Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
After fifteen minutes of “good” behavior (and by “good” I mean there were no unprovoked ambushes, no snowballs to the back of the head, no icicle stabbings, etc.), things took a slight turn for the worse when we reached a beautiful, snow-filled meadow at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. No, things didn’t digress into an epic snowball fight (the snow was fluffy and dry, thank goodness), but there were plenty of shenanigans. The Penner boys were out to play and without a doubt, the beautiful confines at Big Hill Springs proved the perfect playground.
With fifteen centimeters of fresh, fluffy snow draped over everything, our walk through Big Hill Springs Provincial Park was magical. Located approximately 15 kilometer east of Cochrane on Highway 567, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is a tucked-away oasis that’s ideal for the entire family.
Trails in nature
The 1.6 kilometer trail that loops through the small park (it sits secluded in a pristine coulee) is perfect for kids, dog-walkers, or, really, anyone who is simply looking for a short and relatively easy walk through nature. In this case, “nature” is all about a gorgeous spring-fed creek with waterfalls, unique flora and fauna, beautiful viewpoints, wooden bridges, and creek-side picnic spots. Unquestionably, the close proximity to Cochrane and the city of Calgary and the beautiful, away-from-it-all ambiance at Big Hill Springs makes it extremely popular with locals.
Winter Family Fun
In winter, if you can visit after a fresh snowfall, as we did, it is truly breathtaking. Although we didn’t complete the entire loop (too many snow games!), the fun-factor was off the charts. We made snow angels, shook snow off trees, traversed snow-covered logs over the creek, stopped for a picnic lunch at the top of the hill, posed for pictures, and, of course, threw a little snow down each other’s backs. You know, when in Rome.
Andrew Penner – Guest journalist and photographer