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Your go-to guide for exploring Calgary’s largest park, Fish Creek

That’s right – Fish Creek Provincial Park is one of Calgary’s most diverse parks. Here you’ll find flourishing wildlife, a storied past, and an extensive pathway system in the southern part of the city. This park officially opened in 1975, but its history dates back thousands of years.

Today, fellow Calgarians come to Fish Creek Park to surround themselves with nature and escape urban life – all hours of the day, all seasons of the year. It’s named one of Canada’s largest urban parks, covering over 3,300 acres. But with a park so big, you might be wondering…What can I do here? Which area is best? What amenities can I find in this park?

Whether you’re into walking, running, hiking, biking, wildlife-observing, or appreciating solitude, this natural haven has a little something for everyone:

Take a trail. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, Fish Creek Provincial Park has a trail for you. With over 100kms of paved and unpaved trails, you can explore the park on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. Its countless pathways meander through lush forests and serene wetlands along the winding banks of both the Bow River and Fish Creek.

Watch the wildlife. This park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, having seen many different wild animals here ourselves. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, coyotes, beavers, rabbits, and an array of bird species. This park’s many diverse habitats make it an excellent spot for birdwatching, with opportunities to see everything from songbirds and owls, to a wide variety of waterfowl.

Pack a picnic. Fish Creek Provincial Park is a fantastic place for any family outing. Numerous picnic areas equipped with tables, firepits, and shelters provide the perfect setting for you to enjoy a meal amidst nature. Additionally, you’ll find playgrounds and wide open spaces, perfect for kids to run and play until their hearts’ content.

Fish and paddle. If you’re into water activities or want to give them a go, you’re in luck! The Bow River and Fish Creek waterways both wind through the park, offering excellent fishing spots with opportunities to catch species like trout and pike. Paddlers can also explore the serene waters by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, immersing themselves in nature while enjoying the park’s tranquility.

Hit historical sites. Rediscover the past at the historic Bow Valley Ranche, once a working ranch and now a charming restaurant. The house was originally built back in 1896 and offers a glimpse into the park’s history, adding a touch of antique charm to your visit.

Participate in a program. Fish Creek Park hosts a range of educational programs ( and interpretive events throughout the year. From guided nature walks to informative talks on local flora and fauna, these programs provide an excellent opportunity to deepen your understanding of the park’s natural wonders.

Experience cross-country skiing. You’ve got to catch it at just the right time for Fish Creek to be a viable cross-country skiing option, thanks to our warm and frequent chinooks. Even when there is enough snow, you won’t find preset tracks. So, if you want to cross-country here, be prepared to blaze your own trail while soaking in the peace and quiet of Calgary’s south. 

Maneuver a mountain bike. You’ll find trails for all skill levels winding through Fish Creek, boasting countless paved and gravel pathways, with at least 156 trails logged on popular outdoor fitness apps. Find out which trail suits you and your crew best using or, by filtering them based on location, length, difficulty, and elevation.

Go geocaching. Often described as an outdoor treasure hunt using your phone’s GPS, there are plenty of locally hidden geocaches in Fish Creek for fellow adventurers like yourself to seek out and find. Once you find the cache, feel free to add some treasures of your own for the next person to find – or create a new cache!


Must-see nearby Fish Creek Park attractions

While this park alone offers a wealth of recreational activities, there are still plenty of attractions in and around the park to complete your outdoor experience. Here are just a few:

Group day-use areas (year-round). You’ll find several day-use areas throughout the park, such as Shannon Terrace and Hull’s Wood. These spots are ideal for hosting gatherings, picnics, and events. Complete with facilities like picnic shelters, barbecue pits, and playgrounds, snag a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis or book a group day-use area at for the perfect day out with friends and family.

Sikome Lake (summer). Located within Fish Creek Provincial Park, Sikome Lake is an artificial man-made body of water offering you a perfect summer heat escape. With a sandy beach, designated swimming areas, and picnic spots, Sikome is a popular destination for families looking to cool off and play in the water. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season, making it a safe place for swimmers of all ages and levels. Operating dates vary from season to season, but this attraction is generally open from June to September. 

Golfing (summer). Just a short drive from Fish Creek Park, you’ll find several golf courses, including public courses like Blue Devil Golf Club and McKenzie Meadows. Golf enthusiasts can tee off amidst breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, many of them looking right into the park. The Annual Shaw Charity Classic put on by the Champions Tour is also played at nearby Canyon Meadows. 

Ice caves (winter). This attraction depends heavily on snowfall, warm weather, and a little bit of luck. Starting near the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, follow the walking trail across the Fish Creek bridge and immediately head west/turn right. Soon, you’ll stumble upon ‘ice caves’ in the creekside wall. Depending on the time of year, they may be big or small, icy or watery. Nonetheless, they’re a cool sight right here in the city, without having to hit the mountain trails. 

These are just a few of the countless outdoor activities you can enjoy right here in Calgary at one of Canada’s largest urban parks. While you’re in the area, use our Adventure Atlas at to see what other parks and attractions you can visit to make a day of it!

If you plan on visiting Fish Creek Provincial Park, check out for rules and tips so you can have the best possible experience. Interested in the historical significance of Fish Creek in the early days? You can find out more at, too!


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