Address: Edworthy St SW, Calgary, AB T3C 3B2
Opening hours: 05:00 until 23:00 daily (the main gate is locked outside of these times)
Car: For the off-leash area, enter the park via Edworthy St SW, taking the second left after Woodcliff United Church. Drive along the paved track – there are three free car parks, depending on how far into the park you want to start your walk. The car parks get VERY busy on weekends, holidays and weekdays between 3pm-5pm.
Foot: One entrance to the park starts at Edworthy Street SW, where you can find a dirt trail; alternatively, you can access the park from the crosswalk at the intersection of Sarcee Trail SW and Bow Trail SW.
For an official map of the off-leash park, see here.
Accessibility and Terrain
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate (with one optional steep and difficult section)
Terrain: Edworthy Off Leash Park is composed of grass, shrubs and a large copse of trees and few smaller copses. The majority of the park is relatively flat, though there are some exposed rocks on the ground, so you need to watch your step in places (I have stubbed my toes a few times). The remaining two-thirds of the park is hilly, with the incline varying from easy to moderate; however, there is one extremely steep hill at the north-eastern edge of the off-leash park (which leads into the riverside section of the park). Please note that there is quite a steep ravine at the eastern end of the park (with no safety barriers), and the path that runs along the ravine is crumbling in places.
Paths: The paths in Edworthy Off Leash Park are either dirt or grass. The paths are not cleared during the winter; however, due to the large number of dog walkers who use the park, any new snow is usually trodden down within a day, which means that the park is always accessible (however, can be slippery if the snow has melted / refrozen). In addition, be aware of using the ravine path after it has rained (or during periods when the snow is melting), as it becomes very muddy and slippery. Therefore, I would recommend shoes with grip (e.g. hiking boots or winter boots with tread) in all seasons.
Accessibility: If you plan on taking babies and/or small children on your dog walking adventures at Edworthy Off Leash Park, it is recommended to put them into a child carrier (backpack or sling). An off-road stroller or red wagon can just about cope with the terrain when there is no snow (the biggest problem is the partially exposed rocks on the ground, which can catch the front wheels – the few times we have tried to take our off-road stroller, it was quite tough going, and we almost snapped the thing more than once). However, I have seen some more adventurous parents (read: dads) transport their kids on mountain bikes, with dog trotting in tow. During the winter months, I can highly recommend popping your toddler into a toboggan and pulling them along behind you – this not only makes the walk more interactive for them, but my son also enjoys sliding down the hills by himself. I have not seen any wheelchairs attempt to use this dog park.
Amenities: There are a few picnic tables near the car parks, and some benches around the ravine edge (giving great views of the river and downtown). However, there are no toilet facilities in this section of the park (there are seasonal toilet facilities in the leashed area of the Edworthy Park – see here for details).
Safety: There are a couple of safety matters to note. Firstly, the western side of the dog park runs next to the access road, and there is no barrier or fence separating the park from the road. In addition, the access road runs parallel to Sarcee Trail, and the two are divided by a small dirt bank (again, no barrier or fence). Therefore, if you dog has a tendency to wander off, it is best to stick to the other side of the park. Finally, as mentioned above, the eastern side of the dog park ends in a relatively steep ravine (again, no fence or barrier), so take care if you are walking along the hill-side path.
Fetch: While some dog owners throw a ball or Frisbee for their dogs, be aware of the fact that the ground is uneven with lots exposed rocks. While dogs are normally relatively unconcerned about this, Indy (who is ball-obsessed) has cut his paw a couple of times, and has occasionally tripped/slipped. During the height of the summer, the grass can grow quite long, and we did lose a ball on a couple of occasions. In addition, during the winter months, the snow becomes compacted quite quickly due to the volume of traffic in this park, which makes the ground a bit slippery for dogs.
Bins: The only bins are located in the car parks; there are no bins in the park itself, so you need to carry any full poop bags back to these bins.
Poop bags: While there are back-up poop bag dispensers at the car parks, these do not seem to get filled up very often, so you need to remember to bring your own (or ask to borrow one from fellow dog walkers, if you forgot yours, or ran out).
Edworthy Off-Leash Park is one of our all-time favourite dog parks – both for humans and for dogs! Not only is this a popular park (meaning lots of doggy interaction and socialisation), but everyone who we have met at this park has generally well-behaved dogs and friendly humans (we had one incident where an overtly bouncy dog ran off with my son’s hat, but we managed to get it back after some persuading). In addition, since it is exclusively an off-leash park, apart from the occasional lone runner or cyclist, the park is pretty much only used by dog walkers, so you can have a super relaxed off-leash walk without needing to worry about herding your dog away from runners or cyclists.
The best part about this park (in my opinion) is that it provides a great mix of terrain for you and your dogs to enjoy – you get meadows, hills, forest and dramatic cliff-side walks, all in one park! Our dogs love zooming through the trees in the forested sections, as well as bounding through the tall grass in the summer. My son also loves this park, because park-goers build tree tee-pees which he can go and explore, and there are also lots of big rocks to climb (oh, and big hills to sled down in the winter).
Copyright © 2020 Katalin Hall. All rights reserved.