Fish Creek Park Day Use Areas to Visit Near Wolf Willow
One of Wolf Willow’s features we love to highlight the most is its close proximity to Calgary’s beautiful nature reserve – Fish Creek Provincial Park. The community is directly attached to the nature park, making it easy to hit the trails whenever the mood strikes.
Currently, there is one access point to the park, with an attached parking lot for easy access regardless of where you live. There will be a total of five entrances to the provincial park from Wolf Willow, with a second entrance coming soon during phase 9 construction.
Fish Creek Park Areas Within Walking or Biking Distance from Wolf Willow
In addition to the many walking paths and hiking trails, Fish Creek Park is home to 13 Day Use areas, 3 Group Use Areas, 2 Special Facilities, and 1 Visitor Centre. We rounded up our favourite park areas in south Calgary that are within walking or biking distance of Wolf Willow that you can visit on your next outing into Fish Creek.
Lafarge Meadows is the closest location to Wolf Willow, coming in at only a 30-minute walk or 8-minute bike ride away! Spanning 60 hectares, you’ll find these engineered wetlands just south of Stoney Trail. It’s a lovely place to visit if you want to wander the walking paths close to home while seeing lots of local wildlife.
You’d never know from its current appearance, but Lafarge Meadows used to be a large gravel mining pit for about 25 years. These days, the engineered wetlands are a diverse habitat for local wildlife, including insects, birds, amphibians, and mammals.
There are no fire pits or picnic tables available in Lafarge Meadows.
Fish Creek Boat Launch
The next stop after Lafarge Meadows is the Boat Launch point for south Calgary. Coming in at a 40-minute walk or 10-minute bike ride from Wolf Willow, this area grants easy access to the Bow River, so a relaxing day of floating on the river in a raft, kayaking, or canoeing is at your fingertips. If boating isn’t for you, this day use area is also a great place to take in the wildlife, relax near the Bow, or even do a little fishing from the shore.
The Fish Creek Boat Launch is open from April 1 to September 30, as long as it is safe access to the river. There are no picnic tables or fire pits allowed here.
Chinook Rotary Nature Park
On the east bank of the Bow River, you’ll find the Chinook Rotary Nature Park. This area of Fish Creek has wide paved paths, so it’s perfect for walking the dog, running, or biking. It’s a 45-minute walk or 11-minute bike ride from Wolf Willow, though it also has a parking lot for easy access.
Like many of the other day use areas, Chinook Rotary Nature Park is filled with engineered wetlands. A lot of local birds call this area their home, so it’s a great place to do some bird watching. Here you’ll most likely find red winged black birds, spotted sandpipers, and American white pelicans.
There are no picnic tables or fires allowed at this nature preserve, but pit toilets are available between April 1 and September 30.
Please note – at the time of this blog’s original publish date, the pedestrian pathway along Stoney Trail is currently closed to due bridge construction. It’s scheduled to reopen in autumn 2023. The only way to currently access Chinook Rotary Nature Park from Wolf Willow is via the parking lot.
Sikome Aquatic Facility
With the weather warming up, Calgarians will be looking towards hitting the beaches! Sikome Aquatic Facility is a public man-made lake in south Calgary. For those living in Wolf Willow, it’s a 46-minute walk or 11-minute bike ride away from the community.
Also known as Sikome Lake, this hotspot is a relaxing escape from the dry summer heat. Packed with modern amenities like showers, bathrooms, and even a snack bar, you’ll be set for a full day of beach fun! Both day passes and season passes are available for purchase, either for individuals or for families at discounted rates.
Visit the Alberta Parks website for updates about closures, cost for passes, services, and regulations for Sikome Lake here.
If you and the family want to enjoy a picnic in the woods, Hulls Wood is calling your name! It’s about a 51-minute walk or a 13-minute bike ride away from Wolf Willow. This nature preserve is a fan favourite of those frequenting Fish Creek Park. Due to its beautiful amphitheatre, it’s often a popular venue for events and weddings. Tons of wildlife live nearby and there are many beautiful flowers in the area, so bring your camera with you as you hit the trails!
Hulls Wood has picnic tables and fire pits available, so it’s the perfect place to go if you want to enjoy a scenic lunch by the Bow River or host an evening get-together with friends and family and make s’mores. There are also full washrooms available year-round, and it’s near the Bow Valley Ranche Visitor Centre if you want to get some ice cream from Annie’s Café afterwards.
Bow Valley Ranche & Annie’s Café
Situated in the heart of Fish Creek Park, you’ll find the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant and Annie’s Café. About an hour walk or 16-minute bike ride away from Wolf Willow, this area is a common departure point for many of the surrounding pathways.
Former farmhouse turned café, you’ll find a delicious menu of items to choose from, like coffee, ice cream, baked goods, soups, sandwiches, and more. Annie’s Café is perfect as a pit stop or relaxing destination. After grabbing your food or drink, don’t forget to take a stroll through the Artisan Gardens just outside the cafe, which features 175 works of art from 75 artists.
Or stop by the historical Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant for afternoon tea or reserve a table for a fine dining experience. Rated one of the best restaurants in Calgary, the Bow Valley Ranche is a popular destination to host social events, such as weddings, corporate events, birthdays, and more.
If you’re interested in testing out your mountain biking skills or doing some birdwatching, head on over to the Burnsmead! Coming in at an hour and 12-minute walk or 20-minute bike ride away from Wolf Willow, this day use area runs along the Bow River. There are many pathways here around engineered wetlands teeming with local bird life, so it’s another wonderful area to go bird watching.
Near the entrance to Burnsmead, you can practice your mountain bike skills. This family-oriented park is focused on providing a safe opportunity for individuals to improve their off-road cycling regardless of skill level. Admission to the skills park is also free, so stop by whenever the mood strikes you or to get some practice in before your next big adventure!
There are no picnic tables or fires allowed in Burnsmead.
An hour and 25-minute walk or 22-minute bike ride from Wolf Willow lies Bankside. Here on the west side of the Bow River, you’ll find long stretches of walking paths through groves of popular trees. If you want to take a break after a relaxing and rejuvenating walk through the woods, there are picnic tables available – though fire pits are not allowed.
Coming in at a 2-hour walk or 30 min bike ride, Mallard Point is one of our favourite locations in Fish Creek Park! Situated along the Bow River corridor, this location is perfect for fishing, bird watching, and relaxing next to the Bow. There are also plenty of paved paths and dirt trails for biking, running, or strolling through the woods.
There are no picnic tables or fires allowed in Mallard Point.
Live Near Fish Creek Park
Want to live near Fish Creek Park so you can always have easy access to these destinations? The next phases of lots in Wolf Willow are coming soon for purchase. Phases 9 and 4 are also set to start construction this year. Phase 4 has lots backing onto Fish Creek, giving you even easier access to the nature park, while Phase 9 will include a connection to the Bow River, as well as the 2 new parks. Both new parks, fish and deer, will be designed in 2022 and built in 2023.
To see which lots are still available for purchase, check out our interactive lot map. Or sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Instagram to know when the lots are released and other community updates.
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