Calgary Parklands: Douglas Fir Trail and Quarry Road Trail

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September 11th 2020
Published: November 13th 2020
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In the bright sunshine of a glorious summer’s day, Skrastins C hikers gathered in Spruce Cliff at the parking lot by Pie Junkie (temptation for later). Following our leader, Jay, we walked a short distance on the street to Quarry Road Trail, and a short distance downhill on that trail to Douglas Fir Trail.

Fall was just coming into its natural garb, with flickering yellow leaves, tall pale grasses and tiny ripening berries. A few hikers chose to take the infinity of stairs up the looped path on the escarpment. The rest of us meandered along an easier path to the top of the same stairs. From our height on the escarpment we could see the downtown towers over the pointy pine trees (no Douglas Fir). Far below was the river valley spreading into the city centre. We descended again through the woodland to the river bank and the small bushes and wild grasses of the Bow River Pathway. Along the river, the views north were bright. Reality reflected in the clear water.

Just before moving back onto Quarry Road Trail, we enjoyed a snack break. An unaccompanied very well-behaved Welsh Terrier joined our group, which gave us some concern. Some of us had seen him previously along the path without an owner. Nancy easily caught hold of him and examined his tags, which were almost unreadable to our aging eyes. Fortunately, a thirty-something runner saw us and said she had just spoken to the owner, who had lost her dog. She read the smudged phone number, and Janice talked to the owner. Since describing where we were on the path was very inexact, the runner took hold of the grass leash that Nancy had fashioned, and took the polite dog back to its happy family. With everyone refreshed, we moved along at a good pace, facing the final climb up the escarpment in a cheerful mood.

The virtue of the hike permitted the buying of delicious pies before going home for lunch.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Downtown from Spruce Cliff Downtown from Spruce Cliff
Downtown from Spruce Cliff

Quiet view of noise
Douglas Fir Trail Douglas Fir Trail
Douglas Fir Trail

Were there once Douglas Fir trees?
Children's Hospital from Douglas Fir Trail Children's Hospital from Douglas Fir Trail
Children's Hospital from Douglas Fir Trail

A pop of colour on the horizon!
Stairs on the Douglas Fir Trail Stairs on the Douglas Fir Trail
Stairs on the Douglas Fir Trail

Ecological way of climbing up and down the escarpment
At least we didn't have to walk up ...At least we didn't have to walk up ...
At least we didn't have to walk up ...

... except for those who chose to.
Angel's Cafe Angel's Cafe
Angel's Cafe

Temptation across the river
Poplar leaves Poplar leaves
Poplar leaves

Calgary's fall colour from our most popular tree
Flax Flax

A last few flowers to remember summer
Chokecherries Chokecherries

Buffet on a bush
Wild rose hips Wild rose hips
Wild rose hips

Beautiful and nutritious
Saskatoon berries Saskatoon berries
Saskatoon berries

Best served in a pie!
Foothills Hospital campus Foothills Hospital campus
Foothills Hospital campus

Reflecting on the pace of work there

13th November 2020

The Fall I Recognize
Now there's the near-autumn colours that I remember (not to mention the deep-blue sky). It seems that Calgary has invested wisely in developing the river valley - in the sense of being accessible to walkers. Did you see *any* Douglas Fir? I'm not sure I'd even recognize them, but I have family members who use "fir tree" to mean any coni-fer. A great walk - and home by lunch. Excellent.
19th November 2020

Douglas Fir walk
Usually I call any needled tree an "evergreen", which denotes lack of knowledge; however, on this walk I asked someone who was knowledgeable, and she assured me there were no Douglas Firs on the Douglas Fir walk.
16th January 2023

Douglas Fir
There are -- or were -- Douglas Fir somewhere along there. I don't know Calgary's NW very well, but the late Gus Yaki led botany walks along the Bow River south shore and in the vicinity of the current Stony Trail Bridge construction (before that got all torn up) he pointed out Douglas Fir trees. I sure hope the trees weren't lost to construction. An easy way to ID Douglas Fir is by their distinctive cones, which you can find on the ground nearby. There is a story attributed to First Nations (google Douglas Fir mouse story) that the Douglas Fir offered forest mice shelter during a terrible fire, and so to this day you can see little mouse butts and tails sticking out from beneath the scales on their cones. : )

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