- Picnic sites in Calgary Parks cannot be reserved until May long weekend (exception; some sites in Bowness Park are reservable year-round), so pack a picnic and enjoy a free picnic site!
- For more picnic places, please see this post (#2).
- For fun beach itineraries in and around Calgary, please see this post.
|Douglas Fir Trail, Edworthy Park|
May 13-15 Day Out With Thomas at Heritage Park. Ride your favorite tank engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, get your face painted and more! Tickets required.
May 14 Free Thule Tune-up Day at Bow Cycle. Get your Thule Chariot tuned up for free!
May 15, 2-4 pm More Rocky Mountain Fairy Tales at Mount Royal University Bella Concert Hall. Follow a young girl’s journey through the mountains with her fairy friends. Set to jazz music played by some of Canada’s best jazz musicians! Tickets required.
Heading to the Mountains? How to Avoid the Hwy 1 Construction
Avoid the big paving operation on the Trans Canada by taking Highway 1A to AB 133 X / Morley Road. You’ll come out by Chief Chiniki Restaurant / Gas Station / Store, which is 13 kilometres east of the Highway 40 exit to Kananaskis.
Family-friendly Spring Hikes in Banff include: Tunnel Mountain, Johnson Lake, Johnston Canyon, Fenland Trail & Vermilion Lakes Dock (Mount Rundle viewpoint). Bow River/Hoodoos Trail is another nice one on Tunnel Mountain. Stewart Canyon and Sundance Canyon should be in good shape next weekend (they’re kind of wet right now).
|Tunnel Mountain, Banff|
|Vermilion Lakes Drive, Banff|
For amazing views, take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain then hike the 1 km long Sanson Peak Boardwalk. Warm up at the Banff Upper Hot Springs when you’re done. During peak season, take the complimentary shuttle from downtown to the gondola/hot springs! (Leaves from Banff International Hotel and Evelyn’s Coffee Bar every 15 minutes from 10am-6pm. Last shuttle leaves the gondola at 6:15 pm.)
Many Lake Louise trails still have early season conditions – snowy, or wet and mucky – and there is considerable avalanche danger at elevation.
If you MUST go and want to experience fantastic views, I recommend taking the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola (opens May 13). Tea/lunch at the Whitehorn Bistro is a must! Unreal mountain views and delectable appetizers. Read more about our experience here. **The gondola is open rain or shine!**
|Kicking Horse Viewpoint, 1.7 km from top of Lake Louise Gondola|
Lake Agnes Trail (7 km, 400 m elevation gain from the Chateau) is finally open, but you’ll have to wait until June 4th for tea at the teahouse. Please stay on trail to avoid trampling sensitive alpine vegetation. Dine at the Chateau or Deer Lodge after your hike. For more casual fare, try Laggan’s Bakery or Timberwolf Pizza at Lake Louise Inn (both in the village).
|Lake Agnes, Banff National Park|
Fullerton Loop (7.1 km return, 200 m elevation gain) is a nice hike to do this time of year. It’s not as muddy as Sulphur Springs and just the right distance for young hikers. It should have less snow than Prairie Mountain as it isn’t as high, but Prairie is still a good option for this weekend.
Saturday, May 14 is your last chance to bike Elbow Falls to Forget-Me-Not Pond without cars! The winter gate on Highway 66 opens Sunday, May 15th. For a longer ride, start at Allen Bill, Station Flats, or Bragg Creek. Elbow Falls to Forget-Me-Not is a beautiful 18 km ride with a big hill in the middle, so it’s best for bigger kids on bikes with gears.
West Bragg Creek received a lot of precipitation over the last two days, so Alberta Parks is asking that riders stay away until the weekend and avoid muddy sections. Please check trail conditions before heading out!
- Near Bow Valley Campground, try the Flowing Water Trail (2.4 km), Middle Lake (2.5 km), Many Springs (1.9 km), or paved Bow Valley Bike Path (8.6 km). Avoid the rabid chicken, I mean aggressive grouse, at Montane Trail for now.
- Longer options: Heart Creek (5.2 km) is a pleasant creek walk with very little elevation gain that is fun for all ages.
|Bow Valley Paved Bike Path|
|Ha Ling Peak Summit|
|Beach next to Hay Meadow, Kananaskis|
- Family-friendly choices for this weekend: Upper Lake Trail between North Interlakes and Palliser Rock Slide and Lower Lake Interpretive. West Wind Pass (4.2 km) should be ok by Sunday if the snow has melted. Mount Black Prince Cirque (4.3 km) is another option, but expect snow near the top and some muddy sections. Planning to bike? The Peter Lougheed Bike Trail is in great shape – no snow or ice! Bike to Boulton Creek Trading Post for a popsicle or Interlakes Day Use.
|Upper Kananaskis Lake|