Imagine walking down a path past a strand of multi-coloured poplars in the fall as the leaves feather to the ground, backdropped against the pure blue, big Alberta sky. One cannot help but become immersed in nature, and that is what Cochrane’s Riverfront Park encompasses — nature.
The park reflects the natural setting it is surrounded by, with natural amenities provided in the children’s playground. Beautiful wooden slides and climbing apparatus will keep the children busy for hours while parents interact with their kids or visit the area and have a picnic.
One of the featured attractions in the park is that it borders the beautiful Bow River. Many people use the boat area and spend an afternoon rafting or boating down the Bow River, or casting a line into the liquid jewel that is world-renowned for trout fishing. Cap the day off with a fire or barbeque in one of the half-dozen firepits provided.
If you don’t want to get your feet wet, there are plenty of pathways — over 70 km throughout Cochrane, in fact! Head west on the paved path and experience the snow-capped mountain view when you rise out of the valley. The stunning vista will literally take your breath away, or the loss of breath may be due to the long hill that climbs out of the valley and into Mitford Park.
Or head east and soak up the stunning flora. Hike along the winding river paths that are walled with wolf willow, wild gooseberry, Canadian buffalo berry and several other shrub species that populate the southern Alberta river valleys.
The paved path heading east leads visitors to a disc golf course, a game that can be played year-round. If disc golf isn’t your game, keep following the path east until you encounter a forested area that will make you think of your favourite fairy tale. Then make a decision: take the path north into the overhanging trees, or continue east along the river to the nearby off-leash dog park and a world beyond.
Riverfront Park is ideally located next to Highway 22, on the south side of the bridge and is easily accessed from Griffin Rd. with plenty of parking.