekend getaway from Calgary check out Jasper National Park, it’s less crowded than Banff and you get to drive the amazing Icefields Parkway to get to Jasper!
Here are 11 beautiful hikes within 2 hour drive of Calgary.
Troll Falls is a fun and family friendly hike with a cool waterfall and…trolls may be found there too!
This short easy trail near Bragg Creek is a great hike (even in winter) for kids because it’s mostly flat. And kids love the waterfall area and looking for the troll dolls that people have left in spots around the falls.
Get all the info for hiking Troll Falls and explore other beautiful waterfall hikes in Alberta!
Elbow Falls is the place to go when you want to escape the city but you want a super short and super easy hike with spectacular views. You only need to drive about an hour to get to Elbow Falls from Calgary.
So this is an easy to get to place where you can walk alongside the Elbow River or stop for a picnic lunch and then walk up to the viewing platform to listen to the roar of the falls.
Elbow Falls is like a reset button for your mind. Go. Relax. Decompress….
Grotto Canyon (near Canmore) is an excellent hike in winter and summer. If you do hike Grotto Canyon in winter bring the right winter hiking gear including crampons or microspikes.
Two cool features at Grotto Canyon are the pictographs on the canyon wall and the pretty waterfalls. In winter you’ll probably see ice-climbers on the frozen falls at Grotto Canyon.
Get more info and find out where to see the pictographs at Grotto Canyon.
Chester Lake is another wonderful all-season hike in the Calgary region.
The peak season for hiking Chester Lake is in the fall to see the larch trees changing from green to brilliant yellow but it’s a gorgeous trail any time of year.
In summer the wildflowers are blooming and in winter it’s a popular snowshoeing trail near Calgary.
Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park so it’s best to get there early in the day – on a weekday is even better.
The trail features two spectacular waterfalls and hiking along the river with gorgeous canyon views. You can also continue the trail up to the Ink Pots for a longer hike, but this portion of the trail is more strenuous.
Get more info on hiking Johnston Canyon including how long to get to each of the falls and the ink pots.
For an easy hike with views of the Bow Valley the Fullerton Loop in Kananaskis is a lovely hike.
Take a day trip to Bragg Creek and hike the Fullerton Loop for panoramic views of K-Country. This is another hike that’s great in all seasons but remember to bring microspikes in wintertime.
Get all the info about hiking Fullerton Loop Trail
Lake Louise Trail
An extraordinarily popular and beautiful hike in Banff is the Lake Louise trail right alongside the water.
Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful lakes in Alberta and it’s a lovely short hike no matter what season of the year – just remember to bring microspikes for hiking Lake Louise in wintertime.
In summertime, at the end of the trail you also have the option to hike the more difficult Plain of Six Glaciers. The views from the beginning portion of the trail looking onto Lake Louise are spectacular.
From the shores of Lake Louise you can also hike to Lake Agnes Tea House for lunch in the summer months.
LEARN MORE: 12 Best Things to Do in Banff in Winter
Ptarmigan Cirque is one of the best summer hikes near Calgary. It’s located on the portion of Highway 40 in Kananaskis that’s closed December 1 to June 14, so summer and fall are your only options to hike Ptarmigan Cirque.
This gorgeous hike in the Rocky Mountains takes you through the forest to the cirque formed by glacial erosion. It’s a crescent-shaped basin with steep sides and stunning scenery.
Be on the lookout for marmots near the rocky portions of the cirque.
Get directions and all the info for hiking Ptarmigan Cirque Trail
Grassi Lakes features two gorgeous emerald and turquoise lakes near Canmore.
This is one of the most popular hikes near Canmore so get there early to find a parking spot and hike before it gets too busy.
You have a choice of two trails at Grassi Lakes, one is easy and the other is more of a moderate hike. Both trails will take you to the extraordinary jewel tone lakes.
Get all the details about hiking Grassi Lakes trail
Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk
The Policeman’s Creek boardwalk trail in Canmore is a happy little hike that’s great for all ages and abilities.
Whether you’re out with the kids or just want some alone time this trail is an enjoyable escape to nature within the town of Canmore.
Bow River Trail Canmore
Bow River loop is my go-to trail when I visit Canmore for a quick afternoon escape from Calgary.
The mountains offer stunning scenery for this riverside trail that’s a wonderful hike no matter the season. And you get to walk across the Bow River on the Canmore Engine Bridge – an awesome photo spot.
You can make the hike as long or as short as you like – have a look at the trail map and get more info about hiking the Bow River Trail Canmore.
And that’s the list of 21 awesome hikes in and around Calgary Alberta. From urban hikes to Rocky Mountain wonders, you can enjoy hiking at your own pace.
Calgary Alberta Map of Hiking Trails
Check out the map of trails in Calgary and hikes nearby for your next outdoor adventure.
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Wednesday 1st of July 2020
Amazing places to hike in Calgary! I am in love with all these beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing this article :)
Thursday 2nd of July 2020
Stella, Thank you! Calgary does have some gorgeous hiking trails. I love my hometown :)