Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Thanks to a thick layer of fog funneling through the valley, hanging like a sheet above the golden banks of the Bow River, the mood for the morning is set. It’s tranquil. It’s surreal. And it’s truly magical. Deer, a doe and a fawn, glide along a fescue-capped ridge line and, as I hoof it to the top of the scenic Yodel Loop at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, the sun now burning a hole in the mist, I know I’m in for a special morning of hiking and exploring.
Photography and more
But, truth be told, every one of my half dozen visits, give or take, to Glenbow Ranch has yielded something special. For photographers – or walkers, cyclists, naturalists, history buffs, or, really, anyone with a passion for the great outdoors – it doesn’t get much better than Glenbow Ranch.
Situated approximately halfway between Calgary and Cochrane on the heaving banks of the Bow, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is idyllic Alberta ranchland at its finest. A beautiful network of walking paths, some paved some gravel, meander through the aspens and among the grass-capped hills that cover the park. A cozy interpretive center and a number of old ruins (some from the old Glenbow settlement that was situated near the river) add to the beauty and the intrigue of visiting the park. A number of scenic overlooks and interpretive loop trails (including the fantastic Yodel Loop) are popular places to visit.
Rolling foothills and abundant wildlife
For me, considering nature photography is one of my passions, the golden light of the morning and evening are ideal. At those times, I often have the park virtually to myself. Trains curling through the mist along the river, the Rockies rising in the western sky, the rolling foothills, abundant wildlife; the list of things to photograph is endless.
If “getting away from it all” in a beautiful natural setting is something you value, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is as good as it gets.
Andrew Penner – Guest journalist and photographer