Whitemud Ravine (Snow Valley to Alfred H. Savage Centre) - 5km Return (Easy)
This 5km return started from the Snow Valley parking lot and goes through the Whitemud Ravine to the Alfred H. Savage Centre, and then returns along the same path. From the parking lot we walked along the flat path through the ravine to the Alfred Savage Centre before returning. The trail follows the creek as it winds through the woods. There are unusually large spruce and poplar in this area compared to other parks in Edmonton which supposedly provides lots of habitat for some owls and raptors, although we were not lucky enough to see anything special. On the trail we encountered plenty of chickadees, some swarms of bohemian waxwings and some aggressive squirrels looking for seeds. At one stop along the way there was a white breasted nuthatch, which was a nice change.
A couple hundred metres into the trail, not far past the Rainbow Valley Campground, you will come to a hoodoo looking hillside. At the 1km mark we passed under a pipe spanning the ridges of the ravine, where you can stop at a couple of benches with a nice view of the creek in the valley.
From there the forest becomes more dense and and the trees become taller. Skirting the ravine are plenty of birch trees as well.. Do not confuse these with aspen or poplar; Sarah is really sensitive about this matter.
At 2km into the trail there is a small gnome house with no indication of what its purpose is. When opening it up there appeared to be small bits of litter. It's only another 500m to the Alfred H. Savage Centre where we turned around. However, instead of turning right as we did, you could continue from here down to the river or into Fort Edmonton Park by following the path that says “Fox Drive”. On our way back we had a pileated woodpecker fly over us a couple of times.
After our walk we went to Square One Coffee for a treat. This is a nice coffee shop in the Aspen Gardens neighborhood with food, snacks, and light meal options conveniently located close to Snow Valley. I think this trail is one of the better ones that Edmonton has to offer. It is a very easy walk year round, with lots of good habitat for various birds and some nice spots to stop and look at the creek. I give it 5/10 because it does not have the majestic viewpoints or changing landscape that some of my favourite hikes have.