Lat: 50.94116   Long: -114.59317 Click to see map

This may be the best picnic area for your family. It has all the services; toilets, picnic tables, firepits, large open play areas, proximity to the river and a good trail, the Alder Trail, nearby. There is also a trail through the forest that starts on the upper level and winds through the forest down by the river. The flood did some damage to the trails.

Some of the approximately 30 tables are located up on a kind of plateau near the parking area and the play fields. There are tables scattered around the playing fields and two large firepits surrounded by a circle of benches. I haven’t seen this in any other day use area. There are a lot more tables down a gradual slope near the river. I thought this area looked a lot like the way Elbow Falls used to be with tables and firepits scattered throughout an open forest with the river nearby. There is a toilet on the lower level as well. The river doesn’t have a lot of drama here, but there are some impressive rock cliffs on the opposite shore.

Normally the park is easily accessible just a short drive past the Hamlet of Bragg Creek on Highway 758, an extension of the Heritage Mile (White Avenue), but that road was washed away in the flood. Alberta Transport plans to have the road rebuilt in mid September. In the interim you can get there by driving a couple of kilometres west on Highway 66 from the junction of Highway 22 and 66 to the Highway 758 turnoff to Bragg Creek. About 2 kilometres down, the park entrance is on the left. Before you get to the entrance the Alder Trail crosses the road and there is a small parking lot which serves as a trailhead for the trail.

In 2005 the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association built the Centennial Trail that connected the park to the hamlet with a branch along the gravel flats near the park. The flood destroyed a large part of the trail, but the first part of the trail, which starts across from the toilet at the end of the parking lot nearest Hwy 758, is still there. A dramatic outlook from a bluff overlooks the Elbow along this trail, but then the trail ends at the river after a steep incline down. You can pick your way over rocks and fallen trees back to the main park trail and back to the picnic area. It took me about 40 minutes.

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Bragg Creek Provincial Park Map

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