Edmonton’s Hidden Trail Running Gems: second edition.

Strathcona Science Park Edmonton

The weather was absolutely incredible in August here in Edmonton and I definitely took advantage of it! Lower water tables in the North Saskatchewan are concerning for some but they also open up a multitude of new paths to explore and incredible views. Let this settle in: Edmonton’s River Valley is twelve times the size of New York’s Central Park. So tell the next person who says that this city is boring to get lost, literally. There’s so much to discover.

In my last blog post I shared five of my favorite trails in the Edmonton area and I wanted to continue this with another two trails put a double knot on your shoe laces and let’s go!

Whitemud Creek Ravine:

Whitemud Creek Ravine Edmonton

This trail is chalk full of absolutely incredible views. The paths are wide, winding, and not too difficult so it would be great for runners of all skill levels. The ravine wanders just under Snow Valley so keep going when you hit this parking lot and head under the bridge. The Creek is closed to bikes which has made it far less used and traveled; you will not see single track trails in this area. If you want some rest, sit down on the multitude of benches that are strategically placed for absolutely awe inspiring natural landscapes. You can park at the Alfred H. Savage Centre, and head over the red bridge to get to the trail head.

Fort Edmonton Foot Bridge and Wolf Willow Ravine:

Fort Edmonton Foot Bridge and Wolf Willow Ravine Edmonton

The Fort Edmonton Foot Bridge is one of the most underutilized foot bridges principally because of it’s distance to parking. But that’s why we run. There is a fork at the end of the south end of the bridge, both trails are great options to explore and can be done on the same day. If you head right, head to the Wolf Willow stairs but instead of heading up these heart pounding steps turn right again down the single track trails. The path will lead to the mouth of the Wolf Willow Creek to the left and also a sandy path that follows along the North Saskatchewan. Run both of these. Here is a really cool secret: because of the low water table the shoreline of the river can be traveled and if you’re really adventurous you can actually take it all the way back to the Quesnell Bridge. You can scramble your way up the rocks under the bridge, cross it, and head back to the Fort Edmonton Park parking lot. (Caution: this section is not a trail and is ultimately subject to weather and river levels so proceed at your own risk.)

 

Have a hidden trail gem? share it in the comment section below!

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

Comments

  1. Carrie Corsiatto says:

    I have a favorite challenging fun single track on the South East side but I’m not sure I could do it justice trying to describe it. I’ll try!! I park on the north side of the Catholic Seminary, probably 101Ave – beside the NcNally HS baseball fields. There is a paved bike trail heading down from where you park. Get on the bike trail and watch for a dirt trail heading into the bushes on the left hand side and veer in (just short of a 1/3rd of the way down. This trail will spit you out at the bottom of the trail but you will remain in the woods. I then cross over the bike trail and head to the river so my dogs can get a drink. There is a single track along the river that will take you as far as Riverside golf course but the higher trails are way more fun and challenging too. So I start on the single track and look for a trail on my right hand side(it is a bit hidden so look closely) to start winding me back up the hill – as I get to the top there are trails well worn single track I stay on until I can cross over the main trail onto the side. The side just below McNally HS fields has many different single track trails all going North and to find your best route you have to explore a bit. Sometimes I stay high and sometimes I stay low but my goal to to get on the dirt trail at Riverside Golf Course parking lot(hopefully at the top if I’ve picked the right trail!!)) If you are in the right spot you will see another single track trail into the woods. This trail winds around the hill parallel to Rowland Road – once you are on it there are no worries of getting lost as it is only one trail through there(super fun area). It will shoot you out beside McNally HS and you will cross over the pedestrian bridge over Rowland Rd and take a sharp lef tand drop towards the trees at the end of the bridge – before you hit the paved trail. As you are heading down you will cross over the bike trail and there is a trail on your right hand side that starts a the cement divider, it is not obvious until you are on it – drop down this trail as it parallels the backside of Riverside Golf Course(this is a super fun section). Eventually it will spit you back out on the bike trail lower down the hill. Cross over the bike trail and enter the trail near the red post – it will be obvious if you are watching. This trail takes you out to Capilano bridge you can cross over to Capilano park and continue on those trails as there is another section of single track beside the main trail but I’ve written enough so I better stop. These are somewhat technical and challenging trails so not for everyone but if you are confident on single track this one might be for you.

  2. Andres Garcia Guerra says:

    where was that first photo taken?

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