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Great Hikes For Downtown Dwellers

When it comes to active living downtown, your first thought may be, “What gym will join?” But what if you are looking to get into the open air? Maybe you are a pet owner and looking to get out with your furry friend. There are actually several great hikes for downtown dwellers. You’ll see experience some riverside wildlife and maybe find a new vantage of your city. Whether it’s a brief after-work walk or a longer weekend trek, here are some options to get you started. Put on some comfortable footwear, grab a water bottle, and hit the urban trails. Don’t forget the dog!

Stephen Juba park. Photo credit: Robert Linsdell via Flickr

The Waterfront Walk

To Stephen Juba Park, via Waterfront Drive

From 300 Main: 1.7km, one way 22 mins / 3.4km round trip, 45 mins return

If you’re looking for a brief route to take a post-work walk, try this riverside stroll. Departing 300 Main, take William Stephenson Way to Waterfront Drive, and turn left at the Goldeyes Stadium. You can take the sidewalk or the footpath through the riverside foliage. Follow the path through Stephen Juba Park, and take some time to admire the view. Keep going and you’ll end up at the roundabout in Fort Douglas Park. If you’re pressed for time, you can walk up to Main Street and head on back to your apartment if you have the time to stroll, turn around and head back for a 45-minute low-impact walk.

To Whittier River View

To Whittier Park, via Parc Joseph Royal

From 300 Main: 4.2km, one way 50 mins (ending at park entrance), or 7.0km round trip 1h20min (returning to 300 Main)

Looking for a longer urban hike? Try this path that takes you through Whittier Park. Departing 300 Main, take William Stephenson Way past the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and cross the river along the Esplanade Riel. Take the footpath through Parc Joseph Royal, a riverside park with a great view of the downtown. Keep along the river footpath until you reach the train bridge. You’ve reached Whittier Park, and you can follow the footpath along the Red River and around to the trailhead at the park’s eastern entrance.

At this point, you can return the same way or cut across Thibault St (which turns into Rue Aubert) and you can connect with the river trail and return home.

The Assiniboine Trek

To the Legislative Grounds, via the Forks & Assiniboine trail

From 300 Main: 3km, one way 40min, 4.7km, round trip, 1hr

Now this trail, as lovely as it is, may be submerged at times. However, when it is walkable, it is a wonderful view of the city.

Leaving 300 Main down William Stephen Way and following the footpath behind the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, you can access the riverwalk (unless it’s submerged), which takes you on a lovely curving trail along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. You’ll pass the docks and the spacious patio before heading under the Bridge of the Old Forts. The trail continues all the way to the Legislative grounds, where a large statue of Louis Riel looks towards you from the top of the embankment. At this point return the way you came, for a 6km hike or take a zig-zag path through the downtown back to 300 Main for a shorter, 4.7km trip.

The Lyndale

To Lyndale Drive Park North

From 300 Main: 2.4km, one way 30min, 4.8km, round trip 1hr 

If you have time for only a brief trek, we suggest the Lyndale Park route, which takes you south through the Forks and across the Red River to Norwood Flats.

Taking the same path as all the other hikes so far, you’ll circle around the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, this time staying a little higher up than the riverwalk. Following any of the lovely footpaths through the Forks, you’ll head past the Oodeena Circle and over the Forks footbridge (you know the green one with the mural on the large cement cantilever). You’ll pass through South Pointe Park, and will have to cross Main Street and head south over the Norwood Bridge. You’ll see the Winnipeg Rowing Club, situated along the Red River. This is Lyndale Drive Park North, and there is a longer riverside park further south, Lyndale Drive Park. But you’ve made it 2.4km so far and turning around will get you a brisk 5km round trip.

Photo courtesy of The Forks

Of course, there are numerous parks, trails, and paths to explore in the central area. These are just a few examples of the greenspaces and active living trails that are within your grasp, all easily accessible from 300 Main.