Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, wild and wonderful in winter
If you need a break from the city this weekend but do not want to drive far, then take a short trip to Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. Vast and spectacular, a walk here leave you feeling upbeat, refreshed and fantastic. This relatively new park if one of my favourite nature walks in my new guidebook.
Alberta’s trademark big blue skies are a constant companion while walking at Glenbow Ranch. And when the clouds roll in, the textures and patterns against the blue backdrop draw your eyes high. The Chinook arch is especially impressive, for its distinctive straight-line cloud formation and for its warm westerly winds, a welcome respite in mid-January. Be prepared, the winds can be fierce here, especially pre-Chinook, when gusts preempt the rise in temperatures.
Vast and open, the park is situated along the north bank of the Bow River between Calgary and Cochrane in Rocky View County, Glenbow Ranch hosts 25 km of interconnecting paved and gravel pathways. Rolling grasslands lead to un-obscured views of the Bow River Valley and the Rockies beyond followed by dips into the shelter of aspen-filled coulees. And you will see trains. Since 1883 trains have travelled through this piece of prairie as part of their cross-Canada trek.
In 1934, the Glenbow Sheep and Horse Ranch was sold to Eric Harvey. Hats off to Eric’s son, Neil Harvie and his family for donating this pristine peace of prairie heaven to the government of Alberta in 2006. Albertans can now share in the beauty of this western landscape.
Take a break and treat yourself to a walk in the park this weekend. For more information check the Glenbow Ranch Foundation website.