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Summer a great time to hit the trails in Edmonton

With the warm days of summer upon us, everyone is looking for a way to stay active and enjoy the sunshine. Edmonton is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country.
Walking trails at Capilano Park
Walking trails at Capilano Park

With the warm days of summer upon us, everyone is looking for a way to stay active and enjoy the sunshine.

Edmonton is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the country. If you're looking to get out and enjoy nature, there is no better place than right in your backyard. Hiking is a great form of exercise, as well as a great way to enjoy the day with family. Whether it's a unique date, or just a fun way to spend the afternoon, hiking is a great activity for everyone

Edmonton also has great trails for everyone, whether you're a skilled hiker, or you're just starting out. Before you set out, regardless of skill level, there are some helpful rules to remember;

Remember your sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, water and a light snack. Don't forget a cell phone, in case of emergency. Most smartphones have compasses and GPS, so if you get lost, you'll have a better chance of getting back to civilization.

Always dress for your adventure. Long pants, closed toes shoes.

Do not go hiking alone. While the trails can be peaceful, it's always better to travel together in case of emergency.

Be mindful of weather forecasts. If the trails are exceptionally muddy or slippery, you may want to wait another day before hitting the trails.

Now that we've reviewed the safety rules, we're ready to hit the trails. If you're not quite ready to start hiking, there are still a lot of great places to enjoy nature. Here are just a few:

• The Beaumaris Lake and the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Fountain in Northern Edmonton have awesome paved roads for cyclists, pedestrians and offer some of the loveliest views in the city.

• For those who are ready to hit the trails, Capilano Park (109A Avenue & 50 Street) is a good spot for beginners, with paved roads that have trails that lead into the woods for hikers.

• The Buena Vista Park (13400 Buena Vista Road) is another excellent area, with both paved roads and hiking trails, with a fantastic view of the river.

• For experienced hikers looking to take on a challenge, Mill Creek Ravine (95 Street & 82 Avenue) and Terwilligar Park (156 Street & 36 Avenue) offer trails that are breathtaking and require a little more effort.

There's something for everyone, regardless of your skill level. If you have mobility issues, don't worry about starting off light. Everyone starts somewhere; the important thing is getting out and getting active. So, whether you're enjoying the paved roads by the lake or ready to take on the most difficult trail, get outside and enjoy the beauty of Edmonton.

More information and directions to Edmonton parks can be found online at http://www.edmonton.ca/activities_parks_recreation/parks_rivervalley/river-valley-parks.aspx