Park hours: sunrise to sunset, year-round
Nature Centre hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on statutory holidays
When it comes to beautiful places to go for a walk in Calgary and watch the fall colours turn, few can top the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Actually, the refuge just a few blocks east of downtown Calgary make a great refuge regardless of the season.
This 36-hectare wildlife reserve is visited by more than 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals (including deer), 2 amphibians, 2 reptiles, 7 species of fish and 27 species of butterflies.
A Nature Centre at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary has an exhibit hall for families and wildlife lovers, and records recent sightings in the area. The sanctuary offers two kilometres of trails through open grasslands and forests. Trails are open from dawn to dusk every day of the year. The paths are easy to take kids for a wander searching for birds, ducks and even geocaches.
The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is part of Colonel James Walker‘s estate. Named Calgary’s Citizen of the Century at the city’s Centennial in 1875, Walker was a founder of the city of Calgary. After an early and distinguished career in the Canadian Military and with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police Walker took up a homestead on this land along the Bow River.
In 1929 Colonel Walker’s son, Selby, arranged for the adjacent shore and islands of the river to be designated as a federal migratory bird sanctuary, among the first in western Canada. In these early days of wildlife conservation the sanctuary had a purpose of sustaining game and pheasant rearing pens were operated in a compound south of the estate house. The designation of the estate as a Historic Site is underway.