Red Willow Park
Location: Access along Sturgeon Drive in St. Albert. Travel north on St. Albert Drive (Hwy 2). Turn right at Sturgeon Road, then turn left into the parking lot behind the Red Willow Trail sign.
Info: All dogs on trails must be leashed.
Red Willow Park extends the full length of the Sturgeon River valley and contains 70 kilometres of walking trails. More than 34 kilometres are pavedperfect for inline skating, cycling, walking, or running. The trail system connects most of St. Albert’s neighbourhood parks and includes five major parksLacombe Lake Park, Lions Park, St. Albert Place Promenade, Woodlands Park, and Kingswood Park.
If children are part of your day trip, Woodlands Water Play Park on the banks of the Sturgeon River is one of the most fun places to visit. Canada’s second interactive water area of this kind, this spray park was western Canada’s first. In 2007, the splash zone was upgraded and reopened with a medieval theme. The spray zones are grouped roughly into three different age-appropriate sections, making it easier for toddlers and young children to play alongside older splashers. The park’s new water treatment building maximizes the water’s contact with chlorine and is used by Capital Health as a model for new spray parks. You will also find picnic areas, sand volleyball, and a skate park here.
Ted Hole Park, in the centre of St. Albert’s Erin Ridge development, offers a natural environment for recreation and leisure activities. A paved walkway links the park with the Red Willow Park system The late lieutenant-governor Lois Hole and her late husband, Ted, owned and farmed the land where the park is located. It is a natural recreation spot with interpretive signs that identify local trees and animals; signs also explain the Hole family’s contributions to St. Albert and Alberta.
St. Albert Botanic Park
Location: Access along Sturgeon Road in St. Albert. Travel north on St. Albert Trail (Hwy 2), turn right onto Sturgeon Road, and travel about 1 km to 265 Sturgeon Road. The park is 1 km east of Boudreau Road and is surrounded by Red Willow Park and the riverside trail system.
Info: Open year-round, with the best viewing from May through September. The John Beedle Centre is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free, with an honorarium suggested for group tours. 780-458-7163; www.stalbertbotanicpark.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Albert Botanic Park encompasses two hectares along the scenic bank of the winding Sturgeon Rivera brief walk east from St. Albert’s city hall via Red Willow Trail. This is a beautiful place to inhale garden scents. If you can, return throughout the summer to repeat strolls through the gardens and see how the plants transform from blossom to seed through the growing season. The park specializes in garden flowers appropriate for St. Albert and Edmonton, and benches throughout the grounds provide lovely picnic spots and special places to share a romantic moment!
The idea for a botanic park came from two St. Albert citizens with a passion for horticulture: former mayor Richard Plain, and retired city landscape planner John Beedle. They wanted to publicly test and display tree, shrub, and perennial flower growth by planting a trial garden in the region’s Zone 3 climate. This public garden in progress is designed, planted, and maintained entirely by volunteers.