5 Trails to Try This Winter
Throw on a warm pair of boots, pick up a hot drink and embrace winter in all of its glory! It’s time to discover some of the greatest parts of Edmonton on foot. Breathe in the crisp air and find a moment of quiet - its the kind of serene feeling that only winter can bring. We've got a hit list of some of the best nearby trails that will leave you with a better appreciation for the season and our beautiful city. Looking for more outdoor adventure? Check out our Best Hikes and Walks article and channel your inner explorer.
No matter how you explore this season, be sure to continue practicing safe physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and following the guidelines put in place to keep everyone safe.
WILLIAM HAWRELAK PARK
LENGTH: 2-3 KM (Aprx 30 mins)
Hawrelak Park is a great place to start when exploring the city in winter. It's an easy choice if you’re not a big hiker and is also perfect if you have young kids in tow. A simple walk around the rink offers a picturesque setting, and if you're looking for more you can always head to the forest trail on the west side of the park. Feeling extra adventurous? When the lake freezes over, bring a pair of skates and try your hand at a triple-axel!
Food and drink nearby: Culina by the Lake offers burgers, snacks, hot chocolate, craft beer and more in the main building by the lake.
GRANDIN TO GROAT LOOP
LENGTH: 5.5 KM (Aprx 1-1.5 hrs.)
More than half of this loop has so much tree cover that you’ll forget you’re even in the city. The rest of the route has great views of the river and the downtown skyline. Some breathtaking photo ops can be had at the trailhead in Ezio Farone Park or on the Dudley B. Menzies footbridge. There are some brief inclines during this hike and portions can get a little icy, so make sure you wear good winter boots and bring a sense of adventure!
FUNICULAR TO WALTERDALE LOOP
LENGTH: 6 KM (Aprx 1-1.5 hrs.)
This hike is a great mix of city and nature. We recommend starting off at the Instagram-worthy 100 Street Funicular, which gives easy access by way of two elevators into the river valley trail system (plus you get a fantastic view from top). Next, you’ll cross the historic steel low-level bridge and dip back under the bridge to start off on the trail next to the river. Most of the south side path winds its way through beautiful tree covered trails, encountering two tiny neighbourhoods nestled off of Scona Road. The trail ends with a jaunt over the futuristic Walterdale Bridge and a walk through Rossdale, meandering past historic sites like the old brick power plant.
WALTERDALE BRIDGE TO TAWATINA BRIDGE
LENGTH: 7.1 KM (Aprx 1.5 hrs.)
Walterdale Bridge to Tawatinâ Bridge is a 7.1 kilometre out-and-back trail that features beautiful views of the river and is good for all skill levels. Tawatinâ, the new pedestrian bridge that runs under the LRT line, is 260 metres long and features more than 400 stunning Indigenous artworks. This is a must-visit for lovers of nature, art and expansive snow-covered vistas. The snow can get a little packed in certain areas, so proper footwear is a must. Consider adding traction devices like crampons to your shoes which will help you navigate the ice!
RIVERDALE TO CLOVERDALE LOOP
LENGTH: 8 KM (Aprx 2 hrs.)
Which way to head first on this hike depends on how hungry you are! The lovely Little Brick Cafe is situated in Riverdale and is a perfect excuse to head out for a winter walk. Stop in and enjoy their cozy winter patio, which is fully equipped with outdoor heaters. You’ll either hit this cafe about 30 minutes in, heading east through Louise McKinney Park or 1.5 hours in after passing through two riverside parks and the ultra-blue Dawson Bridge. Be sure to take a moment at the overlook near McNally School, which offers an amazing view of the city skyline.
Note: Due to LRT construction, you will have to use a detour to complete this trail. To avoid construction, take Grierson Hill out of Louise McKinney Park, and then head back down Cameron Avenue to rejoin the trail at Riverdale Park.
Food and drink nearby: Little Brick Cafe.