Featured on Best of Edmonton’s list of best hiking trails in Edmonton
Length: ~7 km round trip, 1.5 – 2 hours
Trail condition: Wide paved trail, large staircase at end.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Dogs: Allowed on-leash.
Parking: See maps and instructions.
The Terwillegar Footbridge links Terwillegar Park to Oleskiw River Valley Park and is Edmonton’s first stressed-ribbon bridge. It’s also one of the signature projects of the River Valley Alliance! With this bridge connection, you’re able to walk from Terwillegar Park to the Fort Edmonton footbridge, Wolf Willow Ravine and beyond. We tested out an in-and-out route from Terwillegar Park to the top of the Wolf Willow stairs to get great views of the river and river valley, especially of the autumn leaves!
The trails on the Oleskiw side are set in an open field further from the bank and running parallel to the Edmonton Country Club. For the avid mountain biker, there are some great single track trails just off of the paved trail in Oleskiw. The climax of the trail is ascending the imposing Wolf Willow stairs, a 50 m climb which makes for a great workout if you’re into running stairs!
1. From the parking lot, head east along a paved trail that runs alongside the road you took to get in. Follow the signs that point the footbridge.
2. The trail leading to the bridge from Terwillegar Park is off-leash, but once you are on the bridge and heading to Oleskiw, you will need to keep your dog on a leash.
3. Arrive at the bridge. As you cross the 262 m bridge, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the river views on either side—there are even several benches where you can stop, rest and take it all in.
4. Across the bridge, the trail goes through an open field away from the river bank. This section is very peaceful and almost feels like you’re in a rural area outside of the city!
5. After 1.5 km, the trail descends slightly into the Wolf Willow Ravine, becoming more shaded with trees for 350 m.
6. You’ll come out of the trees with views of the Fort Edmonton Footbridge. The next 400 m of trail are relatively flat, running close to the river bank.
7. You’ll then arrive at the base of the Wolf Willow Stairs. Take a deep breath—you can do this! And just think of the views you’ll see at the top!
8. Once at the top of the stairs, you made it! Catch your breath and enjoy the views in every direction before heading back down and returning to Terwillegar Park the way you came.