Looking for a great spot to hike with kids in Calgary? There are tons of family friendly trails located right in Calgary or within an approximately one hour drive of the city. The trails on our list are short, easy trails for little legs. They also have plenty of interesting features, such as bridges, boardwalks, creeks & waterfalls, to keep little kids engaged and motivated.
Here are our picks for the best hikes for kids in and around Calgary, Alberta:
Waterfall Valley Trail, Calgary, AB
Waterfall Valley is definitely one of the best hikes for kids in Calgary. This is a short, but super fun little trail located in Bowmont Park in the Silver Springs neighbourhood of northwest Calgary. The trail features a long boardwalk that descends into a valley, winds alongside a small creek & ends at a beautiful little waterfall and lookout over the Bow River. If you’re looking for a great effort to reward ratio, this hike it is!
To find the trail, park in the lot located at the corner of Silver Springs Blvd NW and 54 Ave NW. From the parking lot, take the paved path into the park. When you reach the fork in the path (only about 100 m from the parking lot), turn right. The paved path will begin to wind down into the valley. You will come upon the Waterfall Valley Trailhead on your left. The first part of the trail is a dirt path and can be quite mucky after the snow melts – be sure to wear your rubber boots!
Troll Falls, Kananaskis, AB
Troll Falls is a classic hike for Calgary kids. The trail is approximately 3.5 km out and back. It is located just over an hour outside of Calgary right near the Kananaskis village. This trail is wide and mostly flat so it is stroller friendly (jogging or trail style stroller).
There are a couple of small bridges along the route and a couple of spots with some beautiful views of the mountains. But the real gem of this hike is the beautiful waterfall at the end of the hike. If you have older children or if you can carry your little ones in a backpack carrier, you may wish to extend your hike to the Upper Falls, which adds an additional 0.9km out and back.
Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk, Canmore, AB
Policeman’s Creek Boardwalk is an absolutely stunning walking trail located right in the town of Canmore. The boardwalk is about 3.9km long but it is easy to do only a short portion of the path since there are several entry and exit points and it is located right in the middle of town.
The boardwalk winds alongside the creek and wetland areas. There are some treed areas as well. But the absolute best part of this walk is the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Cochrane, AB
Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is an amazing spot to hike with kids near Calgary, AB. The park is located about 30 minutes north of downtown Calgary, in between Airdrie & Cochrane. The Park has two short loops (approx 1.5 km) that can easily be completed by young children. The best part of this park is that part of the trail follows alongside beautiful waterfalls & a flowing creek. There is a picnic area right next to the parking lot, which overlooks a shallow part of the creek. This is a super fun spot to let kids have a splash in the water! Small bridges & boardwalks along the path are also great little points of interest to keep little kids motivated.
Note that parts of the trail can be very wet and/or icy depending on the weather, so young children may need help. In winter, crampons may be needed. Since there are many stairs along the trail, Big Hill Springs is NOT stroller-friendly. Outhouses are located at the parking lot.
For more information about Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, click here.
Cochrane Ranche, Cochrane, AB
Cochrane Ranche, located 35 minutes northwest of downtown Calgary is a beautiful, natural space for walks & hikes with young children. The main trail is stroller-friendly. If you do not have a stroller, you can also venture off the main trail to beautiful viewpoints on the northwest side of the path. Or, head across one of the picturesque bridges to the southeast side of the creek where you can walk alongside the creek & visit the beautiful Grandfather Tree.
If you are interested in learning about the history of the area, there is a small museum on site. There are also lots of picnic areas with fire pits and bathrooms located beside the parking lot.
For more information about Cochrane Ranche, click here.
Griffith Woods, Southwest Calgary, AB
Griffith Woods is located only 15 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary. This is a bit of a hidden gem. Even on beautiful weekend days, it is typically easy to find parking & to find your own space within the park. Our favourite part of Griffith Woods is having access to the beautiful Elbow River & especially, shallow spots (in late summer) where the kids can roam & explore on their own.
There are also plenty of other exciting features to explore within the park, including ponds & bridges. If you’re looking for a beautiful nature space to just let the kids play, this is a great choice!
The main trail through the park is paved & stroller-friendly. There are outhouses located beside the parking lot.
For more information about Griffith Woods Park, click here.
Know of some other great hikes for kids in Calgary? We’d love to hear about it!