Way back in 2016 I did a quest that focused on visiting all the Edmonton River Valley Parks. I did that except one – Hermitage Park. I haven’t been yet. Maybe this weekend. I never think to go there mostly because it is in a part of town I never visit so it’s off my radar. My favourite is Mill Creek Ravine, followed by Irene Parlby Park. You can read the original post here.
I went back as I do, several times a year because I love it. If you told me I could live in Rossdale, I would pack my bags and be there in a heartbeat. Either Rossdale, Cloverdale or Riverdale, I could live there easily. I had heard the walkway from Irene Parlby to the Walterdale Bridge was open. This walkway had been closed since I began running. I ran my first half marathon in 2011, this was my first race. I am not like those other people who work their way up in mileage. No, I like to go big or go home. Now, eight years later, I realize going home is way better. I have all the things I love at home from family and my pal the dog, to coffee and my cozy blanket suitable for snoozing on the couch. But I had always wanted to see what that path was like. SO I DID IT.
I parked north of the park mostly because the area is zoned for permit parking because of the proximity to the baseball diamond, ReMax Field. Plus there was a game that day. Captain and I walked the three blocks to the start of the park.
The first thing we noticed was the lack of mowing done by the city. I thought this park was more manicured than it appears. I like growing parks naturally along the river and ravines, but this park should be an exception. Why? For no other reason than I like it that way.
The public art is still beautiful.
We met other dogs and people along the way. Runners and cyclers were out in full force. Then we made it to the gate that had been closed my entire running career.
Glory be! It was open and no one was happier than me and my pal Cap.
Did you know there is a new footbridge too? Well, I had no idea what was here so I am assuming its new.
It looks new. This gave me a nice perspective of Queen Elizabeth Park (formerly my favourite park and is my favourite picnic park).
To the untrained eye, it is just river valley forest. I know it is in there. Trust me.
We walked further west and checked out the Rossdale treatment plant fun facts. I can’t remember any of them. All about the environment and watershed. Oh wait, I remember the headwaters come from the Columbia Icefields and Saskatchewan Glacier. I may have already known that having visited the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River at Saskatchewan Crossing many times along the Jasper/Banff Parkway.
Bonus view of Walter in the distance.
We made our way to Walter. The new Walterdale bridge. I love this bridge. She is a beaut. I had always wanted to walk underneath but alas it was closed during construction and my entire running career. But now I had my chance and she did not disappoint.
The landscaping around it is lovely.
All native Alberta plants from trembling aspen to wild rose.
We spent a good hour exploring the area and walked back through the residential Rossdale, where I fantasized about living in one of the restored homes. Although secretly I prefer Infill. Don’t tell anyone.
It’s now open for recreation use and I encourage you to take a peek. I love my city and I hope you get a chance this summer to find out you love it too.