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Fitness Buffs Rank the 13 Best Trails and Parks in Edmonton for Running


Three years ago, my idea of a great run was racing to the fridge during commercial breaks. And when every single attempt to jog had me gasping for air, I finally started questioning my life choices.

Fortunately, I’ve since made friends with people whose idea of a warm-up is a hard 5K. Thanks to them, this list came to life through our shared experiences on every trail – most of which cut through beautiful parks and forests.

So, if you’re wondering what the sexiest people in Edmonton consider the best trails for running, check this list out!

Whitemud Creek Trail

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Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Length: 6.8 km

Route Type: Out and back

The Whitemud Creek Trail is a real gem for nature lovers, especially if you want something relatively easy. 

It’s also a popular spot for birding, cross-country skiing, and hiking, so don’t be surprised to meet many fellow adventurers along the way. The trail is open year-round as well, so you can do your runs any time.

Though some parts were a bit muddy, most of the trail was relatively dry and easy to navigate. Plus, there’s a stunning view of the North Saskatchewan River towards the end of the trail, which is all the reward you need!

Walterdale Bridge – Low Level Bridge

Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 27 minutes 

Length: 5.5 km 

Route Type: Loop

The views along the Walterdale Bridge trail are absolutely breathtaking, and it’s just fun to see so many people enjoying the outdoors. While it’s easy, the stairs and hills make it a moderate loop, adding just the right amount of challenge.

Even in winter, the trail has its charm, though it’s better suited for snowshoeing when the path isn’t well-maintained.  We recommend visiting during midday in Spring when it’s quiet with very few people around.

The loop also offers a mix of paved and unpaved paths. If you want a shorter route, you can start at the 98th St. Bridge. Regardless of where you start though, you’ll definitely enjoy the funicular and the lookout point. 

North Saskatchewan River Loop Trail

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 26 minutes 

Length: 1.5 km 

Route Type: Loop

The North Saskatchewan River Loop Trail trail is perfect for walking, running, and cycling during the summer. And in the winter, it’s a great venue for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. 

Most of the trail is well-maintained, but it can get pretty busy at times. Despite the traffic though, there are plenty of chances to enjoy some quiet moments, especially in more off-path areas in the forest.

One of the highlights of this trail is crossing the river twice via the blue pedestrian footbridge and Groat Road. The views of downtown and the university are stunning, especially with the greenery and wildflowers.

Terwillegar Park to Wolf Willow Ravine

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Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 53 minutes 

Length: 7.1 km 

Route Type: Out and back 

This trail starting from Terwillegar is a fantastic route that takes you across the North Saskatchewan River via a footbridge. The area can get quite busy with folks exercising, but it adds to the lively atmosphere (if that’s what you like!).

Terwillegar Park also has some great off-leash dog areas, which is a big plus for dog owners. However, the trail can be a bit muddy on the edges, so keep an eye out if you’re using an extendable leash.

As a moderate trail, you’ll love the mix of easy paths and challenging parts in the Wolf Willow Ravine.  And if you want to make things a bit more interesting, you can take a small diversion closer to the river. 

Fort Edmonton Park Loop Trail

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Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 10 minutes 

Length: 4.7 km 

Route Type: Loop

The Fort Edmonton Park Loop Trail is great for birding, hiking, and running. That’s why it’s pretty common to see many faces when you visit, though it’s still relatively peaceful for most runs.

The first half of the trail is paved with gentle changes in elevation, making it accessible for everyone. There are also information markers along the way, so you can learn about the history and wildlife of the area.

The highlight of this trail is the new Fort Edmonton Footbridge, offering spectacular views of the River Valley and the impressive staircase up the Patricia Ravine. Visit from April through October for the best conditions to enjoy the sight.

Kinnaird Park Highlands Hiking Trail

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Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 4 minutes 

Length: 4.3 km 

Route Type: Loop

Starting near Concordia University College of Alberta, this hike leads you through the scenic Highlands Hiking Trail and Kinnaird Park. It’s a favorite among residents, mostly thanks to its off-leash areas for pets.

By the way, if you don’t mind an extra 10-minute short walk, you may start at the trailhead at Dawson Park public parking lot.  Just remember to bring a flashlight if you plan to explore by the riverside around sunset!

You’ll also encounter plenty of bicycles along the way since this is also a popular cycling spot. So, if you prefer a less crowded run, you can schedule your day during the weekend.

MacKinnon Ravine

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Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Time to Complete: 3 hours, 33 minutes 

Length: 15.9 km 

Route Type: Out and back 

MacKinnon Ravine is a gem of a multi-use trail. You can easily access it from 91st street, leading you down into the ravine under Jasper Avenue and onto the trail near Dawson Bridge.

The trail offers a pleasant mix of flat stretches and gentle hills, making it easy with moderate challenges along the way. The best part is that you get stunning views of the skyline anywhere you are.

Just be prepared for a moderate challenge due to its length, especially if you’re attempting the entire 50-kilometer stretch from Louise McKinney Riverfront Park to Lions Campground in Devon!

Rundle Park Bridge Loop Trail

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Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Length: 4.3 km 

Route Type: Loop

The Rundle Park Bridge Loop Trail is a moderately challenging yet rewarding experience for most runners. It also has a beautiful view from the bridge and an opportunity to explore the forest through cool little trails.

About halfway through your journey, you’ll encounter a notable elevation change. Better get prepared for it because it’s what makes it moderately challenging (apart from the few bikers you’ll likely encounter!). 

In the summer, the trail comes alive with activity, offering various side routes perfect for fishing or enjoying a BBQ with family and friends. However, winter brings a quieter atmosphere, which makes for peaceful walks in the crisp air.

Emily Murphy Park Two Bridge Loop Trail

Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 12 minutes 

Length: 4.8 km 

Route Type: Loop 

Starting and ending in Emily Murphy Park, this 4.8-km loop trail offers a great journey through various parks and trails. Accessing the trails is easy, with ample parking and public restrooms available in the park itself. 

If ever you’re running in the winter, be cautious of icy sections, especially after recent melting (this makes some parts of the trail tricky to navigate). Additionally, expect to encounter plenty of cyclists along the way, who can be difficult to negotiate with sometimes!

The trail also has urban surroundings with clean pathways to explore. It doesn’t take away from the picturesque beauty though, as the blend of nature allows for a great run through the trees.

Government House Park Walk

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Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 5 minutes 

Length: 4.7 km

Route Type: Out and back

Exploring this 4.7-km out-and-back trail is a real treat, even for absolute beginners. With parking available right at the park, you can easily access lookout points and picnic areas scattered throughout.

As you journey along the trail, you’ll enter the MacKinnon Ravine Park and Buena Vista Park. While there is some construction happening to improve the park (as of writing), it’s still worth visiting, especially on a beautiful fall day.

Speaking of fall, the trail is absolutely stunning during this season, with gorgeous colors lining the riverbanks. Despite a fair number of bicycles, the trail isn’t overly crowded – you can basically run at your own pace here. 

Beaumaris Lake

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Level of Difficulty: Easy 

Time to Complete: 37 minutes 

Length: 2.7 km 

Route Type: Loop

A quick run at Beaumaris Lake is perfect for a quick and easy outing. Taking an average of just 37 minutes to complete, it’s ideal for beginners, especially from April through September when the weather is fair. 

The trail is accessible year-round, with plenty of benches along the way to sit and relax. You’ll find designated accessible parking off Castle Downs Road NW, making it easy to start your adventure.

While the trail surface is paved and generally wide, be aware of some steep sections that might require some effort. Despite these areas, the path offers a scenic and enjoyable experience with lots of birds and even a few geocaches for added fun.

William Hawrelak Park to Fort Edmonton

Level of Difficulty: Moderate 

Time to Complete: 2 hours, 15 minutes 

Length: 8.4 km 

Route Type: Out and back

This trail is moderately challenging and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete. That’s why if you want a split workout for your runs, this is a good choice.

Starting in Hawrelak Park, you can park near picnic site #2 and join the trail system by the pedestrian bridge. As you venture down into the river valley, you’ll be greeted by wide trails surrounded by beautiful trees.

The path offers options to get closer to the river, though you need to be cautious of steep banks and marked washout areas like the Keillor Slump, which is closed. Along the way, you’ll encounter several staircases leading up to nearby neighborhoods.

The highlight is definitely the view from below Keillor Point, also known as The End of the World. Despite some tough terrain and the occasional mountain bikers, being close to the river will make the journey worthwhile.

Emily Murphy Trail to Kinsmen Park

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time to Complete: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Length: 5 km 

Route Type: Out and back 

Head out on this trail and you’ll find it’s a gem for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers alike. Plus, it’s conveniently accessible from downtown, so getting and finishing this trail is relatively easy. 

Starting from Emily Murphy Park, the trail winds along the south bank of North Saskatchewan. The path mostly cuts through the trees, offering great views of the river along the way.

By the way, during your usual runs, you might want to keep one earbud out. It’s because there are plenty of mountain and fat bikers using the trail as well (especially during winter), so it’s best to stay safe!