|Dinosaur Provincial Park is open year round!|
1. Bragg Creek
Try Prairie Mountain, Fullerton Loop, or Sulphur Springs. Fullerton and Sulphur Springs have rolling hills, while Prairie Mountain is heart thumping up, up, up all the way. Shorter options in the area include Alder Trail (1.6 km) and Elbow Falls interpretive (approx. 1 km). Choose your own adventure! 😉
|Prairie Mountain, Elbow Valley|
2. Kananaskis / Canmore
- Prairieview and Heart Creek are good hikes to try now. Prairieview is ice-free until the lookout, but some ice remains on the top section to Barrier Fire Lookout.
- Up for more of a challenge? Try Wasootch Ridge, Lady MacDonald, Heart Mountain, or Loder Peak. For first-time scrambling tips, see this post.
- Closure of Note: Grassi Lakes is closed due to dangerous (icy) conditions.
|Heart Creek Interpretive Trail
(with Heart Mountain in the background)
- Hoodoos Trail, Tunnel Mountain,and Fenland Loop are your best options right now as the trails are ice-free with just a few muddy sections.
- Johnson Lake is another great, short hike, but expect the trail to be mucky in the trees.
- Johnston Canyon is still icy, so be sure to wear microspikes or ice cleats.
|Johnson Lake, Banff National Park|
|Tunnel Mountain, Banff National Park|
4. Lake Louise
Although most Lake Louise trails are packed snow with icy sections, several trails are still doable with ice cleats. Your best options are Mirror Lake or Lake Louise Lakeshore (do not go on the lake as the ice is thin and weak now and do not go beyond the end of the lake as it is avalanche terrain). Significant avalanche danger exists just beyond popular trails, so avoid steep terrain and stay on trail. To learn more about the importance of avalanche skills training, please see this post.
|The ice falls at the end of Lake Louise are well worth the walk!|
There are so many great options for biking right now! Nose Hill Park, Eastlands and Bowmont Park have sweet single track with barely any mud. The Legacy Trail has been swept, Highways 66 & 40 are still gated (closed to cars, open to bikes and foot traffic!)…
- Calgary Bike Ride of the Week: Migratory birds have returned, so Pearce Estate Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary are good places to watch them! Check out my writeup on Pearce Estate Park to Nellie Breen Park with options to go further (to River Walk/East Village, St. Patrick’s Island, Eau Claire, the Calgary Zoo, or Inglewood Bird Sanctuary). The trails around Pearce Park are less busy than the Bow River Pathway and family-friendly!
River Passage Art Installation at Harvie Rapids
- Banff / Canmore: The Legacy Trail was swept on April 13th! Ride from Canmore to Banff, or ride from Cascade Ponds to Banff for a short, leisurely ride (less elevation gain!) with the kids.
Legacy Trail, Banff
- Bragg Creek: I know I mentioned Highway 66 last week, but it was so amazing last Saturday I have to include it again. You can only ride the gated section (just past Elbow Falls to Little Elbow Campground) until end of day May 14, so go soon! The highlight was hanging out at Forget-Me-Not Pond without a single person in sight.
Highway 66, Elbow Valley
- Kananaskis: There is a partial closure on the Bill Milne Trail between the golf course and Mt. Kidd Campground due to construction, so I wouldn’t recommend the whole trail for families right now (as you’d have to ride on the side of Hwy 40 for 1 km), but Ribbon Creek to the Golf Course is a pretty ride that is flat and perfect for young cyclists. You could even do this section with a skateboard or scooter! Be sure to pop in to Moose Family Kitchen (in same building as Kananaskis Outfitters, beside the Delta Kananaskis Lodge) for ramen or a tasty Japanese beef bowl after!
Bill Milne Trail, Kananaskis
A fairy garden is fun to make in spring too! Decorate a small bird house from the dollar store, or build your own! We scattered wildflower seeds and beans around it and are patiently waiting for them to grow.
Friday, April 15, 12-1 pm: Free Bear Awareness Clinic at Mountain Equipment Co-op
Saturday, April 16, 11 am-3 pm: Wildlife Week Giveaways at Bow Habitat Station
1440 17A St SE
Saturday, April 16, 7 pm-11 pm: Star Night at Fish Creek Provincial Park
Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre, 13931 Woodpath Road SW
Sunday, April 17: Spring Trio 5/10/15 km Run, East Village