Length: ~1.5 km one way, ~3 km there and back, 1 hour.
Trail condition: Wide paved path, mostly flat. Option to shortcut on dirt trail in Irene Parlby Park
Dogs: Allowed on-leash.
Parking: See maps and instructions.
Did you know that the award-winning 100 St Funicular, just south of the Hotel MacDonald, is a great way to get yourself into the river valley from downtown? This short trail trek takes you from the base of the Frederick G. Todd lookout to the Walterdale Bridge through Louise McKinney Park, Irene Parlby Park and Rossdale, with river views and big trees to gawk at along the way. Not to mention you’ll get an up-close view of the iconic new Walterdale Bridge , and pass by historic buildings like the Rossdale Brewery and Rossdale Power Plant.
- Parking comes at a premium near the Hotel MacDonald and the 100 St Funicular, and there are neighbourhood parking restrictions in Rossdale (depending on time of day or if there is an event at Remax Field). Plan ahead or consider taking transit if not already arriving from downtown.
1. From 100 St, take the funicular down (or walk down the stairs if you need some extra steps in). At its base, walk to the Frederick G. Todd lookout, which is the platform overlooking the river valley. Definitely take a moment to soak in these views before taking the elevator down to trail level!
2. From the elevator, take a right down the trail, following signs for Irene Parlby Park.
3. At the next fork near the Low Level Bridge, stay left, going towards Irene Parlby Park.
4. Continue along the trail. You’ll walk under another bridge, this time the James Macdonald bridge, which is adorned with several murals.
5. Reaching Irene Parlby park, you can choose to go off the paved trail and walk closer to the river along the dirt path. Both the dirt path and paved trail run parallel to 100 St. The park features lots of benches to stop and admire the view, or a playground for a break if you’re walking with kids.
6. You’ll reach 94 Ave at the end of Irene Parlby park. At this point, continue on the trail that goes through an open gate. You’ll pass by a beautiful bench spot and cross a little bridge.
7. The trail weaves with the river on your left and both new and old water treatment buildings on your right. After passing an old pumphouse, the Walterdale Bridge will be in view. Walk the trail to get closer, and don’t forget your camera to capture the bridge at all its angles!
8. If you’ve got time and energy, continue across the Walterdale Bridge and explore the Walterdale/Kinsmen side of the river, or turn around and head back towards the funicular. You’ll really appreciate the funicular ride on the way up since it’s not a set of steep stairs you have to climb!