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Hike the park for Family Day

Residents of Rocky View County can spend the Family Day holiday exploring the great outdoors with their loved ones while learning more about the history of the region, with Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation’s (GRPF) new guided hike series.
Winter vista
Guided hikes throughout Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park provide beautiful scenery, fascinating history and an opportunity for outdoor family time.

Residents of Rocky View County can spend the Family Day holiday exploring the great outdoors with their loved ones while learning more about the history of the region, with Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation’s (GRPF) new guided hike series. According to Sarah Parker, executive director with GRPF, the series kicks off with a hike Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. – a two-hour trek through the provincial park’s trail network that will be suitable for most members of the family. “Participants will be able to visit some wonderful lookouts of the park, where our hike leader will point out the historical points of interest and talk about the development of Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, the early days of ranching and our Indigenous beginnings,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people to learn more about a park they might frequent all the time, or find out something new about a park they’ve never come to before.” The hike will be guided by Alan Sitter, a certified hike leader with the Outdoor Council of Canada and a GRPF park steward. According to Parker, he’s well-versed in the history, ecology and wildlife of the park, and will provide plenty of information for participants of all ages to enjoy. “At first glance, Glenbow is just rolling hills,” Parker said. “Unless you hear that history from someone, or read it or see interpretive signage, you would never know that existed – you’d never know there were multiple ruins, or a ghost town, or anything like that.” While Parker said families are encouraged to attend, participants will be trekking across some hilly terrain – during potentially chilly weather conditions. “We’re recommending either very athletic, outdoor-loving eight-year-olds or older, but I suppose babies in packs might be fine, too, if the weather permits,” she said, adding smaller kids might get tired out. Spending time with her children outside is one of Parker’s favorite things to do, and she said she hopes to see other local families come out to make the best of the advantage of living in one of the most stunning parts of Canada. “It’s an opportunity to get out and be with your kids ­– or your friends, friends are family, too – to learn and breathe in fresh air and get away from the city. It’s a wonderfully rejuvenating way of spending Family Day,” she said. “And it’s a lot more rewarding, I think, than going to the movies.” Additionally, Parker said, teaching people more about what Glenbow Ranch has to offer helps build a network of people who are more invested in the space – an advantage when it comes to trying to preserve an important area within a rapidly-growing region. “We, along with Alberta Parks, love this park and we want to protect the native grasses and species that live there,” Parker said. “Having people understand what makes it special helps us protect it, in the end.” Tickets for the guided hike are $15 per person – members receive a 15 per cent discount – and can be purchased at GRPF’s website. Parker added registration will be capped at approximately 15 people, to ensure everyone will be able to hear and participate. “This is just the first in the series of guided hikes – numerous dates will be posted to our website soon,” she said. “And they’ll all be different, so who knows, maybe we’ll get some people who decide to come out to all of them.”





Jessi Gowan

About the Author: Jessi Gowan

Assistant Editor
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