Bow River Pathway to Bowness

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
71.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
308 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Bow River Pathway to Bowness

Riding the Bow River Pathway is an incredibly scenic ride in Calgary. Set out on the Bow River Pathway in Sue Higgins Park and ride the entire Bow River to Bowness. Pass through Calgary’s downtown core, countless parks and along the Bow River for pretty views and explore the city’s eclectic group of neighbourhoods.

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Route Description for Bow River Pathway to Bowness

The Bow River Pathway route is a challenging Calgary bike ride that encompasses almost all routes below—in one ride.

Hop on two wheels and set out on the Bow River Pathway from Sue Higgins Park. You can actually start this ride anywhere, so it’s best to just find the nearest parking lot to your home.

Enjoy a beautiful ride along the Bow River Pathway, first stopping into Carburn Park, which is home to a few stunning lakes.

From there, carry on through forest parkland, taking in the unique flora and fauna that can be found in this area, still following the Bow River.

You’ll have to climb a big hill to get up to Lynnwood, though the view of the mountains and downtown make this worth it.

Next head back down the hill into Refinery Park. This hill is steep, and in place the pavement has some large bumps, so head down slowly.

Soon you’ll come to a T-junction, go left and cross over the Bow River on a bike path beside Ogden Road. On the other side go to your left down and back to the river.

Follow the path and go by the rail yards and soon you’ll be riding past Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Centre, where over 270 bird species can be spotted among the wetlands. Keep eyes turned upwards into the trees when safe to do so!

Then follow the bike path as it heads into the East Village neighbourhood, brimming with boutiques, coffee shops and popular restaurants.

Continue to peddle through Chinatown, into the Eau Claire area, where you can find the local markets and a stunning park. If you have extra time, cross over the bridge into peaceful Prince’s Island Park (though this will add more km).

Continue on the Bow River Pathway, following it out of downtown as it goes beside Bow Trail. Soon you cross over some rail tracks and ride along the path as it heads NW out of Calgary. To your left is the popular Douglas Fir Trail that weaves through the hills beside you.

Eventually you reach Edworthy Parking lot. Go to your right and through Edworthy Park, then go across the bridge in Edworthy Park and heading towards Angel’s Cafe, a popular pit stop for a coffee refuel or snack.

After a break at Angel’s, go left and continue heading on the Bow River Pathway. Continue to follow the bike path as it goes beside the river up into Dale Hodges Park, where scenic trails await if you wish to peddle through or hop off and explore on foot.

Push onwards into Bowmont Park, a local favourite for its expansive fields, off-leash dog park and pretty lakes. Cross over the Bow River here and enter Bowness Park. You’ll do a loop of Bowness Park before crossing the river on 85th Street NW and heading back into Bowmont Park.

Once you’re back in Bowmont Park, head right and ride east along the Bow River, following the path you rode out on, all the way towards Edworthy Park.

Once back in Edworthy Park, don’t cross the river at Angel’s Café, instead go straight, following the river as it eventually goes beside Parkdale Blvd NW, which then turns into Memorial Drive.

You’ll be riding into downtown Calgary, and the views are spectacular here. Soon you’ll pass the 10 Street NW Bridge, where you can turn left into Kensington, a fun little community of shops and restaurants.

A few hundred meters farther on is the famous Peace Bridge, a great location for a photo. Continue to follow Bow River, past the picturesque Prince’s Island and then St George’s Island, and enjoy the great views of Downtown Calgary.

After the Calgary Zoo, cross over the small canal to get onto a path that crosses over Deerfoot Trail and then take the path as it goes towards Max Bell Centre. Follow this path as you are on the east side of the Bow River and the Canal for a few hundred meters, before you cross over the Canal at the Bow Waters Canoe Club.

Follow on the west side of the Canal, eventually going beside and under Deerfoot trail on a path with low headroom and a lot of gravel. Once on the other side of Deerfoot Trail, you will continue on a path by the canal, that has a lot of bumps thanks to tree roots.

Cross over, the train line and come onto Ogden Rd., where you come back and connect at the T-junction near the start of your trip. From here on in you’re on the path you started on.

Ride through Refinery Park, then up into Lynnwood, back down into Carburn Park and then into Sue Higgins Park.

Insider Hints for Bow River Pathway to Bowness

  • The Bow River Pathway to Bowness is a long ride. Come prepared with lots of water, snacks, chafing cream and appropriate footwear.

Getting to the Bow River Pathway to Bowness Trailhead

Head to Sue Higgins Park parking lot, which is off of Southland Drive and Deerfoot Trail.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-November

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Bow River Pathway to Bowness Elevation Graph

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