William Hawrelak Park to Fort Edmonton

MODERATE 5 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

William Hawrelak Park to Fort Edmonton is a 8.7 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.7 km
185 m
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Descend into the river valley Hawrelak Park is one of Edmonton's busiest parks. It is a very accessible park for all ages and all levels of mobility. It is also a great place for a picnic, walk or to watch a festival. It is a great jump off point for other trails in the river valley park system. William Hawrelak Park (or simply Hawrelak Park) is named after former mayor William Hawrelak, and was formerly known as Mayfair Park. The park is home to the Heritage Amphitheatre, which is used for many festivals and performances, such as the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, the Edmonton Heritage Festival and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra's Symphony Under the Sky Festival. This walk takes us down the river valley to Fort Edmonton starting in Hawrelak Park. Parking by picnic site #2 is a great place if you want to access the river valley trail system in a number of directions. You jump on the trail system and take a left by the pedestrian bridge and start heading down into the river valley. Nice wide trails greet you as you make your way through the trees. There are trails closer to the river that you can access, but watch out for the steep banks. There are also washed out areas of the trail that are marked, so please stay out of those. In particular, the Keillor Slump which is closed to everyone. You will pass a few staircases leading up to the neighbourhoods you pass on this walk. You now have to bypass the area around the Keillor Slump, so up the trail you go, then back down into the river valley on wonderful, wide paved paths. You will pass the Whitemud Equine Centre and pass through the bottom of Whitemud Park. Along the way you get nice views of the river and all of the boating activity. The Laurier Park Boat Launch is always busy and is visible on the opposite bank. You will pass some riverside beach which acts as a fishing area and boat access point before you cross the pedestrian bridge and head over to Fort Edmonton Park. This is a very enjoyable walk with many different landscapes to explore. This is a long walk, but very rewarding in its views and exposure to the trail system. Great bike path as well. Make sure you arrange pickup in Fort Edmonton Park, or you will have a long, uphill walk back.

6 months ago

On Sunday. May 8, 2018 while walking the previously marked pedestrian only dirt trail between Whitemud Park and Belgravia off-leash dog park, I was theatened with the words "if I have to go back to the beginning of this trail to view a sign that supposedly says no horses, no bikes, peds only; that will be the time that they will be dragging your body out of the river". Yes folks, I was threatened with death by the leader of an ~10 large pack of cyclists, most of which heard the threat but would not acknowledge hearing it. Now I understand that parts of that dirt trail are supposed to be off limits to all due to soil erosion and instability but I know for a fact that 10 days previous to today, there were two signs at the NE start of that trail that showed no horses, no bikes, pedestrians only. However, those signs no longer exist as it appears someone took some boltcutters to the no bikes, peds only sign and now the "killer" cyclists have laid claim to that entire dirt trail as they consider it unmarked and unmonitored. C'mon Christians of this city, back me up on this and have the city replace the removed sign and affix a sign stating properly, whom or what is or are allowed to use said dirt trail or at least admit that the city does not give a rat's ass to the safety of those of us elderly walkers who also have rights without having to fear "our bodies floating" in the North Saskatchewan River courtesy of rogue cyclists. Sorry about my language but this just happened to myself, my wife and our dog an hour ago!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Friday, May 05, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017