Discover Fish Creek Provincial Park – Wolf Willow’s Impressive Neighbour
One of the most exciting Wolf Willow amenities is Fish Creek Provincial Park. The park is directly attached to the community at the north end by way of a newly constructed access point and parking lot, for the convenience of Wolf Willow residents and other Calgarians alike. Ultimately, there will be a total of five access points between Wolf Willow and Fish Creek Park, all connected to the larger system of pathways along the Bow River. Many Calgarians are familiar with this wonderful natural space conveniently located in the middle of the city, but at an enormous 3,330 acres, there’s always something new to discover. Fish Creek Park is Canada’s second largest urban park, four times the size of New York’s Central Park and features over 80 kilometres of recreational trails.
You know about the walking trails and have your favourite picnic spot. But we’ve assembled this list of new activities for you to try so you can enjoy everything that this Alberta provincial park has to offer.
Here are eight fun things to do in Fish Creek Provincial Park that you might not have known about.
Fish, Birdwatch or Geocache
Some of the most commonly used areas of the park are its day use areas. These are parts of the park available first-come, first-served to all visitors for single-day use. Designed for activities like fishing, birding, geocaching, and more, this is your chance to try something new during a day at the park.
Like many Alberta provincial parks, Fish Creek is home to lots of animals. From little critters like frogs and squirrels, to larger forest dwellers like deer and coyotes, lots of different animals live in the park. If you’re a fan of birds, the park has created a comprehensive list of all the birds that have been spotted in the area, where they’re found and how common they are. Remember, no matter how friendly the animals may seem, they are all wild and should not be approached by people. Enjoy the wildlife from a distance.
Canoe & Kayak
Fish Creek Park gets its name from Fish Creek which runs through the park and connects with the Bow River. Pathways and trails along these waterways area an excellent way to enjoy a day by the water in Calgary. That’s not all you can do though—along the Bow River you’ll find the Fish Creek PP Boat Launch Area. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or you can rent a boat (or a raft!) at one of many rental businesses in Calgary. Visit Paddle Station or Lazy Day Raft Rentals to learn more about enjoying a day floating down the Bow.
If you want to go for a dip, you can visit Sikome Lake. This man-made lake offers visitors an escape from the city on hot summer days with all the modern amenities you want. Showers, bathrooms and even a snack bar mean you can enjoy a full day at the beach, right in the middle of Calgary. Day passes for swimming are available to purchase for $2–5 per person, with discounted rates available for families and season passes. Check online for updates about closures and regulations.
The historic Bow Valley Ranche is a designated provincial historic resource located in Fish Creek Provincial Park. Visit to learn about the history of the building and surrounding ranch land or enjoy a fine dining experience in the renovated Ranche building itself. You can even book the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, showers or corporate events.
Just outside the Ranche, you’ll find the Artisan Gardens. Described as an “art gallery in nature,” this outdoor garden includes 175 artworks from 75 different artists, all surrounded by the natural beauty of the park. With both impressive art and stunning plant life in abundance, the Artisan Gardens are a true feast for the eyes, open for viewing all year round.
Did you know there’s an entire golf course located in Fish Creek Park? That’s right, McKenzie Meadows Golf Course includes 18 holes, a driving range and practice facilities, along with a fully-stocked pro shop. Enjoy your favourite sport in the stunning natural beauty of Fish Creek Provincial Park. Visit their website to book a tee time.
Ski & Snowshoe
Don’t let the winter chill keep you from enjoying Alberta’s provincial parks. Fish Creek has lots to offer during the winter months, including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Of course, safety comes first, and that means some activities are not recommended, including walking or skiing over frozen waterways. If you don’t regularly participate in outdoor activities in the winter, check out this handy page of safety tips for enjoying the Fish Creek Park during the colder months.
Getting to Fish Creek Provincial Park
If you live in Wolf Willow, the fun starts on the journey to Fish Creek! Thanks to the now more than 1,000 km of paved pathways and trails in Calgary, it’s easy to walk or bike to the park from anywhere in Wolf Willow. View the map to see how the trails provide an easy path directly into nature.
If you’re outside Wolf Willow, be sure to check out the map of the park, with all parking and roadways indicated, so you can find the best route to the part of the park you wish to access.