A path less travelled

Saturday: Who knew after 15 years of walking Edmonton’s trails I would find another path, tucked into one of the areas I walk most frequently? My intention was to walk up the path that runs parallel to 98th Ave. It’s steep and lined with tall, sun-shielding spruce trees, making it several degrees cooler and a shade darker than other trails. If you continue along the path that circles McNally High School, it not only offers an excellent view of downtown Edmonton, the path eventually leads to the Leave it to Beaver neighbourhood of Riverdale. However, this particular part of the trail is currently inaccessible due to much needed renos on the rust-infested Dawson Bridge.

So, I was just going to walk up the hill, and then back down and over to McKinney. In the unfoliated days of early spring, it’s easy to spot the monkey trails that lead off the main paths. Often they are not any more interesting than the main path, but the opportunities for a swift death at the wheels of a speeding biker are greatly enhanced. Occasionally, these winding paths are spectacular, as is the one I ‘discovered’ today. It runs along the south bank of the river from the pedestrian bridge to the hill, and with few leaves to block the view, it’s basically an elevated walk along the shore. The island that appears when the river is low runs parallel to this path, and the noise from the screaming seagulls that flock there is almost deafening. I’m pretty sure I saw two of them having a private flock on the edge of the island, but perhaps they were just friends.

Don't blame the beavers

There are many fallen trees along this trail, and judging from the non-beaver chewed tree stumps all over the place, it appears to require a fair amount of maintenance to keep the path open for us walky and bikey types. Much appreciated. Nevertheless, the trail was full of bumps and curves, with lots to see on either side. Can’t wait to try it out when it’s exploding with green.

In life, and in the river valley, it pays to take the monkey trails.


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