I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Chickakoo Lake Regional Park
There is a trail network to the west of Edmonton that you can get to using the Yellowhead Highway. In the area of Spruce Grove and Onoway, this network is found in the Chickakoo Lake Regional Park and features six trails of varying lengths.
There is not a lot of elevation to be gained using these trails. However, the terrain is rolling, meaning that you will spend some time walking uphill. That's bad news for someone that wants things really easy but good news for someone that wants a little bit of a workout.
Trailhead Near Spruce Grove and Onoway
In the following 2-minute video, I show the trailhead area at Chickakoo Lake Regional Park and commentate a little. You can see the deciduous trees in the area, some picnic grounds, the width of the stony trail, and an example of a small lake in the area.
Lakeside Trails at Chickakoo
The regional park has a lot of maps that are posted around the trail network. It really would be difficult to get lost in this park, especially since this trail network is fairly small. As you will see in the next video, the viewpoints are often of the small lakes in the area. However, I did not notice anywhere that looked particularly inviting for swimming.
That said, the trails in this park felt very safe. They were wide, there were a lot of people using the trails, and my impression of the park was that it was well maintained. If there was a danger to be mentioned, it's that the trails showed signs of erosion when I used them in August of 2020. Some of them had small crevices carved into them from running rainwater or melted snow.
Lakeside Viewpoint at Chickakoo
When it comes to assigning a difficulty level for this trail network, it would have to be called easy. The uphill walking is minimal, the trails are short, and there is never a time where you will need to use your arms to grab onto somewhere for leverage to pass a point. I like to ask myself: Was I walking or was I hiking on these trails? In all honesty, these trails were more walking than hiking.
The only area that was somewhat steep was an area called The Wall, however, the steepness wasn't that challenging. There were no surprises and there were no hidden dangers. But I did wonder to what extent some of the small bodies of water might encroach on the trails during the rainiest times of the year.
Watch Out for Cyclists
Also, there were cyclists in this park, which is a bad thing from a pedestrian/hiking perspective. You'll have to watch for them as they come around corners or over small hills.
"The Wall" at Chickakoo
Better Parks Around Edmonton
I certainly would not call this park "must-see" and there was not any kind of viewpoint that made the park incredible in my opinion. The park has forested prairie and lakeside trails with viewpoints that won't compete with the trails in the Rocky Mountains to the west in terms of scenery. This was mainly the type of park that's great for a walk when you prefer a natural setting instead of city pavement.
The trail is a little different than the trails you find in the Edmonton area. The small lakes in Chickakoo create a different environment than the river valley trails in Edmonton.
I can't quite say that the drive west of Edmonton is worth it, but if you are looking for a new experience, then you might enjoy yourself at this regional park. That said, if you are looking to get out of Edmonton a little way, then there are two other areas that I would recommend ahead of Chickakoo Lake.
Firstly, there is Elk Island National Park to the city's west on the Yellowhead. The trails here are more interesting and more challenging. Also, I liked the Bunchberry Meadows trails out near the town of Devon just a little bit better when I visited them on the same trip to the area.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Shane Lambert
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 19, 2021:
Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us, and specifically about this park and the trails.
Shane Lambert (author) from Edmonton, Alberta on August 19, 2021:
Thank you Liz.
Liz Westwood from UK on August 19, 2021:
This is a very helpful, informative and well-illustrated guide.