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Fish Creek Provincial Park is a gem within the City of Calgary. A largely linear park, it stretches along its namesake Fish Creek from 37th St. SW on the west to past the Bow River on the east. It has a mix of paved and non-paved trails, although I found the paved trails hard to avoid. I entered Fish Creek P.P. via 37th Street and then onto Woodpath Road SW, where I parked and began my run. I began on the paved path that winds its way through the park and then quickly headed southwest (right) onto a non-paved snowy trail that crossed a bridge. I trail soon crossed a branch of the creek and headed directly up a small cliff. I scrambled up the cliff and tried to locate the trail again. Eventually I found it and ran along the top of the cliff with some nice views of the creek and wider landscape. The trail mellowed its way down the cliff until I was on flat terrain again and running on the far side of the creek on some nice single track. This was enjoyable, but ended all too soon as I ran into the paved path (again) as well as a sign for a developer who is putting some homes up adjacent to the trail and park. So much for the serenity – guess I shouldn’t have expected much still being within city limits. I followed on the paved trail, crossed the next bridge and then entered a large wide meadow. It’s was a nice break from the single track, but was a bit windy. After the meadow the paved path got a bit tighter and a few minutes later I was back at my vehicle, breathing heavily and enjoying a beautiful sunny December day. Total time running was a short 35 minutes – though 10 minutes was spent backtracking to get the camera memory to capture the pictures below. Overall the run was a nice break from my usual runs on Nose Hill and Bowmont, but the overabundance of paved paths was a definite downside. The park is quite large, so there is probably much more potential than I experienced. The best parts of this run were the views, the quaint creekside scenery and the relatively solitude when off the paved path. The elevation is pretty minimal, although there is enough variety to keep you interested on some of the single track. See you on the trails!
Park Map can be found here: http://www.tpr.alberta.ca/parks/fishcreek/PDF/fcpp%20map.pdf
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