4 Famous Rivers in Edmonton to Visit

rivers in edmonton
Photo by emcomeau on unsplash.com

The city of Edmonton is a land of greenery and above it all are the few rivers. The rivers in Edmonton are not unique tourist attractions but they shape the city well. Hence, you should learn about these river valleys in the province. 

Edmonton’s grasslands have great 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 famous river beds of the city.

In this post, we have included some of the most famous river beds in Edmonton. We will also include some geographical factors surrounding the river valleys. Hence, this blog will be in your best interest if you are a tourist.

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 popular rivers in the state of Alberta. The river is in the outer regions of the city but the river valley makes an outstanding landscape. Most importantly, this river valley is also a significant economic landscape in the region.

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 towards Lake Winnipeg, covering almost 1200 km. The water body surpasses the Nelson River and eventually meets the ocean at Hudson Bay.

The North Saskatchewan River covers most of southern and central Alberta. The river passes through Edmonton in the center and surpasses Smoky Lake. It then passes through the Alberta-Saskatechwan borders from the southeast direction, crossing lakes and national parks.

The North Saskatchewan River valley park system is Canada’s largest urban park chain. The park system covers most of the northern and southern parts of the Edmonton province. The River Valley Alliance in Edmonton is now working towards building a 100 km long trail network between Fort Saskatchewan and Davon.

1.2 Sturgeon River

rivers in edmonton
Photo by Dustin Bowdige on Unsplash.com

The Sturgeon River in the Edmont province covers 260 km surrounding Central Alberta. This river is also one of the biggest tributaries of the North Saskatchewan River. Apart from that, the Sturgeon River is home to many lakes, such as Lac Ste. Anne, Isle Lake, Deadman Lake, and many more.

The water body gets its name from Sturgeon County, as it surpasses this region in Edmonton. It originates in the northeast part of the Hudson Bay drainage basin, very close to the Arctic Divide. Hence, the river is only as long as a tributary can get.

Most of the distributaries, such as the Lacombe Lake, are open for fishing from May. The Sturgeon River Watershed Alliance, along with the municipalities, maintains the quality of the river water and the nearby lakes. Hence, it is even more crucial for tourists to keep an eye on the environmental integrity of the river.

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 mouth is located in the Columbia Icefield, surrounding the Jasper National Park. The river covers more than 1200 km and flows alongside the northeast region of Edmonton.

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 is one of the tributary rivers originating from the Athabasca River in 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 mostly renowned for recreation and adventure sports that tourists can try on their visit to Canada. People can enjoy many adventurous activities like kayaking, camping, tubing, etc. The beautiful view of the valley 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. Hence, the fishing trails are open for most of the months.

As the river valley is open throughout the year, it brings in a lot of tourists. In addition to that, the temperature remains ideal throughout this period. Hence, the suitable weather conditions allow industrial and economic development in the province.

2. River Valley Alliance

The River Valley Alliance is a national non-profit corporation in the Saskatchewan Valley. The organization maintains the environmental condition of both the North Saskatchewan River and the South Saskatchewan River along with its vast tributaries. The RVA protects the natural habitation around the river valley.

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

2.1 North Saskatchewan River Valley

The North Saskatchewan River Valley is the largest 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 in the grounds.

You can experience the North Saskatchewan River Valley from any part of the city as it has parks scattered on every corner. If you are into history, you can explore the 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 which is home to over 350 animals.

The North Saskatchewan River system has a wide range of adventure sports for the sporty folks. Visitors can go rowing, skiing cross-country, or fishing with maximum safety. However, there are a large number of water predators including birds. Thus, you have to be fully aware of the nature around the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

2.2 Edmonton Valleys

The summer weather in Edmonton is the best time to make a trip down the river valleys. The months of June, July, and August have a gentle breeze to the air and the sunshine is never harsh in Canada. Needless to say, the food in Edmonton is as good as it gets.

There are several musical and cultural festivals around this time of the year, such as the Edmonton Heritage Festival, K-Days, Animethon, etc. However, you need to book hotels or homestays beforehand. Hence, you will see large crowds from July to August.

3. Conclusion

If it is your first visit to Canada and you have no place to explore, then you must visit Edmonton. You can explore the outstanding river valleys and experience the natural wonder to its fullest. Expect everything in this city of nature and scenic landscapes.

Click here for more.

Parijat Ghosh
Hi, I am Parijat Ghosh. I am an intern writer at ScoopCanada.