The Strathcona Science Park is the only Provincial park in the River Valley Alliance park system. Over the past century, this area has... more » been home to a number of coal mines, a gravel extraction pit and finally a lanfill before becoming a provincial park in 1980.
As part of Alberta's 75th Anniversary in 1980, the Alberta Heritage Fund invested the equivalent of $40 million in today's dollars to create the park. It consisted of six main buildings showcasing the area's rich history of settlement over 4000 years. The buildings hosted displays of the different artifacts that were unearthed in the area. In the south end of the park, there is a wooden trail which was built in order for the public to observe archeologists at work.
Currently, the Park has been left as a natural area with the buildings closed to the public since 1993. Sunridge Ski Hill occupies the northern most building and runs a small ski operation. In 1987, a tornado tore through the Park, leaving a trail of destruction in the trees, but left the buildings largely unharmed.
The various paved and gravel trails which run through the park are in daily use and it is also a popular spot for pet owners. Bike groups, running clubs and birdwatchers are a common sight in the park. From various places around the park, you get fantastic views of the River Valley and Rundle park just across the river. There is a pedestrian bridge connecting the two parks. There also a large number of picnic benches in thi park.
This short walk is on all paved paths except for a short section of steps and gravel path if you choose to go that way. I suspect it used to be a lookout over the river, but it is overgrown at the present time. From the parking lot, you loop around the old park buildings and emerge on the river side of the park with some amazing views of the river valley and downtown.
There is a drop in elevation as you drop into the park and a steady climb up the back side of the loop to the parking lot. However, there are plenty of paths back through the park where you can avoid the elevation change if you need to. An enjoyable short walk where you can expect to encounter many types of birds and other walkers on the path. less «