Edmonton’s Waterfront Wonders: Explore the Beauty of These 4 Famous Rivers

Parijat GhoshJanhavi Ramesh Kowligi
7 Min Read
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Edmonton’s grasslands have incredible landscapes that perfectly suit the peaceful Alberta environment. Most of these landscapes are the Edmonton’s river valleys.

So, if you visit the province for the first time, you can check out the city’s famous river beds.

1. Famous Rivers in Edmonton

1.1 North Saskatchewan River

rivers in edmonton
Photo by Ezra Jeffrey-Comeau on Unsplash.com
The North Saskatchewan River is one of the most famous rivers in Alberta. The river flows through Edmonton, and the valley makes an outstanding landscape. Most importantly, this river valley is also a significant economic landscape.
The North Saskatchewan River originates from the large Columbian icefields at a height of 1800 m above sea level. It flows from the Alberta region and covers almost 1287 km. The river joins the South Saskatchewan River to form the Saskatchewan River, which flows into Lake Winnipeg. The waters of Lake Winnipeg eventually drain into Hudson Bay via the Nelson River.
The North Saskatchewan River covers most of southern and central Alberta. The river passes through Edmonton in the center and passes by Smoky Lake. It then crosses the Alberta-Saskatechwan borders from the southeast, crossing lakes and national parks.
The North Saskatchewan River Valley Park System is Canada’s largest urban park chain. The park system is in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region of Alberta, Canada. The River Valley Alliance in Edmonton is now working towards building an approximately 125 km long trail network between Fort Saskatchewan and Devon.

1.2 Sturgeon River

rivers in edmonton
Photo by Dustin Bowdige on Unsplash.com

The Sturgeon River, located in the province of Alberta, covers 260 km across Central Alberta. This river is a significant tributary of the North Saskatchewan River.

The Sturgeon River also encompasses many lakes, such as Lac Ste. Anne, Isle Lake, Deadman Lake, and many more. The river crosses Sturgeon County, which was named after this river.

The Sturgeon River originates at Hoople Lake, flows east through Lake Isle, Lac St. Anne, Big Lake, and then empties into the North Saskatchewan River at Fort Saskatchewan. The Sturgeon River Watershed Alliance is responsible for maintaining the quality of the river water.

1.3 Athabasca River

rivers in edmonton
Photo by Suzanne Rushton on Unsplash.com
The Athabasca River Valley is of great importance to the citizens of Alberta because of its cultural influence. Its source is in the Columbia Icefield, surrounding the Jasper National Park. The river covers over 1200 km and flows across Alberta, draining into Lake Athabasca in the northeast.

The Athabasca River flows through gorges and ice fields, allowing habitation in the river valley. Along the course of the river, there are many provincial parks. For instance, the Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park, Jasper National Park, Richardson Wildland Provincial Park, and many more.

The Athabasca River covers numerous national parks and trails and is a part of the Canadian Heritage River System. This project was launched to maintain the natural integrity of the river systems in Canada. Therefore, it allows you to visit various locations and learn about its cultural significance on a national level.

1.4 Pembina River

Pembina River, Alberta by Drone - Camping & Tubing. Float down the river in Summer!

Pembina River is one of the tributary rivers from the Athabasca River between Alberta. Much like the Athabasca River, the river’s mouth is located in the Canadian Rockies foothills. The river covers 547 km from Pembina Forks to the Athabasca, to the west of Athabasca town.

This river is renowned primarily for recreation and adventure sports tourists can try while visiting Canada. People can enjoy many adventurous activities like kayaking, camping, tubing, etc. The beautiful valley view also adds more thrill if you are camping.

The Pembina River also has clear water throughout the year. It is great news for hikers who visit the river valley often. The water depth of the river is relatively shallow.

The River Valley Alliance is a not-for-profit organization comprising seven shareholder municipalities bordering the North Saskatchewan River in the Edmonton Metropolitan region.
The RVA’s goal is to create trail connectivity and access through a balanced approach of preserving, protecting, and enhancing one of the world’s largest metropolitan river valley park systems.

The RVA looks into the safety protocols of the parkland trails and guides visitors. RVA launches significant programs that help visitors explore the trails and make the most of this natural wonder. The organization has been working for over two decades to maintain the ambiance of Edmonton.

2. North Saskatchewan River Valley

Explore the North Saskatchewan River with a Geoscientist

The North Saskatchewan River Valley is the most extensive trail of urban parkland in the North American continent. Hence, there is so much you can do for outdoor adventures in Edmonton’s river valley. You can ride mountain bikes, jog along the long trails, and camp on the grounds.

You can experience the North Saskatchewan River Valley from any part of the city, as parks are scattered on every corner. If you are into history, you can explore Fort Edmonton Park and view the city’s heritage. If you want to learn about the rich wildlife of Edmonton’s river valley, there is the Edmonton Valley Zoo, home to over 350 animals.

The North Saskatchewan River system is used year-round for canoeing, kayaking, and floating activities. However, the river can be unpredictable with fast underwater currents, strong undertows, and unforeseen hazards such as underwater debris, floating trees and wood, and muddy shorelines. Thus, visitors must prepare accordingly and be fully aware of the nature around the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

Final Words

Edmonton offers several attractions and natural beauties for tourists to explore. One such category where you can thrive on experiencing adventure and water sports is visiting the rivers in Edmonton.

Edmonton is famous for several rivers, the North Saskatchewan River being the most prominent. Enjoy activities like boating, fishing, canoeing, and scenic walks at any river in Edmonton.

Last Updated on by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi

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