Edmonton’s river and river valley is one of the very best places to play in the city—consider it our natural playground!
In fact, Edmonton’s river valley park system is the largest urban park in North America, with more than 160 kilometres of maintained pathways and 20 major parks.
Our river is quite healthy and that’s important because it’s also our City’s water source. Edmonton is also home to the best tasting tap water in North America! I’m a big fan of Edmonton tap water so felt really validated when I found out this news!!! lol.
During the summer months, when water level are safe, the North Saskatchewan River is often filled with people doing all sorts of water activities—Edmontonians love to #BaskOnTheSask!
Whether its activities along the riverbank, or right on the river itself, there’s lots of ways to enjoy our river.
I’ve partnered with EPCOR to share just a few activities you can try. Be sure to watch my video blog too to find out a few things you didn’t know about the North Saskatchewan River itself!
(This blog post is sponsored!)
WATCH MY VIDEO BLOG FOR:
5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT EDMONTON’S RIVER!
AND KEEP SCROLLIN’ TO LEARN:
7 Activities To Do On And Along Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River!
1. Raft, Canoe or Kayak on the River
There’s so many ways to ‘Bask on the Sask’—from rafting, canoeing, kayaking, even floating! Soon there will be more boat launches and docks than ever before in the city, making it easier to get playing in the water, thanks to vision and funding by the city, provincial and federal governments, and the River Valley Alliance. Completed in 2018 and officially opening later this year (2019) once river levels calm down, are five new boat docks located at Whitemud Park, Laurier Park, Hawrelak Park, Dawson Park and Capilano Park. Capilano also received an upgrade to its power boat ramp!
In addition to the rafters, canoers and kayakers, I’ve seen stand-up paddleboarders and folks in boats too! It’s an amazing, relaxing feeling being out in the water (when water levels and weather cooperate!)
There are also a few water activity service providers you can book your Bask on the Sask adventure with too, if you’re not keen on heading to a boat launch or dock and hopping in yourself, including Edmonton Canoe, Haskin Canoe, or Canoeheads.
2. Have a River Valley Picnic
Sometimes there’s nothing better to do on a summer day than pack a picnic and eat outside! There are many great picnic spots in town but lovely river valley locations include Louise McKinney Park or Emily Murphy Park. Bring a cute blanket to lay down for ultimate outdoor picnicking effect. I’ve also been known to browse the Facebook Marketplace for good deals on cute picnic baskets, lol.
3. Visit Dog Parks
Whether you’re a dog owner or just a dog lover, Edmonton is home to over 40 off leash dog parks, some of them located in and around the river valley. These are perfect spots to spend time along the river!
We’re big fans of the Terwillegar Dog Park in particular, because it is almost entirely surrounded by the North Saskatchewan River. There’s one main spot where you’ll find lots of dogs playing in water, but lots of little water spots you might find dogs wading around the deeper you go into the trail. Buena Vista Dog Park is also a popular off leash spot with areas that back right up against the river.
4. Go on an Instagrammable Nature Walk
Those who follow me will know I’m all about the Instagrammable Walls but I’m also a big fan of Instagrammable things in general, and sometimes there’s nothing more Instagrammable than the great outdoors itself!
There’s lots of gorgeous, Instagrammable spots all along the river valley, no matter what area of the city you’re in, but some of my favourite river valley views are:
- Around McNally High School (Forest Heights Park Trail) which has an amazing city skyline view
- End of the World (now called Keillor Point) which has a great view of the river
- Around the Walterdale Bridge, where you’ll get stunning bridge shots as well as city skyline and river views
- Any of these stairs (Glenora, Grandview, Hotel Macdonald, or Wolf Willow) which give the most picturesque river valley views!
Check out the River Valley Alliance website for a bunch of walk resources. There are trail apps (like AllTrails) and hiking blog posts too! Really, any river valley trail will have or lead you to pretty scenic, photogenic, Instagrammable areas!
But really any river valley trail will have or lead you to pretty scenic, photogenic, Instagrammable areas!
5. Segway along the River Valley
Something you might not know about me is that I’ve got my “seglegs” and am a fairly seasoned segwayer! lol, no really! I’m a big fan of the River Valley Adventure Co. and their river valley segway adventures and always recommend it for people looking for something fun or different to do in the river valley!
I’ve done both winter and summertime segwaying and you get some pretty unique views of the city and the river valley while on your segway.
Fishing isn’t something I have a ton of experience with but lots of people love fishing from their boats or along the river bank in Edmonton! There’s a pond in Hermitage Park that’s meant for fishing, plus lots of fish in the North Saskatchewan River including walleye, suckers, pikes, lake sturgeon, whitefish and more! Learn more on the City’s website and check out this post from The Campfire Time on fishing location spots and other tips within Edmonton.
7. Take part in EPCOR RiverFest
Did you know: Edmonton is home to an annual summer celebration of the river?! EPCOR RiverFest is organized by the River Valley Alliance and is a celebration of the North Saskatchewan River and River Valley Park System. This year’s event takes place on Aug. 10 and there are land and water activities in Edmonton from Sir Wilfred Laurier Park as well as in Devon at Voyageur Park.
The goal of RiverFest is to help people feel connected to the river and river valley and show you all the different and easy ways you can safely play on and around and enjoy the river. The more people get a chance to experience the river and fall in love with it (because you will!), the more you’ll want to preserve, protect and enhance it!
There you have it! There are loads of activities you can do on or along Edmonton’s gorgeous river. As one of the city’s oldest modes of transportation, you’ll often find people using the river in combination with transit or driving to get to different points of the city too! It’s as functional as it is fun!!
I hope this post has inspired you to get out there and #BaskOnTheSask!!
And if you liked this post, please share it!
Disclaimer: I partnered with EPCOR RiverFest title sponsor EPCOR to help promote the annual event and highlight some of the great things about Edmonton’s river and river valley. This does not impact opinions stated in this post. I think our river and river valley are beautiful, and love how much there is to do on and around it!!