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Explore Fish Creek Park one hour at a time

Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to hang out by the river or winding pathways to explore nature, Fish Creek Provincial Park has it all. But with over 100km of paved and unpaved trails, knowing where to start your adventure can be a challenge. Due to the park's size, varied terrain, and countless hidden gems, your options here are limitless. 

We've lived in Calgary for over ten years now, and even after visiting the park many times, we're still finding new places to check out. You can spend the entire day here, using the park's facilities for a wilderness getaway, and still only see a fraction of it. 

So we recently set out on foot to find a short walk we could share with you, one that's packed with adventure and park amenities, without taking the whole day. 

1 Hour Walk In Central Fish Creek Park

This adventure begins at the Bow Valley Ranche Visitor Centre & Restaurant parking lot found near the centre of the park. The Visitor Centre is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and has a washroom, exhibit area, water fountain, and pay phone. From here, you'll find countless routes of varying length and terrain to explore the park.

For our adventure, we started walking south from the parking lot and crossed a bridge over Fish Creek to complete a figure-eight loop, starting on the west side of Bow Bottom Trail. The path took us east towards the Hull’s Wood Day-Use area, located roughly 15 minutes’ walking distance from the Bow Valley parking lot, but you can also park at the Hull’s Wood Day-Use area if you're in a rush or plan to spend the whole day there.

It's a great hangout spot with washroom facilities open year-round, and picnic tables and fire pits available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re planning to have a fire, bring your own wood, as it's not provided and you can't collect or burn deadfall. We always encourage adventurers to practice the seven leave-no-trace principles (find them on to leave the space better than they found it. You'll also notice the Hull’s Wood Amphitheatre nearby, which is a popular spot for weddings in the summer.

We continued our walk through Hull’s Wood and went south towards the manmade Sikome Lake. This facility is great for families and operates seven days a week, from late June to September each year, and always with a lifeguard on duty. It's the perfect urban beach scene to cool off on a hot day, in the heat of summer, for only $10 per family. You'll also find a concession and beach shop offering a variety of beach supplies, as well as snacks and drinks (ice cream, anyone?). 

After Sikome Lake, we looped back towards the Visitor Centre parking lot, heading north. It was a fairly straight path, back over a different bridge to cross Fish Creek, where we spotted kayakers taking advantage of the trickling spring flow. 

Overall, this loop is 3.8km long and took us just under an hour to complete (with two toddlers popping in and out of the stroller). It was a peaceful walk on a mix of paved and unpaved trails, great for families, strollers and walkers alike. If you want to extend your adventure, there are countless other trails you can veer off onto for walking, biking, and exploring. 

And, this is only one small section of Calgary's biggest park. You can also visit Shannon Terrace, Bebo Grove, Votier’s Flats, Mallard Point, Bankside, and Burnsmead!


To explore more Calgary parks, attractions and local businesses, use Parks of Calgary’s interactive map, the Adventure Atlas, to plan your next outing. Find it at


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