Paddy Flats Trail - Alberta Canada

Paddy Flats Trail - Alberta Canada

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully you had a fantastic weekend. This post is a little late. We actually did Paddy Flats on April 17th. The weather was a fantastic 21 degrees Celsius with the sun shining brightly and not many clouds in the sky. The trail head is located in the Paddy Flats campground along Highway 66 before reaching Elbow Falls. Since the campground is closed though, currently you have to park along the highway.

View from Paddy Flats Trail

Charlotte, Sash, Nick and Lexton met up with our friend Amanda along the highway. We took Sybil and Oliver as well since they love getting out as well. Finding the trailhead itself took some time since we thought we might have cell coverage so we could use the map from Alltrails.com but while the phones said we had coverage, no one was able to download the map which made things more complicated. We walked around the perimeter of the campground and finally found the trailhead after we had gone around about 75% of the grounds. If you go clockwise around the campground rather than counter-clockwise you will find the trail a lot faster.

The ground was quite slushy since the snow was all melting and there were a few large puddles which was fun to let the dogs splash in. Once we got on the trail, it very quickly forks. We originally thought it was a loop, so we took the right side as it went down and we didn't want to have an uphill at the end of our hike (Oh how wrong we were). Anyway, the trail itself follows the ridge line overlooking the Elbow river downstream from Elbow falls. The views are great and got some lovely shots and would definitely suggest it as an easy walk.

Paddy Flats river view

It was a hot day so we were looking to get down to the river at some point so we could let the dogs go for a dip and cool off. We saw a pathway down to the river very close to the start of the trail. Thinking we would find another one a bit further one, we continued on the trail. That was the only pathway though, so we went down to the river on our way back to the car. There was a little pebble beach there with a few other groups already there. We just took one corner and had our lunch with the dogs cooling off in the water. Took this shot of Oliver which I think turned out well. It can be hard photographing a black dog.

Oliver at Paddy Flats

So Paddy flats does eventually make it back to the cars, but you have to cross the highway after following the river for a decent stint. We decided to just return the way we came and followed the river back again. This time, however, we turned off the trail and made our way down to the river where the dogs could play. We found a great rock for all of us to have a picnic on and just relax for a bit. The water itself was very cold but most people would have guessed that since there was still ice on the far bank.

All in all the hike was a lovely Sunday stroll. Nothing strenuous but good fun with great company. Its a great walk if someone in the group has an injury or if you are JUST starting out on your hiking adventures. The views were great, they might be worth coming back for sunrise or sunset but probably not as another main hike.

Oliver at Paddy Flats

Have you done this one? If so, what did you think of it?

Regards,

Graeme

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