Top 3 spots
By Morenike Ajidagba
Summer 2020 has been quite an interesting one for many of the inhabitants of the City of Edmonton. Most especially if you are the outdoorsy type and had plans for enjoying the summer. However, do not be dismayed because there are a range of activities to engage in outdoors around the city. There is hope that this summer can still be enjoyed to the fullest! As part of our research into bicycle accessibility, below we list some places that are the most accessible for bicyclists in Edmonton. The Edmonton River Valley trail systems are one of the largest areas for cycling and hiking in Edmonton as they span over a range of public parks and facilities. We explore some spots to visit along this popular biking trail.
You can start off at Emily Murphy Park which is named after one of Edmonton’s notable citizens and women’s activist, Emily Murphy. It is located on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River and contains several parking stalls where you may park your vehicle if you wish to start here. It also contains several picnic sites if you would like to lounge around before getting started on the cycling journey.
Alternatively, this park has a great viewpoint of the North Saskatchewan River which could be a great spot for taking amazing scenic pictures of Edmonton. Depending on the group of people that may be going on this trail, if there are children in the biking party, you can plan to spend the whole day biking in and around Emily Murphy Park. There is also a playground in the park for the children.
Kinsmen Park is located about 5 km east of Emily Murphy. Similar to Emily Murphy Park, Kinsmen park is quite family friendly with several picnic sites and sporting fields. This spot also offers plenty of engaging activities for children such as the Grizzly Bear Lodge Park and Kinsmen Spray Park.
If you are biking with a group of young adults perhaps you may want to continue down Groat Road and 109 street to The High Level Bridge, which is close to University of Alberta campus and our city’s famous Whyte Avenue.
A report in 2016 stated that the High Level bridge was the busiest cycling route in Edmonton with 3,000 – 4,000 users daily. This cycling path can be useful for seeing the North Saskatchewan River in all its glory and perhaps taking some scenic shots of the whole span of the river. It is especially a beautiful sight to behold at sunset when illuminating lights come on across the whole bridge.
High Level bridge also connects you to a variety of different places. On the northwest side of the bridge, Constable Ezio Faraone Park sits on top of the river valley which can be admired by sitting at one the many park benches. Alberta Legislature Building, located on the northeast side of the bridge, also offers several green spaces such as the Lois Hole Memorial Garden. This area has a great place to set up a picnic and enjoy the sunshine. The bridge also conveniently connects to other paved walkways/biking paths that lead to the cusp of downtown Edmonton.
Continuing south of the river on 109 street, the High Level Bridge also connects into Old Strathcona district and our city’s famous Whyte Avenue, which is usually lively and active during summer with places to sit and eat.
So as we continue into August, these are just a few of the places to visit around the river valley loop in Edmonton. Do you know any more and what do you think of them? Please comment below.