Discovering Big Hill Springs Provincial Park
When it comes to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, the adage that “less is more” applies. The long title that sports the name “big” is quite the opposite of what you’ll encounter when you visit. However, don’t discount a visit here just based on size. Be prepared to be wowed by the beauty of this little valley-oasis.
Driving from the northwest city limits of Calgary and heading west along township road 567 (Big Hill Springs Road) towards Cochrane / Highway 22, the Park is nestled at the end of Range Road 34A (Big Hills Springs Trail), 2.5km from the turnoff at Big Hill Springs Road (township road 567). You enter the signposted Park at a Texas gate, arriving immediately at the carpark where the only amenities are seasonal public toilets.
The carpark is the trailhead to several easily-accessible family-friendly trails that lead into the adjacent forested coulee. A wind-protected grassed area with picnic benches allow for families to relax while children – or your four-legged friends – refresh themselves in the shallow pools fed from the nearby stream.
For the walkers and hikers, this is your departure point to explore the forests, buttes and ravines upstream of the creek. Here you will come across water cascading over rugged rock formations, well demarcated pathways, birch and indigenous tree forests, wild flowers, wooden bridges that traverse the water courses, and an abundance of photo opportunities. Birdlife and wildlife will keep the interest of the nature lovers piqued.
Since the area is forested, the well-walked pathways may become quite muddied after rainy weather or during the thaw of early spring. It is wise to wear suitable footwear as well as layered clothing that you can easily remove or slip on depending on the conditions.
During our visits here we have seen numerous herds of deer, striking mountain bluebirds and Swainsons hawks. The marshland and stream bed in the valley floor seem ideally suited for moose sightings, but we’ve yet to spot any of these elusive giants. Entry to the Park is limited to day use only and access is free.
- Car park
- Seasonal public toilets
- Picnic benches (limited)
- Walking trails
✏️ Note: there is no cell phone signal in the area