My kids are out of Whyte Ridge schools and we now have the freedom to move out of the area. There are a few places within walking, running or biking distance from Whyte Ridge I would miss if we moved out of the area and one of those places is a glorious path through FortWhyte Alive.
Entering off of McGillivray Boulevard gives the instant feeling of being outside the city. Immediately, you are on limestone paths far away from traffic. The only traffic you'll encounter is families with children walking, runners, cyclists, deer and possibly a goose protecting her young. The path is approximately four kilometres in length (seven kilometres return) with off-trail paths leading to ponds with suspended wooden paths and bridges.
When my children were young, we spent many hours watching them dip-netting and identifying the variety of water insects caught. We have also gone on our share of Bison Safaris.
Today you will find me running or biking through the paths, past the teepees, up the hill to the buffalo viewing point, down past the tree house and throughout the north trail. For the more adventurous, there is also a long path surrounded by very tall grass just outside the north trail of FortWhyte Alive toward Sterling Lyon Parkway and further paths connecting to the Assiniboine Forest and Assiniboine Park.
A note of caution: Watch out for hours of operation as you may find yourself locked in after hours and having to carry your bike through marsh and taking a bumpy rough detour (yes, I have done that too). I have run and cycled these paths many times over the last number of years; in times of joy and in times of sorrow. It is where I celebrate life and also more recently, grieve. It is my peaceful escape from the city within the city. I don't plan on moving from Whyte Ridge any time soon.
Marney Stapley has been a resident of Whyte Ridge for 18 years. You may see her walking throughout Whyte Ridge with her dog, Lilly. She has a husband and two daughters.
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