I’ve always said I would get more exercise if I had nice walking trails nearby, and after spending a few days in Medicine Hat, I think that might be true.
Recently, I was invited to explore the paths and trails scattered throughout the city of Medicine Hat and I can say that I enjoyed every scenic step. The well maintained trails are a mix of paved and crushed rock paths that are easily accessible to various mobility needs. As I wandered the parks, I found myself forgetting that I was in a city. From riverside paths to valley views, beaches, and green spaces, each park was a little different, but they had one thing in common; the people making use of the areas were happy, smiling, and enjoying the many amenities.
The first stop I made was to the tourism information booth. Bikes are available to borrow for free here, but I decided to wait until later to take advantage of this program and I set out towards the world’s tallest tepee. I have stopped at the Saamis Tepee before but I had never ventured on the paths of Seven Persons Coulee that surround it. There is a slightly steep slope that made my prairie girl heart rate speed up, but it was worth it.
Next, I went just outside of the city to Echo Dale Regional Park. I have used the boat launch here once, on a kayak trip, but hadn’t actually spent time in the park. I started by wandering the trails at the top of the valley. The views overlooking the river and park are beautiful and the cactus flowers were blooming. I walked along the river path for a bit and then headed to the lakes. The path surrounded a small lake and took you to a public beach where school groups were enjoying the last days of class. My favorite part was where the two small lakes joined. The trees made an arch that framed the views beautifully.
The next morning I ventured to Police Point Park with plans to use the Borrow a Bike program. I was a little worried that I’d need to tackle inclines, but the employee assured me the trails were all on flat ground. The map showed me that the trails were all entwined together with little paths veering off to reveal river lookouts or “secret” fishing locations. I’m not much of a biker, but I couldn’t stop smiling as I rode my borrowed bike, with a comfortable seat, in and out of these paths. Police Point Park is open all year, with snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter.
Strathcona Island Park was next on my list. Again, I found myself at many diverging points, deciding on a whim which way to proceed. I counted four deer and enjoyed watching dogs play in the off leash portion of the paths. There are 5 kilometers of walking trails here with cook huts, parks, ball diamonds and more! Again, the parks were full of kids playing and adults enjoying the trails.
Kin Coulee Park was the last stop on this trip. Right away I noticed that this park had a lot of open green space. I could imagine families having picnics and friends using the basketball or volleyball courts, or sitting around the many fire pits. The path throughout this park allows vehicles to drive in, but people still use the roadway to walk, jog, or run on. There was even a toboggan hill waiting for winter.
Walking through these paths alone was the perfect setting to relax and reflect. I watched couples holding hands on a nice stroll, kids learning and playing, and individuals pushing themselves with a run or jog. Getting out in nature is good for the body and soul and I will definitely stop to enjoy these parks on my next visit to Medicine Hat.
Check out this video of my hiking adventures.
Thanks to Tourism Medicine Hat for the invite.