Bow River & Downtown Calgary
Bow River & Downtown Calgary

Bow River & Downtown Calgary hike

Calgary
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Bow river and Calgary city downtownTurquoise Bow river waters below Calgary skyscrapers along city walkBridge crossing the Bow river beside Downtown Calgary seen along city walkPeace Bridge crossing Bow river seen from walking path around Downtown CalgaryPedestrians strolling down walking path around Downtown CalgaryView of Calgary downtown and Bow river from memorial stairs along city walking trailsCalgary walking trails with beautiful views of Downtown CalgaryBeautiful walking trails along Bow river in Calgary AlbertaSkyscrapers in Downtown Calgary viewed from beautiful city walking trailsBow River Downtown city walking trails in Calgary AlbertaCity walking around Calgary along Bow river and downtownDowntown Calgary viewed from bridge crossing Bow River along walking pathFloating down the Bow River viewed from bridge along city walk in Calgary AlbertaModern bridge along walking path around Downtown Calgary

Bow River & Downtown Calgary hike

Distance: 6.5mi
Elevation: 184ft
Time: 2-3h

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For extraordinary views and easy paved trails, the Bow River Downtown hike is unmatched. Take in the bustle of the city, where St. Patrick’s Island Park, inner-city energy, and great coffee await.

Bow River & Downtown Calgary hike Map

Getting there

From downtown Calgary, take 5 Ave SE and Memorial Drive to 12 St NE/Zoo Rd NE. Turn right to stay on 12 St NE/Zoo Rd NE. On your right-hand side, you’ll find a public parking lot outside the Confluence Plaza.

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About

When to do

Year-round

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Circuit


Bow River & Downtown Calgary
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Bow River & Downtown Calgary

This walk has it all, taking in some of the best views of Calgary. Start at St. Patrick’s Island Park. The Bow River & Downtown Calgary walk can go either direction, but we like to go counterclockwise and get the climb up to Crescent Heights done while the kid’s legs are still fresh.

Cross over the Bow River on Baines Bridge, then go left and walk along the Bow River, taking in the incredible views across Bow River into East Village.

When you hit Centre Street Bridge, go under the bridge and cross the eastbound lanes of Memorial Trail, heading left for 82ft until you reach stairs that will take you up to the Centre Street pedestrian path. Follow this path until you see a paved path on your left that goes towards Crescent Heights.

This path will take you to the ridge of Crescent Heights, where you can walk along and enjoy stunning views of downtown Calgary and beautiful homes on the other side. Continue on the path that follows Crescent Road as it curves around McHugh Bluff.

As you complete the crescent, look out for 7th Street and follow it as you descend into the cute community of Sunnyside. You’ll end up on 4th Street NW, which you take down to the LRT tracks. Cross the tracks and then hit 10St NW, where you go left. Stop for a snack or a coffee at either Regal Cat Café (where you can cuddle kittens) or sleek Vero Bistro Moderne.

Follow 10th Street and cross the river on the Louise Bridge, then go left on the Bow River Pathway into Eau Claire Park. This is a great area to sit and rest by the Peace Bridge.

From the path along the Bow River, cross over to Prince’s Island, where you’ll find a large playground for the little ones and a shady spot to kick back and relax. At the eastern end of Prince’s Island, find an area more off the beaten path to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Then, pop back onto the main Bow River Pathway trail and follow it into the East Village. Stop at Charbar for a midday tipple if you’re feeling cheeky or Phil & Sebastian, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery (located in the Simmons building), or Mari Bakeshop for a caffeine pick-me-up.

Continue walking east, crossing over the 3-arched George C. King Bridge back onto St. Patrick’s Island and the parking lot. There’s a fun playground on St. Patrick’s Island if the kids aren’t tired yet.

Insider Hints

  • This trail is entirely on paved paths, which is great for strollers.

  • If you’re uncomfortable walking in downtown by yourself, try going during the middle of the day or bring a friend.

  • This route has lots of great places to stop for a snack, and can easily be turned into a full day affair, stopping for pastries, coffees or drinks!

Comments

Luna M. 3 years ago

The gently flowing river, the lush greenery makes for a wondrous experience.

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Fredie L. 3 years ago

This trail is easy and entirely on paved paths, which is great for strollers. This place has lots of great places to stop for a snack.

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Leonard J. 3 years ago

Had so much fun flying kites with my children in here.

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3 Comments

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