Don’t be mistaken, this bike park isn’t just for the big kids and adults. This park is absolutely amazing for toddlers on balance bikes, as well! It has been a wonderful (free) place for our family to get outside and play on our bikes for the last few seasons.
There is a dedicated beginner’s oval track for toddlers and small children to get used to it. We found that with both of our kids on striders, they preferred to walk up and ride down the hills on the pump track, so the oval is nice for them to go and do that at their own pace.
On the main pump track, you’ll find yourself trying to encourage them to move, to keep the bike traffic flowing if there are others there. And we all know how well a toddler takes to being told what to do 😉
There are a variety of features, and it is well spread out. The CMBA has a great little blurb on how to use the track, the terminology, and tips on skills such as how to get through a pump track, or around the berms. The park itself is great for people like me – a mama of 2 toddlers and a baby whose eyes are usually darting around frantically like a mother chicken watching her 20 babies. They can’t go too far, and the parking lot ,as you can see in the photo below, is close by when you have to surfboard carry your toddler that doesn’t want to go home. Excellent.
It is located in South East Calgary, about 10 minutes from South Centre Mall and just a few km from Annie’s Cafe and the Bow Valley Ranche.
I highly recommend going over to Annie’s in the summer for ice cream afterward if it’s a hot day 🙂 It has a beautiful native garden, art installations and lots of places for the kids to explore while you sip coffee leisurely. It’s a hugely popular spot so there’s always little friends to make. Ah, toddler life, when you are up and out for the day at 8am because you’ve already been up for 2 hours….
Interestingly, this park has been in the works for some time (15 years!) and for a long time, there was strong resistance (and the belief that it wasn’t doable) at the Provincial *and* Municipal levels in Calgary, even as other parks were being built, such as Chestermere and Canmore. This really surprised me, because I’ve always thought of Calgary as progressive and outdoor-activity oriented.
Once people retired, management changed over, etc. the project came to fruition thanks to the dedicated work and persistence of several advocates and the CMBA.
And did you know there are plans to put another park in at Glenmore Resevoir?! Exciting! $150k has been raised and about another $125k to go.
This park needs volunteer hours, material and equipment to continue finishing the development of it, especially the NW corner. You can email the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance if you’d like to contribute in any way you can! firstname.lastname@example.org
Go have fun!