Fish Creek Provincial Park
At the southern edge of the city, this 1,170-hectare (2,900-acre) park is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The site—much of which was once owned by Patrick Burns, the meat magnate—was officially declared a park in 1975. Three geographical regions meet in the area, giving the park a diversity of habitat. Stands of aspen and spruce predominate, but a mixed-grass prairie, as well as balsam, poplar, and willow, can be found along the floodplains at the east end of the park.
The ground is colorfully carpeted with 364 recorded species of wildflowers, and wildlife is abundant. Mule, deer, and ground squirrels are common, and white-tailed deer, coyotes, beavers, and the occasional moose are also present. An interpretive trail begins south of Bow Valley Ranch and leads through a grove of balsam and poplar to a shallow, conglomerate cave.
The easiest access to the heart of the park is to turn east on Canyon Meadows Drive from Macleod Trail, then south on Bow River Bottom Trail.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition