Of all the seasons, Edmonton is known for its summers: festivals, the intense heat, and sunny days. Autumn in our city is often overlooked. During fall, the river valley explodes with warm colours as the sun provides the final days of warm weather. This season can be quite short, smothered by a winter that crashes down overnight. Here are some walking trails in the core to help you enjoy autumn while it’s here.
The Alberta Legislature is the first pick for this list, despite it not technically being a trail. The government building is surrounded by 23 hectares of paths, monuments, manicured fields, fountains, and trees. Come equipped with a big sweater, hot chocolate, and a camera.
No list of walking trails in the core would be complete without mentioning Victoria Park. This trail is beautiful but has some elevation change into and out of the river valley. The multi-use trail starts at around 100 Avenue and 116 Street. Walk west along Victoria Park Road, which curves onto the Groat Road Bridge, but be sure to turn left onto River Valley Road before crossing the river. Take your next left again at the other end of Victoria Park, and you will return to where you started. This path is about three kilometres.
Another option is the network of paths within Victoria Park. For those who are walking to Victoria Park, the best way to access this network is to walk down the staircase and 100 Avenue and 120 Street.
97TH AVENUE TO IRENE PARLBY PARK
So you’ve spent some time at the Alberta Legislature grounds, but are hungry for more autumn air. Starting at the Alberta Legislature, head east. You’ll know you’re going the right way if you’re on a paved multi-use path, not a road. This six-block walk runs parallel to 97th Avenue. It’s a short walk that straddles Rossdale and downtown, providing sights of both valley and city. At the end of the trail, Irene Parlby Park is only a couple blocks further down 97th Avenue.
EZIO FARAONE LOOP
This trail is another short expedition, no longer than two kilometres. It starts at Constable Ezio Faraone Park, providing great views of the fall colours of the river valley, North Saskatchewan, and the High Level Bridge. Starting at the top of the staircase, the trail runs northwest. Be prepared for a decline. When you reach the intersection at the edge of Victoria Park, turn left. At the next intersection, turn left again onto River Valley Road, and complete the loop by following the path parallel to 109 Street.