Home to the most extensive pedestrian pathway network in North America, walking is a great way to explore Calgary. From walkable neighbourhoods and attractions to guided walking tours and pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods, this is your guide to Calgary by foot.
Walking in Calgary
Walking in Calgary
Walking Weather & Clothing
Comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather conditions are essential when walking in Calgary. Temperatures and weather conditions in Calgary vary day to day, season to season, and even hour to hour. Layered clothing in any season is a great way to be prepared for changes in weather conditions for a comfortable walking experience.
You can expect winter temperatures to range from approximately -20°C to 20°C. Long pants, layered shirts, down jackets, toques, and gloves are great choices. Winter boots with good tread are essential for walking in the city as sidewalk and pathway conditions can be snow covered and slippery. Sunglasses are also a smart choice in winter months as the sun’s reflection off the snow can create a bright environment.
Calgary also receives warm chinook winds throughout the winter months, raising temperatures by as much as 20°C in a few hours. Layered clothing is a great way to be prepared when the temperature changes quickly in the city, potentially rising from -10°C to 10°C in about 24 hours.
Spring temperatures range from approximately 0°C to 15°C. Long pants, layered shirts, light jackets, and comfortable walking shoes are appropriate for the short spring season. Calgary receives approximately 30 mm of precipitation in the spring months so water resistant shoes are also a good idea.
Summer temperatures range from approximately 5°C to 30°C. Shorts, short sleeve shirts, and a light jackets are appropriate clothing for the summer months along with comfortable walking shoes or sandals. Sunglasses are essential in the summer months as Calgary receives the most hours of sunlight per year of any major city in Canada.
Fall temperatures range from approximately 0°C to 15°C. Long pants, long sleeves, and a light jacket are appropriate clothing for the short fall season in Calgary.
Navigating Calgary on Foot
You can feel safe and comfortable walking in downtown Calgary. Well-lit downtown city streets and pedestrian-friendly crosswalks make walking in the city safe and enjoyable. Wayfinding signs in the downtown area are easy to find and helpful to locate popular destinations with estimated walking distances and times.
Calgary is divided into four quadrants (N.W., N.E., S.W., and S.E.) with the downtown core composed of a series of numbered streets and avenues. Numbered streets run north-south while avenues run east-west making it easy to navigate on foot and locate your next destination.
The City of Calgary has helpful information about walking in the city, including cycling and walking route maps. This helpful collection of maps provides information to help you walk to your next destination starting from the city centre and provides step-by-step instructions to get to one of 10 popular city destinations, including information about pathway closures and detours.
Kensington is just north of the Bow River and one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary. Historic buildings, local shops and eateries make this a great area to explore on foot. With quick access to the Peace Bridge and Prince’s Island Park, Kensington is a great place to grab a coffee or enjoy a walk by the river.
Inglewood is Calgary’s original main street and a popular place in Calgary to shop, eat, and walk. This historic neighbourhood is home to a unique collection of local shops, restaurants, and breweries that are easily walkable. Music lovers will enjoy walking the Music Mile, a stretch of music venues from 9th Avenue SE at the Blues Can to Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. The next great music venue is just steps away.
17th Avenue SW is at the heart of Calgary’s nightlife scene with a walkable stretch of trendy retailers, restaurants, and pubs that are easy to explore on foot. Enjoy a coffee and an afternoon stroll or a patio pint in the evening for a great place to people watch in the city.
East Village was designed with the pedestrian in mind. Walking paths, parks, and community spaces make it easy to navigate this revitalized neighbourhood on foot. Explore the Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk, grab a bite to eat at the Simmons Building, or walk across the George C. King Bridge to St. Patrick’s Island for a family-friendly day in the park.
Downtown Calgary is as pedestrian friendly as it gets. The Stephen Avenue Walk is Calgary’s historic pedestrian mall and outdoor walkway. Walk to local shops and restaurants, enjoy arts & culture at Arts Commons, shop at the CORE Shopping Centre, or get a great view from the top of the Calgary Tower. Located on 8 Avenue SW, between 4 Street SW and 1 Street SE. Stephen Avenue Walk is open to pedestrians from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week and continues to be pedestrian friendly after 6:00 p.m. as a one-way, single lane roadway with parking on the north side of the street.
Looking for more neighbourhood walks? Check out 12 of Calgary’s most unique neighbourhoods.
Walkable Parks & Paths
The Devonian Gardens is a lush indoor garden in the middle of the city. Located on the 4th floor of The CORE Shopping Centre, this urban oasis spans one hectare of botanical gardens, with over 500 trees, 50 varieties of plants, and a living wall that spans 900 square feet. The kids playground and comfortable benches make this indoor park a great place to walk and relax when the weather outside isn’t inviting.
Fish Creek Provincial Park is home to more than 80 kilometres of mixed used pathways, with 30 kilometres paved and 50 kilometres of shale. Check the trail map and plan your route through this popular provincial park in Calgary.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Nature Centre is a natural habitat that has been welcoming migratory birds and outdoor enthusiasts to the area since 1929. Located on 36 hectares near the neighbourhood of Inglewood, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary has an extensive pathway system perfect for walking.
The Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk is an award-winning pathway that winds along the Bow and Elbow rivers. Connected to 700 kilometres of Calgary’s pathway system, the RiverWalk includes outlooks along the water and access to Eau Claire Market, Fort Calgary, and the historic Simmons Building. Signage includes distances and estimated times to nearby amenities.
Prince’s Island Park is a natural oasis in the middle of the city and includes some of the most popular pedestrian pathways in Calgary. The Chevron Learning Pathway is an educational pathway on the east end of the island that winds around a constructed wetland and includes interpretive signage about the inner workings of the wetland.
Ralph Klein Park is a man-made wetland and natural environment with paved pathways and lookouts throughout the park. Picnic areas and a community orchard, growing pears and apples, are easily accessed on foot over more than 30 acres of land.
The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway pathway encircles Calgary with 138 kilometres of pathways, intersecting dozens of parks, natural areas, and neighbourhoods along the way. Directional signs along the path guide you along the pathway network and include information about local amenities, street names, and nearby neighbourhoods.
St. Patrick’s Island is a 31-acre public park located just northeast of downtown Calgary. You can access the island from the East Village by walking along the George C. King Bridge. Once on the island, you can explore a unique lowland channel boardwalk over a natural wetland area along with pathways through the natural wooded areas.
Calgary is home to an endless number of parks and pathways great for walking. Bowness Park, Nose Hill Park, Edworthy Park, Pearce Estate Park, Reader Rock Garden, Confederation Park, and the Glenmore Reservoir are other popular parks you can enjoy on foot.
Walking is a great way to explore a city for the first time and a popular way to experience the architecture, neighbourhoods, public art, and history that makes a city unique. Tour companies in Calgary offer a variety of walking tours that let you explore the city by foot.
CalgaryWalks & Bus Tours offers a Calgary Downtown Intro Walking Tour that includes historical facts and local tips and tricks for the best places to eat, shop, and explore. CalgaryWalks & Bus Tours is open year-round and requires a minimum number of participants for tours to begin.
Walk the YYC offers free walking tours that explore the history of Calgary. The Calgary Downtown tour is a free three hour walk that includes stops at the Calgary Tower, Olympic Plaza, Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary, and the historic Burns Building over eight kilometres through the city. Get a first-hand introduction to the city with local experts through Toonie Tours including a variety of tour-types like a free walking tour, a street art and craft beer tour, a classic bike tour, or one of the coolest ways to explore the city - a scootsee city highlights tour. Explore the spooky side of Calgary with the Haunted Cowtown tour, a free two hour ghost tour through the haunted streets of downtown Calgary and Inglewood. Walk-ups are welcome for these free tours but it is best to book a tour online and guarantee your spot.
Interested in walking through Calgary’s food scene? Alberta Food Tours helps you eat your way around the city with popular neighbourhood walking tours like Craving Kensington, Inglewood Edibles, and Savour 17 Ave SW.
You can even explore Calgary or Kananaskis on foot by taking a guided walk or hike with Fit Frog Adventures and owner Lori Beattie, best selling author of Calgary's Best Walks.
Walkable Attractions from Downtown
You can access some of the best attractions in Calgary on foot. Begin your day in downtown Calgary and thrilling attractions are just steps away.
The Calgary Tower is located in the heart of the city and is a must-see attraction in Calgary. The Calgary Tower rises 191 metres above the downtown core, making it a great place to start or end a day of walking in the city.
Fort Calgary is a short walk from downtown Calgary and the neighbourhood of Inglewood. Discover the history of Calgary from its beginnings as an outpost of the North West Mounted Police in 1875 through interactive exhibits and historical costumes.
Glenbow is one of the largest museums in western Canada and home to more than 1.3 million artefacts and 30,000 works of art. Located on the pedestrian friendly Stephen Avenue Walk, Glenbow is easily accessible on foot and just steps away from the Calgary Tower.
Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre celebrates the history of music in Canada in a big way. Five floors of interactive exhibits, instruments, and music memorabilia are walking distance from downtown Calgary and a short walk away from the neighbourhoods of East Village and Inglewood.