Providing the best in historically authentic living history, Fort Edmonton Park is nestled on 158 acres of beautiful wooded parkland al... more »ong Edmonton's picturesque river valley. The Park is just 15 minutes from downtown Edmonton and 10 minutes from the world famous West Edmonton Mall.
Fort Edmonton Park first opened in May of 1974 and has grown to become home to more than 80 historical buildings arranged into four eras of Edmonton's history. The 1846 Hudson's Bay Fort, 1885 Street, 1905 Street and 1920 Street.
The Park is also home to the historic Hotel Selkirk, a 1920's Midway, the Yukon & Pacific steam engine and train, four original early 1900's street cars as well as buggy rides, wagon rides and a stagecoach. In mid-summer of 2011, the new 250-seat Capitol Theatre will be opening to the public featuring an extraordinary short film on the history of Edmonton.
Historical interpreters dressed in period costume bring Fort Edmonton Park to life by engaging visitors into Edmonton's world 100-150 years ago. The attendance figures for visitors to Fort Edmonton Park over the past few years has averaged in the area of 200,000 people. The Park is open on a seasonal basis in the summer, and in 2011 it opens on May 21 through to August 28, as well as all the weekends in September.
Not only is Fort Edmonton Park a top tourist destination, it is also home to a very pleasant walk around it's borders. Easy access to the Fort's parking lot makes for an easy starting point. You pass the John Janzen Nature Centre on the way to the trail head on your left with Fort Edmonton Park on your Right. If you time it right, you will get to see the Park's fully operational steam engine pass by.
The first half of the trail is all paved with gentle changes in elevation and is accessible for all people. On your way you will pass information markers discussing the history, tree and animal species you will see. Something new this year, and jointly funded by the RVA, is the new Fort Edmonton Footbridge and connecting trail systems. The trail system linking the new bridge is all paved and the bridge itself is spectacular. You get tremendous views of the River Valley and of the massive staircase up the Patricia Ravine. Don't pass up the opportunity to take some great photos.
Walking back, you enter the bottom half of the trail system which is a packed gravel path. There is a elevation change at the beginning of the trail, but after that, the trail runs parallel to the park with little change in elevation. It is very pleasant to walk in the trees with the river on your left. You can continue walking up to the WhiteMud Ravine on the connecting trail system or head back to the parking lot. less «