The Edmonton community is home to some of the largest attractions in the world, drawing both new residents and international tourists alike each year. Residents are fortunate to live in an ever-expanding city that provides multi-faceted entertainment that covers a variety of things to do in Edmonton. However, those who prefer to get back to nature and away from their homes for a while can still find many things to do outside. The city continues to develop and maintain Edmonton's water recreation options, trails, parks, and golf courses for residents to use. Read on to discover some of the most popular outdoor activities in Edmonton.
Water Recreation in Edmonton
Edmonton Water Recreation Options
- World Waterpark
- North Saskatchewan River
- River surfing
- Whitewater rafting
World Waterpark is located within the West Edmonton Mall and is one of the largest indoor water parks in the world. Able to accommodate over 3,000 guests, the park features hot tubs, children's areas, 15+ water slides, and the world's largest indoor wave pool. The water park is always kept at optimal temperatures, so visitors can even enjoy World Waterpark during the heart of Canada's winter. Edmonton is also home to several other fun water parks in the area.
The North Saskatchewan River is home to several popular recreation activities, including river surfing and whitewater rafting. Both sports are growing in popularity each summer. Visitors can find several shops that offer guided tours and lessons. Once they feel confident enough, they can rent or purchase their own gear and go out on a river adventure on their own. Both sports are seasonal, so those interested in trying out river surfing or whitewater rafting should plan to book their sessions in advance. Otherwise, all available sessions may be booked if one waits until the weather is appropriate for either activity.
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Edmonton Hiking & Biking Trails
Popular Edmonton Trails
- Mill Creek Ravine Trail
- Mactaggart Sanctuary Path
- Whitemud Creek Trail
Residents in Edmonton have several hiking and biking trails available year-round. Mill Creek Ravine Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Edmonton. The 10.6-kilometre loop offers a view of the North Saskatchewan River and is perfect for all ages and skill levels. The trail is also available for bikers and dogs. However, dogs must be leashed at all times. Mill Creek Ravine Trail also connects to Nellie McClung Park and Henrietta Muir Edwards Park. Both parks have their own trail networks.
Mactaggart Sanctuary Path is a moderate loop trail that spans 2.3 kilometres. With the rocky terrain and roots, ankle-high hiking boots are recommended to prevent any twisted or sprained ankles. There is minimal elevation gain, but it can be difficult to get up the trail if it has recently rained. Due to the terrain, the trail is best hiked between May and October. However, be aware that there's a bridge on the trail that's not well-maintained. Those who are hiking with leashed pets or small children may want to turn back at this point.
Whitemud Creek Trail is an easy 6.8-kilometre trail that is heavily trafficked throughout the year. This out-and-back trail can be hiked with dogs if they are leashed. Several animal species can be seen while on the trail. Since the trail is heavily trafficked over the weekend, much of the local wildlife is somewhat accustomed to humans. This means it's possible to see the animals and grab a picture from afar before they run off into the woods. The trail can become muddy, so visitors should be prepared to clean out their cars at the end of the day.
Popular Edmonton Parks
- William Hawrelak Park
- Rundle Park
- Kinsmen Park
Edmonton is home to the River Valley Parks, the largest urban park network throughout Canada. Over 20 Edmonton parks make up the network, and they feature a combined 160 kilometres of trails for use throughout the year. The trails are always maintained, even in the winter. As soon as 2.5 centimetres of snow accumulates, the trails' snow is cleared out. Each of the parks in the network has its own features and amenities. However, each park does feature benches, paved walking trails, and public bathrooms.
With the North Saskatchewan River running through most of the parks, visitors can engage in several activities throughout the year. Skating, biking, hiking, dog walking, swimming, frisbee, and more can be enjoyed. Edmonton also features over 40 acres of off-leash dog parks, so those who prefer to have their dogs off-leash can easily find parks that allow their pet to run free.
Golf Courses in Edmonton
Popular Edmonton Golf Courses
- Lewis Estates Golf Course
- Mill Woods Golf Club
The Lewis Estates Golf Course is a public 18-hole golf course featuring tree-lined fairways and consistent bentgrass greens. A few strategic bunkers and water hazards are placed throughout the course. The course is highly recognized for providing fun, challenging games for experienced players and those with low handicaps. A driving range, private lessons, and clubhouse are available to all golfers. The 6,742-yard course is best golfed between the spring and fall seasons.
The Mill Woods Golf Club has provided public golfing for over 30 years. This course was one of the first courses designed by the city for public use. The driving range features over 30 private stalls, which allow golfers to work on their skills without being disturbed. Group and private lessons can be booked, making Mill Woods Golf Club perfect for a relaxing day on the course. Golfers at Mill Woods Golf Club can rent power carts that can be shared with other golfers during their scheduled tee time. Discounts are available for tee times after 3 p.m. and during the week. Beginners are welcome to visit the pro shop to rent any clubs they may need to complete a 9-round or 18-round of golf.
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Other Edmonton Outdoor Activities
More Edmonton Outdoor Activities
- Edmonton Valley Zoo
- Fort Edmonton Park
This guide can't possibly cover every outdoor activity available in Edmonton. However, it will cover two more activities that don't fit in the above categories. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is a small, intimate venue nestled on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Over 350 animals are available to view at the zoo. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is focused heavily on conservation and education. Food and drinks are available for purchase in the zoo, which means outside food and drinks are prohibited. Prices start at $14.50 for adults and $10.50 for children.
Fort Edmonton Park combines history and entertainment in one destination. Visitors can enjoy the carousel, swing ride, arcade games, Ferris wheel, and outdoor maze. Before or after having fun in the Midway area, visitors can also engage with several exhibitions, including the Indigenous Peoples Experience, 1846 Fort, 1885 Street, 1905 Street, and 1920 Street. Visitors may also participate in a horse and carriage ride through the park. Tickets start at $26.20 for adults and $20.90 for children. The park is open from July to September, and summer passes are available.
Enjoy the Outdoors in Edmonton
Residents of Edmonton truly live in one of the best places in the world. They can emerge from their homes and step foot into new adventures every weekend. Residents can plan a new staycation in Edmonton every weekend of the year and still find new adventures to take. Few other cities in the world can continue to dazzle and entertain their residents like this wonderful city. When one could live anywhere, they will appreciate the vast amenities and activities available in Edmonton.