The Greenway

I have been surprised to hear how few people know about the “Rotary Mattamy Greenway”! Well, let’s change that!!

I did not know that much about “the Greenway” either, and decided to find out! As is customary these days, I went to Google first:

“This will be the largest pathway system in the world.” – Naheed Nenshi, Mayor City of Calgary

Parks Foundation Calgary is building on Calgary’s nearly 1,000 km of pathways with the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway Project. When complete, the Greenway will be a 138km network of parks and pathways that will encircle the city: specialty off-leash dog parks, family fitness parks, educational wetland interpretive areas, and unique play structures. The Greenway will be a year-round destination for cyclists, cross-country skiers, runners, walkers, nature lovers, and kids of all ages to play outdoors. Directly connecting to 55 Calgary communities in all four quadrants, and to The City of Calgary’s existing pathway network, makes the Greenway accessible to all Calgarians. When completed, the Greenway will be the longest urban pathway and park system in the world. See more.

We then decided to ‘do’ the Greenway a couple of weeks ago. We did some research and rounded up a few Rotarians to join us. Dave and Sue Impey from Calgary West, Phil Hochausen from Calgary Heritage and Len Kushner from Calgary South.

We decided to split up the 138km into two days. On day #1 we would cycle the West and North legs and day #2 the East and South legs.

We set off with three fellow Rotarians on Saturday 30th July at 9am from Grey Eagle hotel. Headed north, through Glamorgan making our way to Westhills shopping centre. The north, along the west side of Sarcee Trail before dropping down into Edworthy Park. We crossed the Bow River and cycled on the north side of the river, through Shouldice Park and the neighbourhoods of Montgomery, Varsity and Sliver Springs, enjoying wonderful sights of Bowness and Canada Olympic park.

We crossed under Stoney Trail and made our way northward under Nose Hill Drive and through the beautiful neighbourhood of Tuscany, offering us fantastic views of the city.

We enjoyed a welcome pit stop at Tim Hortons (Nose Hill Drive) along the way. We reached the LRT station in Tuscany. This is where Dave and Sue decided to head home, as they had a prior commitment, and took the LRT.

Phil, Ariën and I pressed on northward, lapping up the scenic pathways as it meandered through the suburbs of Royal Oak, Sherwood Simons Vally, Kincora and Evanston. We enjoyed a free lunch break in Evanston at an “Organ Donation” awareness tent. The burger was delicious and re-energized us as we continued on eastward. In a couple of spots the pathway has not been completed (this is marked in red on the map).

We continued on and eventually the pathway cam to an abrupt end at 14th street NW – a dirt road to the Balzac road and then east to Centre Street and south on Centre Street down to Stoney trail. A long detour, but enjoying being out on the country roads.

 
The north section from Centre Street, heading east to the south leg of Stoney through Coventry Hills, Redstone and Skyview is under construction and will be completed shortly – I would guess to say in the Summer of 2017! Hopefully!

My niece Megan, picked us up that evening and took us home. We enjoyed a good sleep at home. Bright and early the next morning Megan dropped us back in the north east, allowing us to complete the circumnavigation of Calgary on the Greenway.

We headed south from Skyview on 6th street NE, and crossed Country Hills Boulevard. Countinued on through Saddleridge play park. Then southward, cycling along the west side of Stoney Trail. The pathway winds its way through the grass fields and around the ponds along the way. Just beautiful – through Taradale and Coral Springs.

The pathway then heads west to the traffic lights where one crosses McKnight Boulevard and then back east into another interpretive wetland. We made our way southward through Monterey Park to 16th avenue NE, taking another west jog to cross at the lights before heading east and south again, to the Memorial Drive Playground Park. We crossed the railway line and headed into Applewood Park.

At 17th avenue SE we enjoyed a stop at Tim Hortons for a welcome coffee break. The route then takes to the streets, with us heading west along 17th avenue SE to 52nd street SE. We cycled south, all the way down 52nd street to the Chestermere canal (south of 98th avenue SE).

 

Once on the canal pathway, we headed east crossing under Stoney trail and on to 84th street SE. Then south through Shepard into Ralph Klein Park. This is where we met up with Phil and Len. Phil was our guide for the next leg. We headed back up 84th street SE and West along 114th avenue SE, under Stoney and then south through the wetlands. The wooden boardwalk meandered through the wetlands was outstanding. As we made our way south towards the South Health Campus, we relied on Phil to guide us through the neighbourhoods of Copperfield, Mahogany and Auburn Bay. It was wonderful to see the newer neighbourhoods in the SE. In fact, cycling the Greenway was an eye opener for us. We visited places that we had never been to before. We didn’t even know that some of them existed!

Once at the South Health Campus the Greenway heads west over Deerfoot Trail and into Cranston with spectacular views of the Rockies and the valley below with the Bow River. Cycling along the ridge was breathtaking. We then dropped down to the Bow River and made our way along the river bank and under Marquis of Lorne Trail. We passed the McKenzie Meadows Golf Club and into Mountain Park. We then crossed the Bow and entered beautiful Fish Creek Provincial Park.

We stopped for lunch at Annie’s. It was then, back into the saddle for the last leg westward to 37th street SW. The Greenway through Fish Creek is absolutely beautiful as it meanders through Fish Creek, crossing the creek several times. The pathway has been completely restored after the flood of 2013.

Then north up to Glenmore Reservoir. There is a bit of a climb as one heads north out of the Fish Creek valley. The pathway follows 37th street SW, and takes you through the Woodlands. One crosses 37th street at the lights and heads into Cedarbrae and Oakridge. It’s a lovely cycle down the hill and then into Weaselhead. Another Gem! The path takes you through the wetlands as it meanders towards Glenmore reservoir and the bridge over the Elbow River.

There is a final steep climb up into Lakeview, then northward up 37th street and back to the Grey Eagle Hotel.

Wow!!

We really got a great feel for Calgary and especially all the new suburbs that are springing up along it’s perimeter. We highly recommend “the Greenway”. It truly is a wonderful way to see the city.

 

A big thank you to Rotary, Mattamy and Parks Foundation Calgary. Hope to see you out there on your bike or walking!

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