McHugh Bluff

One of many patriotic displays this Canada Day!
  • Parking: Very small lot
  • Washrooms: None
  • Paved path
Celebrating Canada Day   

To me, summer always starts with the Canada Day long weekend.  School's out, the days are long and the weather is predictably "summery" - the perfect time to kick off the second season of Walking Calgary!  For my first post I explored McHugh Bluff, a ridge just to the west of Centre Street Bridge named after one of Calgary's earliest ranchers and businessmen.  I left my car in the tiny lot at the corner of First Street and Crescent Road and was immediately struck by a magnificent view of downtown Calgary, the white spans of the bridge and the Bow River sparkling in the sunlight.  Further along, the path overlooks the floodplains of Sunnyside and the less developed river valley upstream, always framed by the Rocky Mountains on the distant horizon.

Spectacular view of downtown Calgary.

But while the view down the valley is fabulous, it would be a shame to miss the eclectic mix of architecture on the other side of the street.  Homes from all periods and styles are packed together on the ridge, each with their own unique landscaping and artwork.  You'll find a neon light cowboy hat next to a iron wrought fence complete with formally manicured hedge next to a metallic sculpture composed of balanced circles and spheres.  Each yard lovingly cared-for, and proudly juxtaposed against its contrasting neighbour.  
Looking west down the river valley..

If you're looking for a more strenuous walk, there are offshoots of the path that criss cross the steep slopes of Sunnyside Bank Park, with access to the river, the quaint little homes in the valley and the footbridge to Prince's Island Park.  But if you're craving a proud vantage from which to celebrate the heart of our great city and the natural beauty of our Alberta landscape, nothing beats the view from the top!

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