Park #5: Bowmont Park

Date visited: July 14, 2021

Location: NW Calgary

Best Time of Year To Visit: This looks like a good year-round park.

This park wasn’t selected randomly. We were in the area, so we decided to check out this park. I think this park was near the outskirts of the city. We had to go pretty far out to get there. Additionally, we heard the Snowbirds were going to fly over Calgary. For those of you who don’t know, the Snowbirds are the air stunt team for the Royal Canadian Air Force. You can read more about them here. At first, I thought it was for the Calgary Stampede. I found out later that it was to honour healthcare workers, so the flight path went over certain hospitals. Did we see them? Read on to find out.

Park Features and Highlights:

Bowmont Park is yet another park that is next to the Bow River. I love the number of bridges around, especially when a train went over one of them. There’s another park across the river called Bowness Park. It’s one of the gems of Calgary, which I hope to see before the summer is over. We also managed to see traces of beaver life nearby. There was a tree that was clearly chewed by a beaver and we saw evidence of a new beaver dam, but no beavers this time! I still haven’t seen one yet, but that’s okay. Some of the trails allow dogs off the leash, which is pretty cool. The trails have a lot of shade from trees and you can find spaces overlooking the river. It’s a great place to cycle at too.

We arrived at the park at the start of the hour where the Snowbirds were expected to fly over. We heard helicopters flying over and thought there were checking the airspace. Later, we found out it was to monitor the air quality. You know how when you’re anticipating something and you keep your eyes and ears peeled and wonder about whether you’re going to miss it? We had that because we thought we should have made an effort to be near the Stampede safely that day, so we had more chance of seeing the Snowbirds.

And Then…

We stayed near the river as long as we could and then decided to carry on walking. We figured we might not see the Snowbirds, but I still kept my ears peeled. Suddenly, I heard the roar of an airplane that was not a passenger jet! We looked towards the river and we saw the Snowbirds in the distance! We waited to see if they would turn around. They did and flew directly over the trail we were on! It was too fast for me to catch a photo. But also, I wanted to enjoy the moment without worrying about a good photo. The Snowbirds were in a maple leaf formation, and the angle was such that we couldn’t see all the planes. I saluted as they flew over!

Other people on the trail were just as excited as we were to see them. I loved feeling this calm Canadian pride and patriotism that I have noticed is common here. I have had the pleasure of seeing other Air Force stunt teams like the Red Arrows during London 2012 and the Blue Angels flying into San Francisco for an airshow. But none of those experiences compared to seeing the Snowbirds fly over where I was standing! I admit I do have some qualms about militaries in general, but I have to admit the stunt teams are cool! Third Culture Kid, Third Culture views of Air Force stunt teams! Anyway, back to the park.

Some Challenges:

I found that sometimes the trails separate from the main trail were a little confusing. Plus, there were A LOT of biting insects! I recommend insect repellant for this park. Also, it was kind of weird trying to enter the park. There was a bridge over the river, but for a while, we weren’t sure whether we were supposed to cross it. Plus, there was only one way to walk across the bridge, and we had to find a way to get to that path. Eventually, we got there, but it was super weird. When we got to one end of the park, it was clear there was some sewage treatment going on and it wasn’t pleasant.

If you see this, you’re in the sewage treatment area

I have been taking a little break from going to parks because of the amount of smoke that’s been in Calgary. There’s nothing like wildfire smoke to ruin a park experience, and it’s rather unpleasant to be out anyway. Whenever it clears, I will go to a new park.

If you miss any of my future posts on my challenge or want to reread my past posts, you can go to my page Calgary Parks Challenge. You can also find more photos from the parks on my Instagram page here.

See you at the next park in my challenge!