I was raised in Calgary, Alberta. Granted, I grew up almost entirely in the northeast, I have lived in the southwest for the last almost seven years. Somehow, I didn't know the Weaselhead Flats park existed until this year - what a surprising discovery! I am so disappointed that it took me so long to enjoy it. At least, to the capacity that it exists in now. I have a vague memory of a school field trip involving tadpoles and pond skimmers, but there is no way I had an idea of what this park actually encompassed.
Dog-sitting is a wonderful treat for me. I would love a dog of my own (a girl can dream!), but until I can maintain a canine-friendly lifestyle, I settle for occasionally pretending I own a dog while I house-sit for family or friends. One of my friends takes her dog Charlie out to the Weaselhead fairly regularly, so of course she recommended it to me when Charlie and I spent a long weekend together.
The Weaselhead borders the Glenmore Reservoir in west Calgary. It experienced some severe flood damage after June 2013; let's just say: undetonated explosives. (No, but for real, check it out here.) You absolutely cannot tell what kind of extensive damage was done, because this park is an exquisite example of a flourishing ecosystem. The park can be accessed from several locations, but I quite like the parking area at the southwest junction of 37th Street and 66th Ave. I have yet to ever see it full. You can follow the path system over into North Glenmore Park from here as well, but I haven't made it that far yet. Too much to explore already!
Trails in the area braid in, around and over the Elbow River as it breaks and drains into the reservoir, and is bordered by Tsuu T'ina Nation land to the west. There are small beaches, benches, ponds, bridges, banks, and plenty of pockets and folds of forests to explore in every direction. At 237 hectares, there is much to be explored and admired, and there are numerous park signs and maps to show you which trails are how long (in kilometres) and in which direction.
Considering its close proximity to an urban area, this park feels incredibly remote. It smells divine, like wild roses, and in the evening the sunlight that filters through the trees is unlike anything else I know in the immediate Calgary area. The birds and bugs are plenty, and you will see things in this park that you will not see elsewhere in the city; there are all kinds of unique flora and fauna. I have so far only visited in the late spring, but I have a feeling this park is just as magical in the winter, as the snow falls.
You can learn more about park amenities, parking and access, and the trails here. As always, and as requested by The Weaselhead website, please respect leave no trace principles - pack out what you pack in, leave things the way you found them, and please only follow the designated paths.
Because this park is bordered by country side, it is considered bear habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears and take precautions to avoid unnecessary run-ins! Park hours are 5 am to 11 pm, so be sure to get your vehicle out of the parking lot by then, or you may risk getting locked in. As far as I can tell, camping is not permitted, nor are campfires. Some areas are signed to not allow dogs. If you are taking your pup out on an adventure with you, please respect these signs and make sure that where you do take your dog, to pick up after it.
Pro-tip: I followed the orange trail the last time I was there, from the south end of the bridge along the river, and I highly recommend it!
Photos are my own. Please do not reproduce without my written permission.