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Spring Creek Canmore: A Beautiful boardwalk trail

spring creek boardwalk with mountains in the background

If you’ve ever seen photos of Canmore, you’ve probably seen the stunning boardwalk along the Spring Creek trail. It’s likely the most picturesque walk I have ever taken and I’d happily stroll along it again!

It’s a family friendly walking track that takes you through a yellow marsh, following a small flowing river with mountains all around. It really is a sight to remember.

What’s interesting about this walk is that it is known by two names, Spring Creek and Policeman’s Creek.

The trail starts on a street named Spring Creek Drive as the Policeman’s Creek boardwalk trail. As you get past the midway point on the trail, you’ll find the bridge that leads you into Spring Creek – a small hotel and residential area on the bank of the small river.

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Spending some time in Canmore? Check out these other hikes in the area:

Would you rather a difficult mountain trail? Check out the EEOR Hike in Alberta – The East End of Rundle


the boardwalk and river in spring creek canmore
The boardwalk winding through the marsh and trees next to the river.

Walking trail Stats

You can follow the route of the trail here

Type of Trail

Out & Back

Length of Trail

2.6miles / 4.2km

Time to complete

1 hour

As usual I will try to describe the elevation like I do on every hike, and believe it or not, there is an elevation of 81m. But it is so slight that I barely noticed, so it’s likely you won’t notice either.

The trail takes you along the full length of the boardwalk until it heads into a small forested area. This is where the wooden walkway turns to concrete and heads through the trees until you meet a bridge.

This bridge takes you over the small creek that has flowed next to the trail since the start and brings you to the Malcolm Hotel. This is a 4* hotel that boasts hot tubs, BBQs and mountain views across the boardwalk and river creek.

This is one place you can either end the trail by crossing the bridge and heading into a more “residential” part of town or you can stay on the trail and continue through the forested area.

forest walk off of the boardwalk in spring creek
Part of the trail that goes through the forest.

When to visit the Boardwalk

As this is a safe and simple trail in the centre of Canmore, it is open all year round. If you are looking for yellow and orange hues to the plants, then you’d be best to visit during the Autumn / Fall season (that’s my favourite season to visit!)

  • If you visit during the Summer, everything will be green, bright and the plants in full bloom.
  • In the Winter time, it is very likely to snow in Canmore so the mountains and the boardwalk will be lined with snow. Be careful as the boardwalk can become slippery when wet.
  • The Spring season has similarities to Autumn, but more greenery than yellow shaded plants.

That’s what makes this trail so great, it can be enjoyed no matter what the weather brings. The Spring Creek boardwalk is always a fun choice when other trails in the Canmore region are closed in the off season.

One of the only hiking dangers of this trail is the snow and ice when it first starts to freeze over as the boardwalk can become slippery.


the canmore spring creek boardwalk through the marsh
The boardwalk just before sunset

Where to find the trailhead

So, the Spring Creek trail in Canmore is probably the easiest trailhead to get to compared with other hikes. It’s right in the centre of the town! There are technically two entrances as you can walk to the boardwalk from either end but most visitors start from Spring Creek Drive.

It is only a 3 minute walk from the popular 8th Street which is where much of the “main” tourist shopping takes place.

This means you can visit the popular tourist stores, do the trail there and back, then end right in the middle of town. You can’t get a more perfect location really.

If you want to drive to the trail, just bear in mind that many of the streets in the centre of Canmore are closed to vehicles and are only for foot traffic. This can make it tricky to find a parking spot. Luckily, Canmore is such a small town that you can easily walk to the Spring Creek trail from almost anywhere you park!


a straight section of boardwalk in canmore
One of the bridges on the trail
me walking along the boardwalk in canmore
This is probably the clearest stretch of boardwalk to see the mountains!

Best photo opportunity

Of course if I am somewhere this beautiful, I am going to try and find the most perfect photo opportunity. It would be silly not to!

Although the route was nice the whole way from the Spring Creek / Policeman’s Creek entrance, I found the view to be even nicer when you turn around at the end and head back towards Spring Creek.

There is one particular spot about half way, with minimal trees, and a curve in the boardwalk. It really makes the mountain backdrop stand out and look all the more incredible.

Pro tip: If you want to see the boardwalk when it isn’t busy with people, your best chance is early morning or around sunset.

Spring Creek Sign in Canmore
The Spring Creek sign at one entrance to the trail near the hotels
bridge from the forest trail to spring creek hotels
One of the bridges into Spring creek near the hotels and other walkways

Amenities

Technically, this trail doesn’t have any amenities such as toilets or anything. However, due to its proximity to the centre of town, there are some public washrooms only a short walking distance from the trailhead.

There are some located on 7th Avenue, (6 minute walk from the start of the boardwalk) in between 6th and 8th street.

If you get a little tired or need a break there are some benches scattered along the trail too which makes it easier to take a few minutes to sit and appreciate the landscape.


Accommodation

Need a place to stay in Canmore? Check out these two accommodation options below:

Canmore Downtown Hostel – A fun, affordable and social hostel in the centre of town. It is only a 10 minute walk from the boardwalk and they always hold events for guests!

Solara Resort – A relaxing choice of hotel with multiple spa amenities for guests to use. Just a 20 minute walk from the boardwalk!

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