We’ve compiled some of our favourite running trails in Edmonton, so you can enjoy them too! Running is one of our favourite ways to stay active. We especially love running outside in the summer months when the sun is out and warm.
- 5k: Oleskiw Natural Area
- 5k: Fort Edmonton Loop
- 6.5k: Emily Murphy Loop
- 8.0k Muscle Matters Run
- 8.4k: Laurier-Hawerlak Loops
- 10k: So Much Funicular Loop
- After your Run
5k Running Trail: Oleskiw Natural Area
This is an enjoyable and straightforward 5k run over mostly level pavement. This out-and-back run meanders through forests and old farmlands before turning around at Terwillegar Park.
You can access the starting point for this run in Wolf Willow Ridge. There’s a small parking area on Woodward Cres. with additional parking on Wanyandi Way. The starting point is at the bottom of the hill. Head south on the paved trail. After 1.5 km, you’ll cross the river on the Terwillegar Park footbridge. Keep going along the trail until you reach the road into Terwillegar Park (2.4 km). Stop, and head back where you came. You’ll need to keep going an additional 100m past your starting point to complete an entire 5 km. But we like to finish 5 km, walk it out for a bit, then do a set of the Wolf Willow stairs to finish it off and take in the incredible view.
5k Running Trail: Fort Edmonton Loop
This run is a slightly more challenging course that goes over pavement, gravel, and dirt paths. There are some elevation gains over the run, and the varied terrain keeps things interesting. This loop takes you across the river and around all of Fort Edmonton Park. The dense urban forests and river settings will make you forget you’re in the city.
You can access the starting point for this run in Wolf Willow Ridge. There’s a small parking area on Woodward Cres. with additional parking on Wanyandi Way. The starting point is at the bottom of the hill—head east on the paved trail towards the Fort Edmonton Footbridge. After crossing the bridge, continue until you get to the road, turn right and head straight up the road. When the road turns right, you should turn left onto the paved multi-use trail. Continue past the gates to Fort Edmonton towards the Quesnell Bridge. Just before the bridge, you should see an entrance to the riverside trail (which is not paved). This trail will take you back to the bridge and to the start.
6.5k Running Trail: Emily Murphy Loop
This trail is a lot of fun and will take you through beautiful shady forests next to the river and brighter paved trails. Kind of a Best-of-the-River-Valley! We’d advise against doing the southern portion of this run during the spring, as the trail tends to be very wet from the spring melt still. If it’s hot out, you can finish your run with a quick rise at the spray park or a dip in Queen Elizabeth pool!
Park at the Kinsmen Sports Centre, head north towards the river to begin. The trail should run under the Walterdale Bridge, follow it around to the other side, then head up and across the bridge. On the north side, loop to the right again and go back under. Take this path all the way west along River Valley Road, past Victoria Park. Just before the Groat Bridge, turn right to head up and across the bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge, take the set of stairs down into Emily Murphy Park. Head east along the trail through the park. This trail proceeds next to the river all the way back to the start point at the Kinsmen.
8.0k Running Trail: Muscle Matters Run
This out-and-back run starts at Muscle Matters and runs along a greenbelt and fields to Whitemud Drive and back. This is a great run to do in the evening, especially while the sun is low!
Start at Muscle Matters (or the corner of 184 St and Lessard Rd). Head west on the Lessard Rd sidewalk. There’s a lighted crosswalk before you reach Anthony Henday Drive, turn right at the crosswalk. Head straight north along this greenbelt. When you reach 63 Ave, you’ll need to jog east a bit to cross at the crosswalk. Continue north on the gravel path north of 63 Ave. This path will take you all the way to Whitemud Drive. When you get to the end of the houses, stop and make your way back to Muscle Matters.
8.4k Running Trail: Laurier-Hawerlak Loops
This set of loops has a few options, so it’s really up to you as to which exact path you take. Whichever way you go, you’ll be headed through some of Edmonton’s prettiest parks and will see so much.
Park at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Start at the Entrance to Laurier Park, following the road into Laurier Park. When the road turns left, you keep going straight. Run along the retired road to the traffic circle, then head back. When you get back to the road, turn right and continue running along the road. (There’s also a dirt track with varied terrain you can take if you prefer). Immediately as you exit Laurier Park, there’s a gravel path to your right; hop on that and stay on it. You’ll follow it through Buena Vista Park to the Hawerlak Footbridge. Follow this trail to the right of the picnic shelter and all the way to the Hawerlak Park entrance. Turn left and follow the road back to the picnic shelter you saw and to the Hawerlak bridge. You can follow this gravel trail back, all the way to the Laurier Park entrance.
We also love to take a break from our run and have some drinks at Culina on the Lake.
10k Running Trail: So Much Funicular Loop
This run is a big, rambling run through downtown Edmonton and the River Valley. It’s mostly downhill until suddenly it isn’t.
Start at the corner of Jasper Ave and 100 St across the street from the Hotel MacDonald. Run south along 100 St, but stay to the right so that you take MacDonald Dr. As you run along MacDonald Dr, you’ll transition into 100 Ave. Stay on 100 Ave all the way west to 109 St. Right after 109 St, turn left and head down the trail that runs next to the trolley tracks. This trail will take you to Ezio Faraone Park and the Glenora Stairs. Spend a minute taking in the views (and a selfie), then head west on the trail to the right of the stairs. This paved path makes its way through the trees until it comes out on Victoria Park Road. Keep going west, down the hill as it curves to the left, and make your way to the path next to River Valley road. Take this path back east; it’s a long stretch. After you go under the High-Level Bridge, watch for a paved path to the right. Take it under the Walterdale Bridge, and keep going straight on the other side. This path runs between the Rossdale Plant and the North Saskatchewan River, follow it all the way north, under the James MacDonald and Low-Level bridges. To make this run hit 10 km, you have to run past the Funicular entrance into Louise McKinney Park until you hit about 9.4 km. Now turn around and head back to the Funicular.
If you’re tough, you’ll take the stairs all the way to the top. If you’re not, you’ll just say you did! Whew!
(If you’re in the mood, and the weather is nice, we love to stop for a refreshment on the patio at the Confederation Lounge.)
After Your Run
Make sure you stretch well after your run. If you’ve pushed yourself especially hard (hit any of the stairs after your run?), you may feel some real soreness in your muscles. Book in for a massage after your run to help you recuperate and continue moving your best! (But make sure to shower first.)