The slopes of Paskapoo just east of Canada Olympic Park are a wonder.
They are home to the best mountain biking in the city limits of Calgary, and those trails also make for great wandering. (In the winter, there’s a great cross country skiing track in the area too)For me, the Paskapoo Slopes trails are a perfect place to explore as they are only 2 blocks from our house.
Near the top of the ridge is where the two surprising finds are: coming from 85th St SW, the first treat is a Buddhist Stupa. The shrine appears to be deep into the backyard of a home set off the street in the woods. It is surrounded by barbed wire that has been beaten down, and it’s easy to duck under the prayer flags and spend a few minutes of solace on one of two benches.
[Ed Note: It has been pointed out to me that this is likely on private property. Yes, the trail has been worn around the Stupa, and it is easy to enter the area, but it would be best to walk around the structure and view from beyond the fencing. The photo below was taken from beyond the fence, so it is still possible to see this beautiful surprise in the woods without trespassing]
View Paskapoo Slopes in a larger map
Once you head down a steep trail from the Buddhist Stupa, you’ll cross a wider path heading back up the slope to the southeast. This is a popular traverse for mountain bikers, we saw a few on our hike. You’ll cross some rickety bridges over small creeks made with old wooden palettes before you come across a very curious sight – two very old hollowed out cars stuck in a pond.It’s hard to tell how the cars got there, but you can tell they’ve been there a long time. They look easily from the 1940s, and have been gutted of pretty much everything. It looks like one car was stuck in the pond and another was trying to pull him out before they both were abandoned in futility.
Much searching can’t tell me why these cars are there. Do you know?
It’s a very interesting area, the Paskapoo Slopes trails, and these two fun finds are not all you will stumble upon. There is a history dating back 3000 years in the area and a preservation society is trying to keep this very valuable real estate as a protected public park.
After you pass the cars, you can continue to head up the wide path to catch some beautiful panoramas of the Bow River Valley and pick up a few trinkets from geocaches sprinkled along the Paskapoo Slopes trails. It’s a great place to wander and hike and escape the city – within the city limits.