Red Deer’s beautiful parks and natural green spaces are well known throughout Alberta with over 100 km of easily accessible, paved, hiking and equestrian trails connecting park users to beautiful green areas and park attractions. Biking, hiking, jogging, bird watching, picnics and peaceful walks can all be enjoyed in various parks and facilities within the Waskasoo Park trail system. A water playground, western ranch and wildlife sanctuary are some of the many highlights within the City’s park system. www.waskasoopark.ca
(Heritage Ranch and back via Bower Ponds and Taylor Bridge – 7.5 km) Heritage Ranch is open year-round providing hay rides, guided trail rides and pony rides from May to October. Or, get into the winter spirit and take a sleigh ride! Near the Red Deer River, in the Lower Ranch area, there is a stocked trout pond, picnic shelter, fire pits and washrooms nearby. The Upper Ranch area has a playground, picnic area, ball diamond, viewing tower, a coffee shop and a Ranch Approved Restaurant. Picturesque Bower Ponds is another popular destination within Waskasoo Park, with interconnected ponds for paddling and trout fishing, a concession with washrooms and equipment rentals – paddleboats and canoes in summer, and ice skates and tobogganing in winter. Overlooking the ponds is Cronquist House, a restored Victorian-style farmhouse, built in 1911. The newly renovated outdoor stage area is used for special events including Canada Day celebrations, and other special days and events during the year!! Pond Loop – 1.4 km.
(Great Chief Park and back via Gaetz Ave Bridge and Heritage Ranch – 10 km) Great Chief Park has hosted national level sports tournaments. The athletic park has three fastball diamonds, two baseball diamonds, a combination soccer/football field with lights for night games, dressing rooms, and concession. Families can picnic under shelter at the Kiwanis Picnic Parkand playground. Nearby you can play nine holes at the pitch and putt golf course or enjoy a game of horseshoes. There is a boat launch area, which is also used in winter for snowmobliers to access the river. www.reddeer.ca Great West Adventure BMX Park is the site of an 1100-foot technical track for BMX biking, complete with many obstacles including triple and double jumps, step-ups and more. Local, regional and national championships have been held here, and it is the home of the Red Deer BMX Club. www.reddeer.ca
North Bank Trail
(from Heritage Ranch to Three Mile Bend – 9 km paved) Three Mile Bend is one of Red Deer’s off-leash dog parks. A great place to view wildlife year round, Three Mile Bend is a great place to spend time outdoors with the family. In addition to the many waterfowl and birds, including osprey, you may see coyotes, deer, beavers or porcupines. In the summer watch the Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club practice on special training water-ramps.
Riverbend Golf & Recreation Area
Perimeter Trail – 4 km gravel This full size, fun challenge course is surrounded by wooded hiking trails and offers scenic canoeing and fishing in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.
Riverbend Golf and Recreation Area
River Bend Golf & Recreation Area is located in the beautiful river valley of the City of Red Deer. Surrounded by trees and water the course will challenge any player. It is a 18 hole championship course and world class practice facility with Golf Academy. River Bend has hosted several professional and amateur tournaments. It is a must spot to play golf when visiting Red Deer! The 9 hole mini links course is perfect for beginners and families too. The Clubhouse is open year round for dining or for private functions. There are 9 kilometers of hiking trails, boat launch, picnic area and children’s water park, and 15 kilometers of Nordic ski tracks and trials. River Bend has something for everyone with 18 Holes, 6700 Yards, Par 72. Discovery Canyon is a free water play area within Waskasoo Park. On a hot summer day enjoy pools of water, a trickling stream and a spray pool at the bottom of the canyon. Water is pumped up, and splashes and bubbles its way down. Children can follow the water on inflatable tubes. Bring your own, or rent one from the clubhouse. Amenities include picnic tables and washrooms.
McKenzie Trail Recreation Area
McKenzie Trails, once the site of gravel pits is now a wonderful oasis within the park system. The main pond near the picnic shelter and playground area is home to dozens of Canada geese, that raise their families on the islands and stay all summer. Terrain from meadow to spruce forest, paved hiking trails and a canoe launch complete this oasis.
Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary
Activities, exhibits and demonstrations are used to interpret the natural history of the Waskasoo Park. The Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary is set aside as a refuge for native planets, animals and birds. Since 1924, the sanctuary has been protected as a federal migratory bird sanctuary. Five kilometres of trails, viewing decks and a bird-blind introduce you to a variety of habitats. www.waskasoopark.ca
Kids Recreation Areas and Activities
Kin Kanyon boasts skiing and biking trails as they meander along the creek valley. Enjoy a picnic, hot dog roast, cool your feet in the wading pool or enjoy the playground area. Firewood and washrooms are available. Rotary Park has recently been upgraded with a new state-of-the-art playground with more than 50 play activities for children aged 18 months to 12 years. Picnic shelter, fire-pits, washrooms and firewood are also available on site. Climb to the top of Piper Mountain for a spectacular view of the city. Nearby is a skate park,which is a popular destination for skateboarders. The Recreation Centre lets visitors and residents enjoy the 50-metre outdoor pool and children’s wading pool. Adjacent to the centre are open and covered tennis courts, picnic facilities, while nearby there is an outdoor ice-skating oval. Red Deer Mountain Bike Park is a new addition to the park system with climbs, drops and various features for the beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers, looking for a challenge! Created and maintained by mountain bike users, these trails provide a range of challenges for all skill levels. This natural parkland area is also attractive to pedestrians, and borders an environmentally sensitive wetlands area featuring special waterfowl.