Mill Creek Ravine North and South (north and south trail off of 82 Ave) are fairly well know Edmonton trails, but do you know of the lesser know Upper Mill Creek Ravine tucked away in the Minchau neighbourhood, in the Mill Woods area of Edmonton?
Adjacent to Minchau Park, a large green space and playground, and Barbara Danelesko Park, Upper Mill Creek Ravine is a granular trail that runs from about 34 Street and 34B Ave to around 40 Ave and 50 Street and also doubles as an off leash dog park. I parked in a mini cul de sac at the SE corner of the trail.
Full Google Maps version here (click off satellite and zoom in to view the trail system better).
In researching the area (thanks YEG Parks!), I learned about two Edmontonians that the neighborhood and parks were named after. August Minchau was a Polish immigrant that settled in the Mill Woods area around 1894. Barbara Danelesko was a mother and well respected community member that tragically passed away during a random home invasion in 1994.
Upper Mill Creek Ravine is definitely one or the more challenging trails that I have encountered so far in Edmonton. The dirt path has many steep hills which would make it especially challenging for young children or strollers, although I saw a few jogging strollers along the trail. I did the whole trail with a return trip, but a smaller portion of the trail would work well for younger kids, as there are many entrances along the path, and a few set of wooden stairs leading down to the ravine trail. Bikers also use this trail frequently for its challenging nature.
It took me 45 minutes to walk each way, with a few short breaks for pictures and water along the way. With kids, I would definitely allow for more time, for breaks and exploring. There are many spots to take a break along the way – resting on stairs, fallen logs, and even a picnic table. Pack a few snacks or a picnic lunch, and lots of water and find a nice log by the creek to have a bite and enjoy the scenery.
It’s a pretty secluded spot with not much city noise. Mill Creek trickles along side the trail with wooden bridges scattered throughout the ravine. While is it fairly open to the sun in the springtime, I’m sure there was be an excellent tree cover in the summer with lots of shady areas. I can’t wait to check it out later in the year and see it as the seasons change.
So if you’re up for a challenging trail that is sure to break a sweat, Upper Mill Creek Ravine is an excellent place to explore!