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Riverside Retreats: Exploring Edmonton’s River Valley Parks in Spring

As the crisp winter air softens and a symphony of birdsong replaces the quiet hush of snow, Edmonton awakens to the renewed energy of spring. And what better way to celebrate the changing season than by immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Edmonton’s River Valley parks? Stretching over 7,400 hectares along the North Saskatchewan River, the River Valley offers a network of parks, trails, and green spaces that provide the perfect escape for urban explorers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a casual cyclist, or a family seeking a day of outdoor fun, Edmonton’s River Valley parks have something for everyone in the springtime. Here, we’ll guide you through some of the must-visit spots and activities that will make your spring exploration of the River Valley unforgettable.

A Tapestry of Nature’s Beauty


The Edmonton River Valley boasts a diverse ecosystem, with a rich tapestry of forests, wetlands, meadows, and prairies. As spring unfolds, the landscape comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colours. The vibrant greens of new foliage paint the trees, while wildflowers like prairie crocuses, pasqueflowers, and wild irises carpet the meadows in shades of purple, yellow, and blue. Don’t forget to look up – the clear blue skies are often dotted with migrating birds, their calls adding to the symphony of nature.

Take a leisurely stroll along the trails bordering the river and soak in the breathtaking panorama. The gentle murmur of the flowing water creates a calming ambiance, perfect for de-stressing and reconnecting with nature. If you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a kayak or canoe and explore the river from a different perspective. Paddling down the waterway allows you to discover hidden coves and observe wildlife from a closer vantage point.

Be sure to keep an eye out for some of the fascinating creatures that call the River Valley home. Beavers are active during spring, busy building their dams and lodges. You might also spot muskrats, otters, or even deer grazing in the meadows. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of avian life, with species like bald eagles, hawks, owls, and songbirds filling the skies with their melodies.

A Haven for Outdoor Activities

Spring is the ideal time to dust off your hiking boots and hit the trails. The Edmonton River Valley offers a network of well-maintained paths suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you choose a short, scenic loop or embark on a more challenging hike, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the river valley and the Edmonton skyline.

For those seeking a more exhilarating experience, mountain biking is a fantastic way to explore the trails. With designated single-track routes and varying difficulty levels, the River Valley caters to both novice and experienced riders. The thrill of navigating through winding paths and feeling the wind in your hair is an invigorating way to embrace the spring season.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, you can rent a bike and cruise along the paved pathways. The Edmonton Valley Line LRT conveniently connects several points along the River Valley, allowing you to hop on and off at different locations and explore various sections of the park system.

Families with young children will find plenty of enjoyment in the River Valley’s many playgrounds. The equipment is designed to be both challenging and safe, providing hours of entertainment for your little ones. Pack a picnic lunch and spread out a blanket in a designated area for a relaxing afternoon under the warm spring sunshine.

For those seeking a cultural experience, the Edmonton River Valley is home to several historical sites and landmarks. For example, Fort Edmonton Park, a reconstructed Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, offers a glimpse into the city’s fur-trading past, while the Muttart Conservatory, with its distinctive pyramids housing a tropical rainforest, a desert oasis, and a show dome featuring seasonal floral displays, provides a unique escape within the urban landscape.

Planning Your Riverside Retreat

With so much to see and do, planning your springtime adventure in the Edmonton River Valley is important to ensure a memorable experience. We’ve compiled some helpful tips to get you started!

  1. Think about your interests and fitness level when selecting your destination. If you’re seeking a leisurely stroll, the paved trails along the North Saskatchewan River Valley are perfect. For a more adventurous outing, explore the hiking trails in Dawson Park or Rundle Park.
  2. Spring weather can be unpredictable. Be sure to check the forecast before heading out and dress accordingly. Layers are always a good idea, as temps can fluctuate throughout the day.
  3. Pack comfortable shoes suitable for walking or hiking on uneven terrain. Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and insect repellent! You might want to also bring binoculars for birdwatching and a camera to capture the beauty of the blooming landscapes and wildlife encounters.
  4. Spring is prime time for enjoying a delicious picnic lunch amidst the natural beauty. Pack your favourite sandwiches, snacks, and beverages. Many parks offer picnic shelters and tables, but bringing a blanket allows you to find a secluded spot for a more intimate experience.
  5. Remember, you’re a guest in nature’s wonderland. Leave no trace behind by packing out all your garbage and respecting wildlife. Stay on designated trails to avoid disturbing sensitive ecosystems, and be mindful of noise levels to ensure a peaceful experience for everyone.

Beyond the Parks

While the River Valley is undoubtedly the star of the show, Edmonton offers plenty of urban delights to complement your springtime adventure.

  • Explore the Downtown Core: After a day of exploring the River Valley, head downtown to discover Edmonton’s incredible arts and culture scene. Visit the Royal Alberta Museum, catch a performance at the Winspear Centre, or wander through the Art Gallery of Alberta.
  • Indulge in Culinary Delights: Edmonton boasts a thriving foodie scene. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants lining the riverbank with stunning views of the North Saskatchewan River. Or, head to one of Edmonton’s bustling neighbourhoods for a more casual dining experience.
  • Immerse Yourself in Culture: Edmonton offers a diverse cultural tapestry. Explore the historic Fort Edmonton Park, delve into Ukrainian heritage at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, or discover the Indigenous art scene at the Institute for Contemporary Art.

Springtime in Edmonton’s River Valley is an experience that awakens the senses. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape into nature, an opportunity to reconnect with wildlife, or a chance to explore the city’s lively culture, the River Valley offers something for everyone. So, pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to experience the magic of Edmonton’s urban oasis.

Start planning your springtime getaway to Edmonton today! Visit Edmonton’s Best Hotels to find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs and explore our special spring packages designed to enhance your River Valley adventure. Remember, when you book your stay through Edmonton’s Best Hotels, you’ll get up to $225 in rewards with our 1, 2, 3 Reward Deal. We look forward to welcoming you to Edmonton and helping you create unforgettable springtime memories!

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Terms and Conditions

The “1,2, 3 Pick Your Rewards”, Terms and Conditions and Blackout Dates 

Rewards Program campaign dates

Reward package available to book from January 5, 2022 for stays to December 31, 2024 for rewards except for possible blackout dates. At present there are no blackout dates scheduled.

Rewards are subject to while supplies last.  Substitutions of equivalent kind, value may be made as necessary.  Rewards are non-transferable, no cash value, no cash back.

  • Rewards are non-transferable, non-exchangeable, have no cash value, no cash back.
  • Rewards cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion.
  • Reward deal is net non-commissionable.

Blackout dates

At present there are no blackout dates scheduled. 

In the event blackout dates are scheduled, any guest who makes a booking for a hotel stay during the blackout period prior to the blackout period being named will receive the rewards they are booked for. 

Rewards Program offerings

Book one night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of three $50 rewards excluding blackout dates:

  • $50 Gas Card or
  • $50 Prepaid Mastercard, or
  • $50 Ultimate Dining Card

Book two night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of five reward packages excluding blackout dates:

  • $150 prepaid MasterCard, or
  • $75 Gas card and $75 MasterCard, or
  • $75 Gas card and $75 Ultimate Dining Card, or

Book three night’s stay with Edmonton’s Best Hotels and receive your choice of one of four reward packages excluding blackout dates:

  • Three Night Reward 1: $225 Prepaid Mastercard
  • Three Night Reward 3: $75 Ultimate Dining Card + $75 Prepaid Mastercard + $75 Gas Card

One choice of reward per stay. 

Guest must be 18 years of age or older at time of redemption. 

Prepaid Mastercard’s can be used for online purchases only. In Canada, prepaid Mastercard’s cannot be used at any retail outlet (including your hotel) with point-of-sale systems.

Rewards distribution

Rewards will be emailed directly to guests within 48 hours of Edmonton’s Best Hotels confirming their check-in.  Rewards are not provided by the hotel’s front desk.   All rewards are sent electronically. 


Guest must reserve a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival.

Rewards are NOT available for reservations made less than 24 hours in advance of arrival.

Reservations made directly with hotels and not through Edmonton’s Best Hotels are not eligible for rewards. No exceptions. Rewards are only provided to guests who book through Edmonton’s Best Hotels online booking platform.  Booking reservation confirmations will have Edmonton’s Best Hotels branding on them. Rewards not provided for hotel reservations during specified blackout dates.

Reservations cannot be extended by hotels for additional rewards.

Guests may add a night to an existing one-night deal reservation and receive additional rewards if the request is made a minimum of 24 hours in advance of arrival.

Booking terms and conditions

Rewards provided for more than one night, must be for consecutive nights under one registration under one name at one property. In addition, no more than up to three consecutive nights will be honoured. If a guest checks in for three days and then checks out and re-checks in for the next day, this is considered a consecutive night booking even if the second booking is made at different hotel.  

There must be a minimum of three days between bookings.

Multiple reservations for the same person for the same night(s) is considered a double booking and only one of those bookings will be eligible for rewards. For example, if a guest books two nights on x and y date and then makes another two-night booking for the same dates at the same hotel or another hotel, EBH considers this a double booking and will honour rewards for only one of those bookings. 

Is there a limit on the number of bookings I make on different dates?  Edmonton Best Hotels welcomes repeat business.  Some of our guests visit Edmonton every month.  Please note as stated earlier there must be a minimum of three days between bookings. Please also note stated blackout dates.

Cancelling and date changes to reservations

If a guest wants to cancel or change the dates of their booking.

What if I want to cancel my booking?  Edmonton Best Hotels must cancel your booking (not the hotel).  If you want to cancel, contact info@edmh.ca and let us know.  We will cancel your booking and send you a cancellation number for your records.  Please do not cancel directly with the hotel.

What if I want to change the dates of my booking?  You must contact Edmonton Best Hotels at info@edmh.ca and let us know you want to make a date change.  Your original booking must be cancelled first.  You will receive a cancellation number for your records.  Then, you must rebook for your new dates.  The hotel nor Edmonton’s Best Hotels cannot make date changes to the original booking.  Please note this does not guarantee you will receive the same hotel rate when you rebook for different dates.

Any questions, please contact Edmonton Best Hotels at info@edmh.ca 

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