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Though we love heading out west to the mountains, south to the foothills or east to the badlands, there are some days we like sticking fairly close to Calgary. On those days we look to one of the magnificent parks in the region. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park opened last summer and has become one of our favourite parks to visit. Located about 15 km west of the city, it’s only a 20 minute drive from our front door. A few weeks ago, we headed out as a post-nap, pre-dinner, in search for spring, toddler hike and had a great time exploring.

With woods and grasslands to explore, the river, a small pond, wildlife, flowers and expansive views it’s a great way to spend an hour or an entire day. Did I mention the train that passes through the park? There’s an extensive trail system, including paved trails for bicycling. We have yet to explore the entire park. A couple of our favourite trails is the Yodel Loop and Tiger Lily trails. The Yodel Loop is about 3 km long with a couple of hills and gives you great views of the entire valley. Interpretive signs along the trail tell of the historic significance of the ranch. At just over 2 km long, with only one significant hill, the Tiger Lily Loop is a great short hike for toddlers.

Other portions of the park include the Bow River, the Corrals and other abandoned buildings. The park is quite exposed – it can get hot on a summer’s day and cold on a winter’s day – so always make sure you dress appropriately. As with any hike make sure to bring sufficient water as well as a snack.

Get out and enjoy a trail near (or far from) you. 

*Hiking is exposes participants to a wide range hazards. The information contained within this post is a guide only, and individuals must consider their own knowledge, experience and level of physical ability.