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Best 9 Hikes To Do With Your Family (Beginner - Moderate Level) Near Calgary

Published May 29, 2019 | Updated Mar 18, 2020

This summer, add these 9 wonderful hikes to your bucket list! Some right in the city and some just a short drive away, we'll take you past waterfalls, canyons, meadows, and some of the most scenic views in Canada.

We are surrounded by natural beauty whether it be the many parks right around the city or the scenic views and waterfalls only a short drive away. How truly lucky we are!

This summer, spend time as a family getting active and trying out a new hike. Even if you and your kids are new to this, or you're just looking for an easier hike, we've got something on this list for everyone.

Here are 9 of our favourites that you can easily access from Calgary.

1. Bowness Park

A perfect first step to get your kids interested in hiking is going for walks in the park, and you don't have to go far for that. The 30 hectare park offers plenty of flat walking trails, access to Bow River, the lagoon, and there's washrooms, a playground, and wading pool to keep the kids entertained. 

Photo Credit: Mckelvie Group

2. Nose Hill Park

Another easy walking trail located close to home. The rolling grassy hills are especially pretty in the fall, and you get a spectacular view of the city skyline. Nose Hill Park is home to a lot of wildlife from deer and porcupines to small birds, squirrels, and gophers, so keep your eyes peeled as you hike.

Photo Credit: Calgary Playground Review

3. Fish Creek Provincial Park

With over 80km of multi-use pathways, you can go here many times and have a different experience. It's a fun place to bike as there are many paved paths, so it's very safe for kids. Again there is plenty of wildlife to be seen, a great pit stop is at Annie's Bakery for something sweet!

Photo Credit: Alberta Parks

4. Waterfall Valley in Bowmont Park

With many different hiking trails to choose from, our favourite is the trail to Waterfall Valley as the kids love getting to a waterfall, it's like a "prize" to them for their hike, even if it's only a small one. It's only about 1 hour return, but you could easily make it a longer trip by exploring more trails in the park.

Photo Credit: By Buzz Bishop

5. Prairie View Trail

This trail is about a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary. Prairie View is a very popular hike and is known for being a bit more on the challenging side if that's what you're looking for! It is undoubtedly a hidden gem that is worth the trek!

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

6. Grassi Lakes

This is an awesome hike, and only just over an hour drive from the city. There's two different routes to get to the turquoise lakes, the more challenging route takes you through wooded tails and winds past a waterfall (woohoo!) where you then have the steep incline to the lake. If you're okay with keeping it easier and getting straight to the majestic lakes, there's the easier route that's a more gradual slope.

Photo Credit: Flickr

7. Johnston Canyon

A must-see hike with the best 'bang for your buck'. Over a relatively short distance you pass multiple waterfalls, scenic views, and catwalk along the canyon, making it one of the most rewarding hikes you can do as a beginner. However, this comes at a price! This is likely one of the busiest hikes you'll try to do. We suggest trying to time it outside of peak hours, either earlier in the morning, or later in the evening. 

Photo Credit: Town of Banff

8. Troll Falls

One perfect part of Troll Falls is that it's even stroller-friendly. The 3.4km trail is up and down a bit but fairly flat and wide. The long and narrow Troll Falls is quite the sight to see! If you're willing to make it a longer trip, the trail continues past this first set of falls and some people claim to have seen as many as 12!

Photo Credit: Play Outside Guide

9. Emerald Lake Loop

If you're willing to drive further (almost 2.5 hours away) you'll get to one of the most beautiful hikes in Yoho National Park and just an easy walk around a 5.3km trail loop. You'll see avalanche slopes, glaciers, and pristine waters.

Photo Credit: Hike Bike Travel

Hopefully this article helps you find some awesome hiking trails to do with your family! Hiking is a great way to get outside, clear your mind, and get some fresh air. Don't forget to bring your water and sunscreen!

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