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7 of Edmonton’s Best Trails to Get You in Motion

I hate going to the gym. Full stop. This hate has been complicated, and perhaps even intensified, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst increased time at home has definitely increased my carb intake and tightened my jeans, it has also strengthened my weariness of the gym. Thus, I have been faced with the ultimate conundrum: how can I keep fit whilst maintaining social distancing, avoiding high touch areas, and staying out of the gym? Well, lucky for me--and you too!--Edmonton has a large variety of beautiful trails to explore. According to the City of Edmonton, our city has over 160 kilometers of trails to keep you fit and entertained, even as the weather continues to cool. So bundle up, put on some comfortable shoes, maybe even grab a pal from within your cohort, and hit the trails!


Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park Loop Trail

Wilfrid Laurier Park is one of many parks located in the River Valley and is situated near the Valley Zoo. Featuring several dedicated picnic spots and river views, this is a relatively short loop that is rated as easy, with little gain in elevation. You can find a map of this specific loop HERE, but feel free to explore the park however you wish!


Kinsmen Park Trail 

If you have ever taken the LRT over the bridge to or from the campus, it is likely that you’ve glanced down at this trail. This walk has views of the river, as well as both High Level and Walterdale Bridges. Again, this is a relatively short and easy trail with little gains in elevation. You can find this particular loop map HERE


Emily Murphy Park Trail

Located along the river valley between Kinsmen and Hawrelak parks, this park and trail are renowned for their views of Downtown. This park and its trails are also adjacent to several other trails in the area, meaning you can explore to your heart’s content! This is also a trail that is considered to be easy and is relatively short. You can find more information about this trail, as well as a map HERE


River Loop Trail

One of the longer trails on this list, the River Loop Trail will take you across the river twice. It will also take you through both the University of Alberta Forest Reserve and Victoria Park. You are sure to come across several beautiful views on this trail, which, despite its longer length, is rated as easy. You can find the map for this trail HERE


Capilano Foot Bridge Trail 

Located in Capilano Park, this is the shortest and perhaps easiest trail on the list. It is a well-known nature lookout and offers great views of Downtown. It is an out and back style walk, meaning that once you cross the river you will need to turn around and cross again to make it back to your starting point. You can find more information HERE


Gold Bar Park Loop

Gold Bar Park is located in the southern bank of the River Valley, just across from Rundle Park. This park not only features river views, but two lakes, an off-leash area, and even cross country ski trails. This is a short and easy trail, perfect for when you’re looking for a quick way to get outside and moving. You can find a map of this specific trail HERE


Rundle Park Riverside Trail

Rundle Park, once again situated along the River Valley, features several human-made lakes, thick forest, and footbridges to cross the river. This specific trail is a bit longer in length and is rated moderately difficult. As well, this park and trail connect to the aforementioned Gold Bar Park and trail system if you are looking to explore more or want an even longer walk. You can find the loop map and more information HERE


    As always, if you do plan on exploring any of the above trails, please be sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask where required. Similarly, if you choose to take a buddy, this buddy should be someone from your household or COVID-19 safe cohort. Further, if you are feeling sick, please consider rescheduling your walk for another day, even if you are planning on going alone. As cases continue to rise in the city and province, we must be vigilant to keep ourselves and those around us safe. Happy walking!


Stephanie Shin

U Alberta '22

Stephanie Shin (she/her) is a third year honours pre-law student, majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. When she's not studying fervently, you can find her enjoying a book, sipping at a cup of tea, playing with her miniature dachshund, Bentley, and spending entirely too much money on food.
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