The ends of Buena Vista Park and the Ravine systems are well known, but hiking the park along the riverside is a challenging and... more » rewarding way to spend your day. This hike takes you from the grounds of Government House, into Government House Park, through Buena Vista Park then up into the communities overlooking the river valley. On the way you will pass over the Ramsey and MacKinnon Ravine trail systems. You will also get to see some of the best look out points in the city and enjoy some of its nicer neighbourhoods.
From the grounds of Government House, you travel down a steep path onto the paved trails of Government House Park towards Mackinnon Ravine Park. As the paved trail heads up into the ravine system, there is an alternate route you can take along the river. There are signs at either end of the first part of the trail describing the trail as difficult and offers an alternate route around this section of river. However, this route is used by bike clubs on a regular basis and is safe to explore if you are wearing the right footwear.
The more difficult part of the trail lasts just over a kilometer and you can expect elevation changes, exposed roots and slippery sections. You will also get to experience great river views and view wildlife. One of the best features of this hike is that you will find yourself surrounded by trees on all sides at different points. It almost seems like you are no longer in the city.
Once you pass the more technical part of the path, the trail condition continues to improve until you are on groomed gravel trails. You still get to enjoy nature at its finest as you wind your way along the river until our exit point just before the Hawrelak Park Pedestrian Bridge . You can arrange a pickup at this point or enjoy a walk through some of the quietest neighbourhoods in the city. Walking in the neighbourhoods above the park, you will get to see some of the greatest views of the river valley, so keep your camera handy. There is also a lot of interesting houses to look at as you wind your way back to the grounds of Royal Alberta Museum. A quick trip around the grounds and then go enjoy lunch inside the museum. You earned it! less «