North Saskatchewan River Valley

Enjoy scenic walks, cycling, picnics, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, bird watching or canoeing at North America’s longest continuous stretch of urban parkland.

At the Edmonton River Valley, go for a leisurely stroll or cycle along some of the many trails, and stop for a picnic on the grass. Rent a canoe to explore the North Saskatchewan River on a warm day or sit beneath large shady trees to people-watch. In winter, go cross-country skiing or hike past trees laden with snow. Autumn and spring are great seasons to capture the flora and fauna on camera.

Edmonton River Valley comprises 18,400 acres (7,400 hectares) and consists of 22 major parks, connected by more than 93 miles (150 kilometers) of trails. It’s the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America and is shared by Edmonton and its surrounding communities.

People probably roamed this fertile valley as early as 10,000 B.C., just after the last ice age. With the arrival of settlers looking for agricultural sites some 150 years ago, the area around the North Saskatchewan River became more and more developed. Fortunately, much of the nature was preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Head down to the river to go rowing, canoeing or fishing. You can catch burbot, lake sturgeon and walleye, but check local fishing regulations beforehand. There are lots of bird-watching opportunities across the valley too, so read up on the local species.

During winter, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on some of the special tracks set up throughout the valley. There are also four skating rinks to circle around on too. If you are visiting in spring, summer or fall, you can go rollerskating on the paved trails instead. Join a Segway tour for a less strenuous way to explore the parklands.

To try something different, take a raft or a stand-up paddle board down the river to get a good look at the forested parklands from the water. Check the weather and river conditions before you head out.

If you are visiting the river valley from downtown Edmonton it takes about five minutes by car, 30 minutes on foot or 15 minutes by light rail from Churchill Station.